How do I link my Google Ads account with my Google Merchant Center?

Reading time: 3–5 minutes

Linking your Google Ads and Merchant Center account is a necessary step to take if you want to set up Shopping campaigns. In this article we explain how to link the two accounts together. 

Link your Google Ads and Merchant Center accounts

You first need a Google Merchant Center account. If you don’t already have one, you can create a new Merchant Center Account by navigating to and signing up for a Merchant Center Account with a Google account.

Once you have a Google Merchant Center account, you are ready to link the accounts. 

  1. Request link to Google Ads from the Merchant Center

    You can link a single Google Ads account to multiple Google Merchant Center accounts, or multiple Google Ads accounts to a single Google Merchant Center account. The link is always created from the Merchant Center.

    Steps to link to other Google Ads accounts:

  • Navigate to Linked accounts under Settings from the Tools icon in your Merchant Center.
  • Select Google Ads.
  • Click Link account under Other Google Ads accounts.
  • Enter the Google Ads customer ID of the account to link.
  • Click on Send link request.

Link Google ads account

Please note that you need admin access to your Google Ads account and need to be a Merchant Center account user to link with the Google Merchant Center. 

If your Google Ads account is already added at a multi-client account level, you can follow these steps to link your Google Ads account:

  • Go to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts  in your Merchant Center.
  • Select Google Ads.
  • Locate the Google Ads customer ID of the account to link.
  • Click on Link, which you can find under Actions.
  1. Approve the link request in your Google Ads account
  • After signing into your Google Ads account, navigate to the Tools icon, Settings, Linked accounts.
  • Find the Google Merchant Center, and click Details.

Link google ads account with google merchant center

  • Click View request in the Actions column to see the request details of the account you want to link. You should see Needs your approval in the Status column.
  • Click Approve to approve the link or Reject to reject the link. 

You can find the new account link requests in your Google Ads account: Go to Tools and settings, Setup, Linked accounts.

Linked accounts in Google ads account

Cancel or unlink your Google Ads and Google Merchant Center accounts

After you have successfully linked Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, it is possible to cancel or resend a link request from the Google Merchant Center or to unlink an account. This can be done from either the Google Merchant Center or Google Ads. 

  • Cancel a link request: navigate to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts in the Merchant Center, and click Cancel request in the Google Ads tab.
  • Unlink accounts:  go to Tools, Settings, Linked accounts in the Merchant Center, and navigate to Your Google Ads account or Other Google Ads accounts. Click Unlink for the relevant account.

    You can also unlink accounts from your Google Ads account. Go to Tools, Setup, Linked accounts. Click on Details under Google Merchant Center, and find the account you want to unlink. Click Unlink.

Some important things to know about linking your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts
  • The accounts begin to share information once the Google Ads account owner approves the request. Google Ads statistics, such as clicks, will then be visible in the linked Google Merchant Center, and the Merchant Center product information will be accessible in Google Ads to help create campaigns.
  • The link between the two accounts can be removed at any time by the Google Ads account owners and the admin or standard Google Merchant Center users. An owner or user of one account cannot make changes to the other linked account unless they are also an owner or user of that account.
  • Please be careful with the account link. If you remove it, the Shopping campaigns will no longer receive data from the Google Merchant Center account and will be unable to serve ads. New Google Ad campaigns that use product data from this Merchant Center cannot be created if you remove the account link. 

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions about linking your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, please contact us today at

Standard and Enhanced Free Listings for Google Shopping: Best Practices and Optimization

reading time: 3 – 5 minutes
How to optimize your data for standard Free Listings and enhanced Free Listings

Free Listings on Google? Absolutely! Use these best practices to list your products on Google free of charge, while attracting high-quality customers in a targeted way.

Free Listing options

Standard Free Product Listings can be shown on various Surfaces across Google. With standard Free Listings, your products can appear on Google Images, Google Search, the Google Shopping tab, Youtube, Display network and Google Lens (please check the Surface availability for your country).

Enhanced Listings are also free, and they show your products in a content-rich listing on the Shopping tab. You need to meet the requirements for both standard Free Listings and Shopping ads to be eligible. Eligibility for enhanced Listings also depends on your account status and data quality. 

Let’s walk through the requirements and best practices to ensure your eligibility for standard and enhanced Free Listings, resulting in extra free traffic to your webshop. (Here is the Google page describing this process).

Free Listing policies

Google wants consumers to have a positive experience and be well informed. That’s why they’ve established Free Listing policies that merchants must follow to qualify for Free Listings. Merchants must also adhere to Google’s structured data guidelines.

