I am a partner in a small, family-owned ecommerce business that sells. I'm writing to you because I am concerned about the treatment of small merchants on Google Shopping.
I have been documenting my company's struggle with this issue for years and just this week we were suspended for carrying several products that included ingredients prohibited by the Google Merchant Center. We sell a wide variety of health and beauty products, including nutritional supplements.
What's interesting about this is that Google AdWords customer services reps confirmed to me on the phone that the two ingredients in question, lycopene and guggul, were not on the published list of unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements, but rather on an internal, non-public list.
What's more concerning is that there are more than 20 sellers still selling the very same products on Google Shopping as we speak. According to Google, they simply can't police all of the sellers out there...despite the fact that all of the sellers of these products are easily discoverable by searching for the product on Google Shopping.
I have been cataloging this practice for years and I have multiple examples of my company being penalized for violating undisclosed policies while others sellers continue to sell the same products with impunity.
Living in the real world, I'm well aware of why Google can't police these violations equitably (you can't tell me Walgreens wakes up to find its account suspended for selling lycopene). Yet they continue to claim that they simply don't have the technology to identify all of the transgressors.
Is this something EcommerceBytes has ever considered investigating? I'm stunned by how little discussion this sort of thing gets on the internet. Perhaps it's because I'm searching for the information using Google! I truly do think there is journalistic public service to be done here.
Thank you for your time.