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Google’s Next Update Will Target Ecommerce Websites – Are You Ready?

Last Updated on Mar 11, 2013 by Jenna Scaglione

It’s been a crazy couple of years for the internet marketing industry—after Google Panda and Penguin launched, many googlewebmasters thought they would never recover. And now Google is at it again…

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, announced at a recent SXSW conference that the search engine was planning a major update to improve the search results for users who are looking for Ecommerce stores. He said…

“We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results.”

The search results still show poor merchants ranking better than they should and Google is ready to rectify this situation. Cutt’s response came as a reply to a merchant who was concerned about lower-quality sites outranking his in the search engines.

Cutts also discussed what the update will focus on…

We know that reviews are an integral part of the algorithm, but merchants have found a way to publish fake reviews. Cutts is looking for signals what will be “spam resistant” for this next update. According to Search Engine Land, Cutts replies…

“We are trying to ask ourselves, are there other signals that we can use to spot whether someone is not a great merchant, and if we can find those, and we think that they are not all that spammable, then we’re more than happy to use those.”

Cutts didn’t discuss the topic further, but speculation broke out in the industry. Andrew Davis, Director of Marketing at CPC Strategy, talked to Search Engine Watch about the impending update.

From his research he believes the following quality signals are a part of Google’s current algorithm, though they are not confirmed.

Here are a few he spoke about…

  • Google Shopping – relevance, freshness, duration of time on Google Shopping (the longer, the better)
  • Trusted Stores Program – To be eligible, you must have stellar customer service, 500 orders a month minimum and more than 90 percent of those orders shipped on time.
  • Google Seller Ratings

We also know how Google rates our sites based on what it has told us in its Search Quality Rating Guidelines. According to this document, the features that tell Google the merchant can be trusted are (not all are essential):

  • “View your shopping cart” link that stays on the same site.
  • Shopping cart that updates when you add items to it.
  • Return policy with a physical address.
  • Shipping charge calculator that works.
  • “Wish list” link, or a link to postpone the purchase of an item until later.
  • A way to track FedEx orders.
  • User forum that works.
  • The ability to register or login.
  • A gift registry that works.

After Panda, we also know that Google judges websites based on visitors’ experiences and how long they stay on a site. Whatever you can add to your site that would enhance the user experience will help your rankings in Google. Numinix offers some effective modules to help users enjoy your site’s experience:

Are you worried about the next Google update?

Thanks to Search Engine Watch for their article discussing this update and providing resource material.

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