Shopping ad policies

Google’s Shopping ads policy page shows the requirements for advertising on the Google Shopping platform. This page discusses policies (such as editorial and technical quality standards), prohibited content and practices, and restricted content.

Merchant Center

If you want your products to appear in the Free Listings, you can select this option when you sign up for the Merchant Center. If you already have a Merchant Center, you can enable “Free Product Listings” in Manage programs under Growth in the left navigation menu.

Listing attributes

You’ll need to use certain attributes to participate in the Free Listings. You’ll find the full lists of required attributes for both standard and enhanced Listings under “Product data requirements” at this Google page. (Also see the note in that section about shipping information for enhanced Listings.)

Enhance your Listings further

You have ensured that your feed has opted for Free Listings, and you’ve covered the minimum requirements. What’s next? 

Here are some other ways to enrich your product feed to help your products appear in the standard and enhanced Free Listings:

1. Describe the products you are selling.

By using strong product identifiers, you can help Google better understand the products in your feed. This will increase your chances of getting offers matched to products and having your products shown in relevant queries. Some good examples are Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs / EAN), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names — include at least one of these attributes in your product data.

2. Include apparel-specific information. 

If you sell apparel and accessories, use Merchant Center product attributes in your product feed to increase your product’s eligibility for Free Listings: 

  • Specify the product variants (color, pattern, size, etc.) using Merchant Center product data attributes.
  • Submit multiple high-quality images to show different views of your product and engage your customers.
  • Specify demographic attributes and additional optional attributes, such as gender, age group, size, type, and condition.

 3. Use additional product data attributes.

By adding attributes, such as, canonical_ link, and offers, you can help Google match user queries with your product data.

4. Provide return policy information in your Free Product Listings. 

Add shipping configuration and shipping policy links to show shipping rates and times. Customers find this information very helpful. (You must include a shipping policy for enhanced Listings, and it’s also recommended for standard Listings.)

5. Two more ways to enhance listing quality and customer trust:

If you want to increase your chances to appear on Google Surfaces and offer an improved user experience, try linking your account with a third-party platform and opting in to Google Customer Reviews. 

See this Google article for more details about enhancing your Listings.

Optimize your product data

Maintaining high-quality product data will maximize the success of your Shopping ads, Listings. The product data you provide determines the way your ads and Free Listings perform on Google. To create a stronger data set for even better campaign results, read our upcoming article about customer journey.

If you would like to know how Shoparize can help you grow your business by improving the performance of your Google Shopping ads, send us an email today at

How to monitor and adjust your Shopping Campaigns

A Guide

reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

You can follow some best practices to monitor, evaluate, and adjust your Shopping campaigns, ensuring that they perform optimally. Let’s take a look at these best practices. 

First, make sure your product data is always up to date so that prices, product descriptions, and shipping are displayed completely and accurately. If prices are not displayed accurately, you risk an account warning or the suspension of your Merchant Center account. The more accurate your data is in the Merchant Center, the better your campaign performance will be. For more information about product feed optimization, read our article about product data optimization for standard and enhanced free listings.

Once you have double-checked your product data, follow these best practices to optimize your Shopping ads:

Monitor your campaigns and products

You got your campaigns running. Amazing! Now it’s time to check their performance and make sure they are aligned with your performance goals. Google Ads has many places where you can monitor your campaigns: the Dashboard, Products page, the Product groups page, the Predefined reports, and the Auction insights report are just a few.

Check your product status on the Products page

We recommend that you regularly look at the Products page to see if all your products are eligible to show on Google Shopping. These diagnostics also appear in your Google Merchant Center. On the Products page, you can filter by highest clicks or conversions and check individual product performance.

Create product groups

Divide your inventory to create product groups that align with your best-performing products. If you are working with Smart Shopping campaigns, this is done automatically. Then optimize bids by adjusting a product group’s bid up or down depending on the current CPA. If you want more conversion volume for a product group, increase the bid. If a product group has a high CPA and you want to reserve some of your budget for other product groups that can provide more conversion at a lower cost, lower the CPC bid. You can also use the Bid Simulator to help determine the ideal bids for each product group.

Predefined reports

These tools provide useful data to help you identify campaign optimization opportunities:

Click share
Click share suggests how to capture even more clicks. If you want to know your position relative to competitors, click share is the tool to use. It compares the total number of achievable clicks you have received to the number of clicks you could have received. If you receive a low click share along with a high impression share (see below), you cannot drive valuable clicks into the top results. 

To enhance your click share, modify your ads and adjust bids accordingly. We advise you to do this for all devices, especially devices with limited screen size since they drive the most traffic to the top results. 

