Advertisers quite often encounter an issue known as "Price Mismatched value (page crawl): (price [price])" in Google Merchant Center. This error message indicates a discrepancy between the price values on the landing page and the eCommerce checkout page.
Google Shopping, with its commitment to providing an optimal user experience, implemented strict requirements for landing pages. The aim was to prevent such mismatches and maintain transparency for shoppers. Advertisers must navigate this challenge by aligning the price, sale price, and sale price effective date attributes across their landing and checkout pages.
In this article, we will delve into the steps necessary for you to fix this issue and ensure a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
What is page crawling?
At regular intervals, Googlebot examines the landing pages of your website and compares the price [price] attribute in your data feed with the prices displayed on those pages or within the structured data markup (if it has been implemented).
The frequency of page crawling is dependent on the capacity of your server domain. If the domain is operating at its maximum capacity, the process of page crawling may be longer as Google avoids increasing crawl rates to prevent any latency issues on your website.
This process ensures that the quality and pricing consistency is maintained, thereby enhancing the overall experience for your customers. In case a mismatch is detected between the price on the landing page and the price [price] in the data feed, the affected product may be disapproved.
This error is not the end of the world. Googlebot automatically re-crawls the disapproved products within the following hours or days to verify the price once again. If you fix the issue and the price on your landing page aligns with the price [price] attribute in your data feed, the products will be reapproved accordingly.
Reasons for Price Mismatch disapprovals
Price mismatch disapproval can occur when the listed price of a product or service does not match the actual price on the website or at checkout. Here are some possible reasons for price mismatch disapprovals:
If the product data feed provided to the platform is outdated or contains errors, it may result in a price mismatch. This could happen if there is a delay in updating the feed with the latest prices or if there are discrepancies in the data provided.
Sometimes there is lack of alignment between the sale price effective date attribute and changes on the website. Make sure that the value specified for the [sale_price_effective_date] attribute matches the timing of any updates made to your website.
The mismatched error can occur when you have multiple prices on the landing page, and your lowest price is NOT prominent enough and/or is NOT indicated using the [sale_price] attribute.
In some cases, the pricing of products or services may change frequently based on various factors such as demand, availability, or location. If the platform doesn't have automatic updates for dynamic pricing, it can lead to price mismatch disapprovals.
Sometimes contradictory information within the site build might occur, causing crawling issues.
There is also a risk of an error when you have a mismatch between the product title, description, image, and the submitted price.
Variant URL issues: each variant in the feed should have a corresponding URL leading to the correct variant. If it doesn’t, an error message occurs.
Delayed loading of prices on the landing page potentially results in missed final prices.
A price mismatch error occurs when your products have a minimum quantity or are sold in bulk and you have only submitted a price for individual products. You must submit the total price for the minimum number of items sold.
Automatic item updates active [price]: If you receive this price warning, it means that Google has automatically updated the price data of your product because there was a mismatch between the feed and your shop data( if you enabled automatic price updates in your Merchant Center account). If you get too many of these, this warning may turn into the Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price] error!
Risks of ignoring Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price] error
The main long-term risk of having incorrect prices on many products is a permanent account suspension. If you don't fix the price mismatch issue within 28 days of receiving the notification in Google Merchant Center, your account could be suspended.
Additionally, having too many products disapproved may decrease the number of offers available for your Google Shopping campaign.
The last risk is providing a negative shopping experience to your customers. Customers may see different prices on shopping ads compared to your website, which could result in fewer clicks on your ads and fewer conversions.
This is how you fix Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price]
To fix the issue of Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price], there are a few steps you can take:
1. Find the source of Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price] error
To access your Merchant Center account, start by signing in.
Next, navigate to the Products section in the menu and select Diagnostics.
To see a list of current issues that may be impacting your products, click on the Item issues tab.
Apply a filter to the downloaded report to specifically locate products with the issue title "Mismatched (page crawl): (price [price])".
Diagnostics tab | Google Merchant Center
Errors | Google Merchant Center
2. Provide the identical values for your landing page, price, sale price, and sale price effective date attributes.
Check your feed for errors
Look for the products in your product data by searching their IDs, and ensure that each item has the identical values for price [price] (or sale price [sale_price] and sale price effective date [sale_price_effective_date]) as those that are mentioned on your website and within its structured data.
To help you with that, we recommend that you use a feed review that automatically checks your feed for errors. DataFeedWatch provides you with such tool:
Product feed review tool | DataFeedWatch
If you're using a sale price for your products, make sure you specify the correct start and end dates for the sale using the sale_price_effective_date attribute. Also, double-check that the time zone is accurate. During the sale period, the sale price will be displayed as the current price in your Shopping ads, free listings, local inventory ads, and free local listings.
Make sure that the first price people see is the actual price for the item. Google's bot always reads the first price it finds. So, if you have the original price displayed before the current price, switch their places. This way, Google will be able to read and show the correct price to people.
Structured data check
Even if everything seems perfect, there are cases when Google might still not be able to detect the price. As the backup for this scenario it is recommended to include structured data. Structured data is information that Google's bot examines and compares with the visual presentation of your product landing page and data feed information. This helps ensure accurate and consistent pricing representation.
