Preparing for the Google E-commerce Update

After Penguin and Panda, Google seems to have a new kind of animal in its bag, ready to go after us webmasters. It was recently announced, indeed, that big G would, in the foreseeable future, release a new major update aimed at low quality e-commerce sites.

The big question now is what defines an a low quality e-commerce website? Essentially, besides the usual backlinking and on-page content issues, we believe it is all about trust.

You business should be legit, and you should make it clear on your website:

- Don’t overuse advertising spots – that is a pretty obvious one

- Have a phone number and a physical address clearly stated on your website. This will give confidence to your clients as they will know you are attached to an actual location and that you are reachable by phone in case of trouble. If you haven’t done it yet, create a business profile on Google+, link it to Google Places and get your address verified.

- Have a privacy policy, terms and conditions and a FAQ. Your clients need to know what you will do with their date, they need to know under what conditions they are buying your products and they will have questions about your business.

- Manage your online reputation : this one can be easily tricked and it is unlikely you will get penalized unless there are very concrete reasons to think you’re just not doing business right. But interacting with users who publish questions/comments/complaints about your e-commerce site will at least contribute to improve your reputation and prove that you do care about your customers – whether they’re happy or not.

- Publish information on a regular basis : it is a good way to show that your business is active. It will erase doubts your potential customers may have about the health of your site by showing your alive and well.

Nothing incredible or new in these tips, but it is always good to keep them in mind. Applying these few tips may not have any impact on your search engine rankings today or tomorrow, but, and this is maybe even more important, they will help increase trust of your clients, and this will most likely translate into improved conversion rates. So if your business is not 100% transparent yet, you know what you’ve got to do!

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