Impression share
Use impression share to make sure your ads reach as many shoppers as possible. Impression share shows the impressions your ads received compared to the total eligible impressions. If you have valuable profit-generating impressions but your impression share is low, you will benefit from increasing your bids or optimizing your data quality. You can then earn more from your valuable impressions. 

Benchmark CTR and Benchmark Max CPC
Benchmark CTR and Benchmark Max CPC show when you need to improve your product data for optimal ad relevancy or adjust your bids to be in line with your competition. The tool provides insight into how your product groups stack up against competitors. 

Benchmark product price difference
This metric shows the percentage difference between your product’s average product price and the associated benchmark product price. 

Google Analytics
Use Google Analytics to analyze your business data. After linking Google Analytics to your Google Ads account, it will help you gain insight and see potential opportunities to optimize your campaigns. The metrics (like bounce rate, pages/session, and % new sessions) located under Google Analytics in your Google Ads account are all imported from your Google Analytics account. They are calculated based on sessions or visits that originated from Google Ads clicks. To learn more about your Google Analytics data in your Google Ads reports, visit this Google support page

Bid Simulator
The Bid Simulator estimates what your advertising results would have been over the previous seven days with higher or lower bids. This simulation tool can clarify how different product groups’ bids influence your traffic and conversions. 


If a conversion is made, it is possible that shoppers interacted with numerous ads from the same merchant. If you want to assign how much credit each ad gets for a conversion, you can use attribution models. This can give you better insight into your ad performance and ultimately help optimize your ads. Visit this Google support page to learn about the different attribution models. 

In your Google Ads account reporting columns, you can investigate your historical conversion data by adding the columns under Attribution. These columns include Conversions (current model), Cost/conv. (current model), Conv. value (current model), and others. Adding these columns will help you understand how simply changing your attribution model can affect your conversion data. For example, compare the Conversions (current model) column to your regular Conversions column to see how your historic conversion data would be affected by your current attribution model.

Optimization score

Optimization score shows how well your Google Ads account is set to perform and lets you view recommendations to help optimize your campaigns. With Optimization score, you can improve your Shopping ad’s performance by applying the given recommendations based on campaign settings, performance history, and Google search volume and trends. Find the Optimization score by clicking Recommendations in the left menu in your Google Ads account.

Auction insights

Auction insights let you compare your performance to other advertisers in the same auction. With this information, you can make strategic bidding and budgeting decisions. If opportunities exist to improve your performance, Auction insights will make you aware of them.

Use negative keywords

Search-term segmentation helps you structure your campaigns based on search terms or keywords. Adding negative keywords prevents your products to the wrong shopper. Read more about using negative keywords in our upcoming article about it.

Get your Shoppers’ Attention

Shopping campaigns are your first communication with your customers. Follow these best practices to ensure your campaigns are up to date — and be rewarded with shopper attention.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you would like to know how Shoparize can help you grow your business by improving the performance of your Google Shopping ads, email us today at

How to specify which CSS can publish your ads

reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

You can control which CSSs may publish your Shopping ads as Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google’s search results page. Do this by opting in to specific CSSs — read on to find out how.


Multiple CSSs advertising your products

Multiple CSSs can advertise your products in Google’s Product Listing Ads. This can benefit you by raising your shop’s product visibility without increasing your CPC. Multiple CSSs advertising on your behalf will never inflate your CPC, due to the newly designed second-price auction on Google’s PLAs. Check out “Will I end up paying more for Shopping ads if more than one CSS advertises on my behalf? to learn more. 

How is this happening?

CSSs are now allowed to show PLAs for merchants in Google’s search results page without needing to claim or verify the site URL. When a CSS advertises on your behalf, it typically creates a new Merchant Center which it has full control over. In this way, a CSS could fully manage a Shopping campaign on your behalf. 

So how can you opt in or out and monitor all your CSS activity?

Prevent downtime and maintain complete control over all CSS advertising activities by using the CSS activity dashboard in the Merchant Center to opt in to the CSSs of your choice.

You can see which CSSs are advertising for you by retrieving the CSS activity dashboard in the Google Merchant Center. Start by making sure you have access to this CSS activity dashboard in the Google Merchant Center. This dashboard can only be accessed from a Merchant Center where you have claimed your site URL and that is associated with Google Shopping CSS. The URL claim is required because Google wants to verify that only the owner of the URL has rights over their CSS activity. 