In certain cases where the structured data is invalid and Google cannot read the visual prices on the product landing page, it will seek other valid metadata. In such situations, Google will also examine Opengraph, which is a protocol that allows websites to define specific metadata for social media platforms, primarily Facebook. To find the current information on the product landing page, you can right-click on the page, select "view-source," and search for "og:price."
It is crucial that the value of og:price matches the price in the structured data, visually on the landing page, and in your data feed.
3. Submit your updated product feed
Once you have made the necessary updates to your product data, you can proceed to resubmit it using any of the following methods:
Upload your updated feed
Submit through the Content API
Import content from your eCommerce platform
Afterwards, verify that the issue has been resolved by ensuring it is no longer appearing on the Diagnostics page. It may take some time for the changes to be reflected on the Diagnostics page so be patient.
4. Ask for a review (optional)
Sometimes, if your account or one of your product offers is rejected and you have either resolved the problem or you disagree with the decision, you have the option to request a review. If the review is successful, the issue will be resolved. However, if the rejection persists and you are unsure about the next steps, feel free to reach out to us for assistance and support.
Prevent Google price errors before they occur
The truth is you can prevent price mismatch and never worry about Mismatched Value (page crawl) [price] error ever again. The answer to this issue is keeping your data feeds updated using automation!
Make sure you regularly update your data feed, either daily or when you make changes. It is recommended that merchants allow Google to fetch a new data feed every day. Let's take a closer look at best practices to avoid pricing errors:
1. Implement automation between your feed and webshop
To ensure that your feed accurately reflects your dynamic product data like changing prices, it is advisable to utilize automated data exports or a feed management solution. Relying on manual management through spreadsheets increases the risk of errors when dealing with dynamic changes.
2. Schedule frequent updates for your data feed
For bigger merchants those prices and stock levels change throughout the day, consider setting up additional daily feed updates in both Google Merchant and your store to ensure the most up-to-date information is being transmitted. You can use FTP uploads.
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. To put it in straightforward words, FTP enables communication and file transfer between two or more systems. Learn about how to upload your feed using FTP.
FTP connection to keep the feed updated | DataFeedWatch
3. Set up Google’s Automatic Item Update
Automatic Item Updates is a feature provided by Google Merchant Center that helps retailers maintain accurate and up-to-date pricing information on their product listings. It specifically tackles the problem of price mismatches caused by delayed updates or incorrect data feeds.
By implementing this feature, retailers can greatly reduce the chances of frustrating price discrepancies and improve the overall shopping experience for customers.
Automatic item updates | Google Merchant Center
How does Automatic Item Updates work? When enabled, Google's system automatically detects changes in the prices of products listed on an online store. If the price of a product changes on the retailer's website, the system updates the corresponding listing on Google Shopping to reflect the new price.
4. Use both 'price' and 'sale_price'
Google allows merchants to submit two types of prices: regular and promotional. The regular price should be included in the price attribute, while the discounted price should be specified in the sale_price field. By providing both prices, you give Google and potential shoppers a clear understanding of any ongoing sales before they visit your store (subject to meeting Google's criteria for displaying strikethrough pricing).
Note: If your Shopify-based store requires guidance on setting both prices, refer to this guide.
Mapping sale_pricel | DataFeedWatch
5. Exclude free items from your feed
Google's feed specifications prohibit the advertising of free products unless they are part of a mobile device contract. To avoid complications, establish a simple rule in your feed that filters out any existing or future free products from your offerings.
Excluding products | DataFeedWatch
6. Pay attention to variant pricing discrepancies
In cases where a product has multiple options with varying prices, such as a laptop with different RAM capacities, it is essential to include the specific variant's link in your feed instead of the parent product link. Failure to do so may result in price mismatch errors.
Using a feed management tool, you can set up an exclusion rule that ensures every url leads to the right product page.
Mapping variant url | DataFeedWatch
7. Recalculate prices in your feed for partial imported data
Though uncommon, some advertisers encounter situations where their shop's data export plugin sends prices as a breakdown of costs and profits to the feed. In such cases, a feed tool can be employed to automatically aggregate all the price components to match the total price visible to customers.
Proper feed management with the right feed management platform
Having complete control over your feed data is essential to ensure the accuracy and consistency of your product listings. One way to achieve this control is by leveraging a feed management tool like DataFeedWatch.
Using this tool you can easily exclude products that should not be advertised on Google Shopping due to discontinuation or unavailability.
DataFeedWatch provides optimization and filtering functionalities, enabling you to send the collected and optimized data to any desired channel, not just limited to Google. If you require merging your product data with information from other sources such as PIM systems, a feed management tool becomes indispensable for seamless integration.
In conclusion, resolving mismatched values in the Merchant Center is crucial for maintaining a successful online business. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure accurate pricing and provide a positive shopping experience for your customers.
If you have any questions or additional insights, please leave them in the comments section below. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, take a look at our other articles: