The following platform policies apply to the Local Services Ads End-to-End integration.
API terms and conditions
Last modified: October 22, 2021
By using this API, you consent to be bound by the Google APIs Terms of Service ("API ToS").
Account matching and creation policy
This policy describes when and how partners can match or create accounts in their system based on data from Actions Center bookings.
Partners should process Actions Center transactions as “Guest Checkout” transactions when possible, meaning that a user can make the requested booking without a permanent account being created in the partner’s system on behalf of a user.
Account Creation Exceptions and Guidelines
Certain exceptions permit partners to use the customer’s information to create accounts within their own system including:
- A partner’s own public-facing product does not support guest checkout
- The customer has opted in to remarketing from the partner via the Actions Center flow
If a partner does create a new account, the customer must be made aware that they now have an account.
- For example, an email must be sent at the time of booking informing a user of the new account, or asking a user to take additional steps (“Set up a password for your new ___ account”).
Any newly-created account must respect the user’s remarketing choices.
- If the user did not opt-in to remarketing, this desire must also be expressed in the partner’s backend.
Account Matching Guidelines
If a user account matching the email given already exists in the partner’s backend, this “existing account” may be used to service the booking. The existing account may only be enriched with any new contact information submitted by the customer during the Actions Center booking with separate user consent (eg via the remarketing checkbox). However, the partner must use the information provided by Actions Center (first name, last name, phone number …) when communicating with the user (even if they differ from the information they have registered in their own database).
The existing account holder must know this has happened. For example, a confirmation email must be sent to the contact information for the existing account holder (if different to what was submitted during the Actions Center booking).
Payment instruments held “on file” with the existing account may not be used to service the transaction. Only payment instruments collected upfront during the Actions Center booking flow may be used. This clause includes, but is not limited to: late fees, payment method, no-show fees, booking fees, cancellation fees, the cost of the booking. Payment information can not be held or added to an existing users account.
Content Quality Standards
Partners must maintain good merchant and service data quality content. The Actions Center may turn off the service, merchant, or integration if we find errors in the quality that would negatively degrade the user experience.
Merchant Name & Address
- Merchant name must accurately reflect the legal business name the merchant is operating under.
- Merchant address must accurately reflect the place in which the merchant conducts the service and holds ownership of (no booth renters).
Services Name & Descriptions
Service names must clearly indicate the type of services the user is booking.
Service descriptions must be descriptive, and accurately reflect the service the merchant is providing. The service description should not conflict or be duplicative of any other data in the integration.
localized_descriptionmust follow proper capitalization and punctuation per local grammar.
- Full capitalization, use of emoji or emoticons is not allowed.
- Use of vulgar or offensive language is not acceptable.
- Not allowed in name or description:
- Promotional content, URL, email address, or phone number
- Payment method
Structured fields (e.g.
price) should always be leveraged and should not be included in the
Services must be bookable by the general public. Services cannot require purchasing a membership, or belonging to an organization to book.
- Partner brand name must accurately reflect the legal business name the partner is operating under.
- Partner logo must be the one that officially relates to the brand name.
- Partner must not provide brand names or logos that could mislead end users of their relationship with the merchant.
Support and Maintenance Guidelines
The following guidelines apply to Support and Maintenance.
Integration Maintenance and Support
Partner is committed to supporting and maintaining the integration with Google. Partner’s support of the integration will be of at least the same quality as the support Partner provides for other similar integrations. At a minimum, Partner is committed to the following support functions and standards:
Emergency Alert and Emergency Technical Support: Partner will provide high priority support for technical issues which result in the integration being disabled or non-functioning, being degraded beyond service health expectations, greatly impacting the user experience, or any other emergency issue. To ensure a positive user and merchant experience, Partner will use commercially reasonable efforts to respond to and resolve any emergency issues within 1 business day.
Non-Emergency Technical Support: Partner will provide standard support for non-emergency technical or production issues which do not disable the integration. To ensure a positive user and merchant experience, Partner will use commercially reasonable efforts to respond to any non-emergency issues within 2 business days.
Post-Launch Integration Health: Partner’s integration health should meet the following expectations such that the end user experience is not degraded.
Partner will provide support to the end users of the Google functionality of at least the same quality as it provides to its other end users. At a minimum, Partner will provide the following support functions:
Direct User Support: Partner will provide direct support to users who contact Partner regarding issues with a booking made via Partner.
Google Escalated Support: Partner will provide support for situations where Google reaches out to Partner regarding a user issue (including, but not limited to: booking is not honored as described, the user has requested a refund, or user wishes to change/modify their booking).
Partner Takedown Reasons and Issue Descriptions
The Actions Center may disable your integration or inventory as necessary in order to maintain user expectation and experience. We will attempt to send a notification to you prior or at the takedown time and work with you to resolve the issue.
This following issue types describes the root causes of inventory takedowns and the associated policies and guidelines.
Failing health check
This error is encountered when your HealthCheck booking server route is not returning a successful status code (200 OK) consistently.
Our system auto-disables your integration after repeated HealthCheck failures and will auto-restore your integration once the HealthCheck returns successful status code (200 OK) consistently.
Relevant Policy: Launch and monitoring
High booking server error rate or latency
This is encountered when one (or multiple) of your booking server routes are either taking too long to respond, or are failing too frequently. The exact thresholds are stated in the Launch and monitoring page.
Our system auto-disables your integration after spikes in error rates. Once you address the underlying issue, you may be able to re-enable the integration on the Accounts page of Partner Portal. If that button is not available, please contact the partner support team with the root cause, and the actions taken to resolve the issue.
Relevant Policy: Launch and monitoring
Partner unresponsive or SLA violation
This is encountered when the Actions Center team reaches out to your team with an issue (technical, user issue, data issue, etc.) and does not hear back within the time outlined in the Support and Maintenance Guidelines.
Alternatively, if the issues identified are not resolved within the timeline given, we may disable your integration. Once the issue is resolved and confirmed by our team, we will restore your integration. You can reach out to the partner support team with the email reference id you received for status updates or to inform us the issue has been resolved.
Relevant Policy: Support and Maintenance Guidelines
Unfulfillable by merchant
Any inventory offered on the Actions Center by a partner must be honored and fulfilled by the merchant as listed. If the merchant can not honor the service as listed, it is not eligible to be listed on the Actions Center. To resolve this issue, please work with your merchant to update the inventory to ensure it is accurate and that the merchant will honor any future bookings.
Relevant Policy: End-to-end Policy
Place Action policy violation
Actions Center requires that Place Actions link(s) must follow specific guidelines to ensure user and merchant expectation. For example, Place Actions link(s) must be actionable, lead to a dedicated landing page for specific merchants, and clearly denote that it is owned and operated by a platform provider.
Relevant Policy: Place Actions Policy
Pricing policy violation
The Actions Center requires that the price shown to the user is the ultimate price that they will pay (exclusive of any optional gratuity) and the cancellation and refund policies must be clear and accurate. Providing false, placeholder, or otherwise inaccurate information is not supported. Please work with your merchant to ensure that the values provided to the Actions Center are accurate and meet our Pricing Policies. Reach out to the partner support team once the issue is resolved.
Relevant Policy: Pricing Policies
Confusing or missing information
In order to ensure a great user experience, the Actions Center requires that all information is present and clear to the user. Partners should work with their merchants to ensure fields are accurately set and not conflicting.
For more information, review our Merchants and services eligibility criteria. Once you resolve this issue please reach out to the partner support team for review.
Unsupported by integration
The Actions Center is only live in certain countries, merchant categories, and with specific feature sets. Please review our Merchants and services eligibility and the features currently supported by your integration to ensure you are only using those that are supported.
For example, if you have not completed an async integration, you can not offer async inventory. Please remove the unsupported portion of the inventory and reach out to the partner support team for a review.
Relevant Policy: Merchants and services eligibility criteria
Bad match or noncompliance of matching policy
The provided listing must be properly matched to the Google listing. Alternatively, if we don’t have sufficient information to ensure that the match is accurate, we will remove that inventory.
Please ensure that the match is in compliance with our matching policy. Once you take those steps please reach out to our partner support team for them to review.
Relevant Policy: Matching guidelines
Payments policy violation
To ensure a consistent experience for consumers, merchants, and partners using the Actions Center, inventory requiring payment must adhere to the appropriate guidelines. Failure to adhere to these policies will lead to suspension of your inventory or integration.
Relevant Policy: Payments Policies
Offers policy violation
To ensure a consistent experience for consumers, merchants, and partners using the Actions Center, inventory with Offers must adhere to the appropriate guidelines. Failure to adhere to these policies will lead to suspension of your inventory or integration.
Relevant Policy: Offers Policies
Online services policy violation
To ensure a consistent experience for consumers, merchants, and partners using the Actions Center, inventory for online services must adhere to the appropriate guidelines. Failure to adhere to these policies will lead to suspension of your inventory or integration.
Relevant Policy: Online services policy