If you are a BigCommerce store owner and care about SEO (as you should) then you might want to keep an eye on Google algorithm changes and news. Ah, those news: Google Trusted Stores.
One thing I keep reminding myself is that in the eyes of Google all sites are created equal (except the big ones with well established brands) and it has its own rules and quirks. Which means that :
- Google sees your BigCommerce store as any regular website and demands nothing less than quality
- it does not care if your site is sinking in the SERPs because it wants the searcher to find the most relevant results
- Google makes mistakes from time to time, but you need to keep on doing good work
And since Google is such an important part in our work we need to know one thing or two about what it happens, but let's not overdo it.
Google algorithm changes: stop chasing the cheetah
Do you have a BigCommerce store with sinking traffic? Sure you want to be on top of things and read about all the possible changes Google is doing. