Beer And Wine Now Approved In Google Shopping!

New Google Shopping Policies Bring Alcoholic Beverages back into SERPs

To those merchants hard-hit by the alcohol, wine, and spirits ban in Google Shopping back in October 2012, we bring good news- you’re back in!

A screenshot of a Google Shopping result page for a wine query.A screenshot of a Google Shopping result page for a wine query.

On February 13, Google began to roll out its new set of unified policies – merging those of AdWords (where spirits and alcohol are approved for sale) and Google Shopping (where they were once disallowed).

In this new set of policies, beer, cider, wine, sake, and champagne will no longer remain banned from Google Shopping, but brought back and labeled as restricted, adult, and “non-family safe” products. Hard liquors and liquor, however, will remain blacklisted.

Merchants selling approved alcoholic beverages will be welcomed back into Shopping on two conditions: 1) alcohol must be allowed for sale in their target country and 2) their website and data feed must be in compliance with Google’s Alcohol Policies.

If you are a merchant that carries wine or any of the spirits listed above, get on those new website requirements and ready yourself – now is the time to get your foot in the door!

What’s Going on in Google Shopping?

In the Vertical Rail offices, we’ve noticed that wine has slowly been reappearing back in Google Shopping (Yes, we really do keep an eye out!).  Only comparisons are back, however, and when you click into a product, no sellers are listed.

A screenshot of a Google Shopping comparison page for wine.

We can only theorize what Google is doing here.

One of the ideas being thrown around the office is that Google is bringing beer, wine, and spirits back in stages.  In Phase 1, Google will use SKUs, titles, descriptions, and other stored data to bring products back into Shopping.  In Phase 2, Google will sift through participating merchants and re-introduce those whose websites and data feeds are up to snuff with its policies.

What do you think is going on with alcohol and Google Shopping?  Have you noticed these changes or felt the effects of this update?  Chime in below and be sure to keep an eye on our blog for more briefings regarding these changeovers!

Your ever-faithful Google Shopping watchpeople,
Vertical Rail


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  1. David says

    Hi Cathy
    In the UK I was getting great leads via Google Merchant for my wine site, then Google rolled out the paid version, like in the US, which was still okay, but now I had to pay for the same leads, but then I got slapped with the ‘Non Family Friendly’ tag and traffic has all but dried up for both free and paid clicks.

    Frustrated, is an understatement.

    I wish Bing was as competitive, then we would not need to deal with this Google monopoly on search traffic!

    • Cathy Nguyen says

      Hi David,

      I completely understand your frustration – many of our clients have experienced the same and we’ve had to either fight to get their traffic back, or lie in wait and pounce when policies change. I also wish for a future with more diversified search traffic; in the meantime, though, we’ve just got to work with what Google’s hands out!

      When did you receive the “Non-Family Friendly” tag from Google and did they give any specifics as to why your website was removed from Shopping? Beer and wine have been re-approved for a while now, and if your website and data feed follow Google’s policies, you shouldn’t have a problem getting back in.

      Their policies can be found here, but if there’s anything I can help you with, or if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      You can get in touch with me and send additional details through our contact form


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