Surfaces Across Google and CSS – all answers to your questions

We wrote about Surfaces Across Google before. So far it’s only active in the US, but it is coming to Europe this year and it’s great. And it will work perfectly fine with your Producthero CSS Merchant Center. And you already overwhelmed us with questions regarding it. And we understand. It can be really confusing. Some clients get red notifications in their Merchant Center. Do not worry: Surfaces across Google is not active yet in the EU, it has nothing to do with your Shopping Ads campaigns and everything is going to be all right after reading this article 😉 We explain the whole situation. Because that is what (Product)heroes do.

What is surfaces across Google?

In short it is organic (free) product listing on the Google Shopping Tab (google.com/shopping). Read our previous post to learn all about it: Free clicks from the Google Shopping Tab: Surfaces across Google.  

Is surfaces across Google active in EU countries yet?

No. Surfaces Across Google is only active in the US at the moment. And the US can not be in a CSS Merchant Center since it is not a country within the Google CSS Program. So you are not receiving Surfaces Across Google clicks yet in your Producthero Merchant Center. Although it is not active yet, Producthero Merchant Centers are already prepared for the launch of surfaces across Google in EU countries later this year. 

What if I have multiple Merchant Centers for my domain (multiple CSS-es)?

By default, the CSS with most uploaded products is automatically selected.

To explain the situation of multiple CSS-es: It can be the case that you have multiple Merchant Centers with multiple CSS-es. For instance if you have kept your Google Shopping Merchant Center and got a new Merchant Center from a CSS partner. You can even have Merchant Centers for your domain that you do not have access to or that you do not even know of. In that case a CSS is running shopping ads for you with their own campaigns. For instance with an affiliate feed (we would never do that! read more on how you can find out if there are CSS partners advertising for your shop in this article: What?! A CSS is advertising on behalf of me with PLA’s). 

Can I choose which Merchant Center I want to use for my Products on Surfaces Across Google?

Yes. In case there are more than one CSS-es for your domain, you can choose one through which you want to participate in surfaces across Google. You can switch to another CSS at any point via the CSS dashboard (see next question where to find it). CSS selection for Shopping ads is unaffected.

Where can I find the CSS dashboard?

OK, so this is the tricky part. You can find the CSS dashboard only in a Merchant Center Account that is under Google Shopping CSS, where you have claimed your website (under ‘Shopping ads setup’). Maybe you have a Merchant Center under Google Shopping CSS, but chances are high you have switched that merchant center to Producthero CSS. In that case you need to create a new Merchant Center under Google Shopping CSS and claim your domain.

Yes, sorry, we did not make this up. Controlling which CSS can advertise for you and which CSS you want to use for Surfaces Across Google can only be done in a Merchant Center under Google Shopping CSS.

In the Google Shopping CSS Merchant Center go to the Tools menu and select Shopping ads setup

Go to AFFILIATES & CSS

What if I see notifications in my Merchant Center that indicate something is wrong?

It could be that you get notifications in your Producthero Merchant Center:

  • A product is not eligible for services across Google:
  • Or the notification in diagnostics: “CSS not selected for this destination”

Do not worry. Again, Surfaces Across Google is not live yet. You have enough time to sort this out before it launches 🙂 If you see any of these notifications, you can solve them by managing which CSS you want to use for surfaces across Google. You can do this in the CSS dashboard in a Google Shopping CSS Merchant Center (see the answer on the previous question). 

How can I check if my Merchant Center is ready when Surfaces Across Google launches in Europe?

In your Merchant Center you can now see a Surfaces across Google diagnostics overview is added to the Overview tab:

In the Tools menu you can verify if your account is activated for Surfaces across Google:

On this tab you can check if surfaces across Google is active (just to be clear: this does not mean it is actually active, but OK once Surfaces Across Google is launched in Europe).

So now you know: Surfaces across Google works perfectly fine with Producthero CSS. Not getting the 25% extra bidding power from Producthero CSS yet? You can switch in less than 5 minutes 🙂

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