But you have probably switched your Merchant Center to Shoparize CSS or another CSS partner and therefore lost access to the CSS dashboard. (Remember, you will need a Merchant Center that has claimed your domain under Google Shopping CSS.) If you have already made this switch, you will need to create a new Merchant Center with Google Shopping CSS and claim your website there. This URL claim will not affect your campaign operations or cause downtime in your campaigns with other CSSs.

To create a new Merchant Center account, navigate to and sign up for a Merchant Center account with a Google account that is not yet associated with an existing Merchant Center.

Note: If you have not switched to Shoparize CSS or another CSS partner, and your Merchant Center is still under Google Shopping CSS, you do not need to create a new Merchant Center Account. 

Here are the easy steps you can take to check which CSS is advertising your products on Google:

Step 1: After creating the Merchant Center with Google Shopping CSS, you just need to claim and verify the site URL to view the CSS activity dashboard. You can find the Comparison Shopping Services dashboard in Shopping ads setup under the Tools menu.

Step 2: Click on Comparison Shopping Services, and scroll down. You will see all the CSSs that have uploaded your inventory and might be advertising products on your behalf.

Step 3: Choose whether you would like to Enable or Disable a specific CSS by ticking the box associated with that particular CSS. When you opt in or opt out of a CSS, that CSS will receive a notification.

Note: You can also use this Comparison Shopping Services overview to select your CSS partner to represent you in free listings or place products outside of Europe. Read more about free listings here.

Remember: Different CSSs can contribute to your existing campaigns in many ways, like feed and campaign optimization. We recommend that merchants ask their CSSs which strategies they are using and whether they provide in-depth performance analysis.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at

Surfaces Across Google or Free Listings on the Google Shopping tab

reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

In addition to paid results in the Google Shopping tab, merchants can participate in Free Product Listings or SAG (Surfaces Across Google) and Enhanced Free Listings. Free Listings and Enhanced Free Listings let shoppers find products from more merchants. This means merchants can reach more shoppers, multiply their product placement, and potentially increase sales. Merchants also have an opportunity to participate on Google Shopping for free. This gives merchants a chance to reach potential customers where Google can offer a broader inventory for repeat shoppers. 

Sounds interesting? Here is how you can place your products in Google’s Free Listings.

Merchant Center

You will first need a Google Merchant Center account. You can easily create this account at Follow the steps on that page to sign up for a Merchant Center account using a Google account that is not yet associated with an existing Merchant Center. You can also reach out to us at to create a Merchant Center account for you.

You can use your Shoparize Merchant Center or any other CSS you’re working with to upload your products into the Merchant Center product feed. You must submit your complete product inventory into your product data feed to increase your chances of appearing in the Free Listings.

If you are new to Google Shopping ads and a CSS that has Free Listings activated creates a Merchant Center for you, this CSS will be selected for Free Listings. If you work with multiple CSSs, the CSS to which you last switched your activities will be chosen automatically. Previously, this was the CSS for which you uploaded the most products. If you want to change this to another CSS, you can do this from the CSS dashboard.

The CSS Dashboard

If you have a Merchant Center under Google Shopping CSS, you can find the CSS dashboard in that Merchant Center Account under Shopping ads setup

If you switched your Merchant Center to Shoparize CSS or any other CSS, you need to claim your domain via a new Google Merchant Center account under Google Shopping CSS (see below). Only the Merchant Center Account where your website is claimed (under Google Shopping CSS) has the CSS dashboard to manage the settings. This might seem redundant, but it is a necessary first step to control which CSS you want to use for Free Listings.

Claiming your domain

Once the Merchant Center has been created, you can claim your domain. In the Google Merchant Center Tools, you can navigate to Business information. Here you can claim your website URL. If you get any pop-ups or emails stating your products will be disapproved or your account will lose its claims, you can ignore them. If you feel unsure about this, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Setting up Shoparize for free listings

Just as you did before, go to the Tools menu in your Google Shopping CSS Merchant Center. Navigate to Shopping ads setup.

In the CSS tab, you can choose one CSS through which to participate in Free Listings in Europe. Here you can select Shoparize CSS by using the three dots that appear when hovering over Shoparize CSS. You now see the option to make Shoparize the CSS for Free Listings in Europe. Please note that it can take up to 24 hours before you will see that your products are approved for Free Listings.

To be eligible for Free Listings on the Shopping tab, feeds must meet the data and eligibility requirements for Free Listings. To get the most out of these Free Listings, read our article on optimizing your feed for higher visibility and receiving more traffic from this feature. You will be able to view the performance of the Free Listings in your Google Merchant Center.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you would like to learn more about the many ways Shoparize CSS can assist you in improving the performance of your Shopping ads, connect with us at