Optimize Product Titles - Banned Characters

Dan Barbata · 29 August 2017

When submitting your products to Google Shopping or Amazon Marketplace, you should ensure that none of your products are being disqualified. There are a number of reasons this can happen, and some of them are related to your product titles. Shopping channels want product titles to be clean & clear, and this means no gimmicky text, punctuation, or typos. In our Product Title Evaluation, we check for special characters, foreign characters or symbols that that could have your product disqualified from shopping channels. We call this check: Banned Characters.

Reason for Test

Product titles sometimes contain characters that are hard for channels to interpret. While it may look fine on your website, it may not translate correctly on Google or Amazon, so it’s safer just to remove any special characters found. For example, if your product has the brand Acme™ you don’t want to risk seeing it displayed as Acme™ or Acme™

How We Identify Errors

Google Shopping & Amazon Marketplace don’t provide exhaustive lists of which characters are banned, so we’re just flagging any non-alphanumeric symbols whether they be HTML, ASCI, Unicode or other. Our analysis looks for the following kinds of characters in product titles and calls them out as errors:

  • ©
  • ½

Here are some examples of product titles where we’ve found the Banned Characters error, and how those titles look after being fixed:

Original Product Title

Improved Product Title

✧✧✧Orangesky Women Traditional African Print Dashiki Dress✧✧✧

Orangesky Women Traditional African Print Dashiki Dress

Lady Speed Stick 24/7 Antiperspirant Deodorant Satin Pear 2.3 oz

Lady Speed Stick 24/7 Antiperspirant Deodorant Satin Pear 2.3 oz

Instant Coffee Crystals© Classic Roast, 2 oz

Instant Coffee Crystals Classic Roast, 2 oz


What Google Merchant Center and Amazon Seller Central Say:

Google Merchant Center

Amazon Seller Central

  • Don’t use foreign characters for gimmicky purposes. This technique is common in spam and untrustworthy ads.

  • Use only standard text, since special characters or symbols like © will not display in the title.






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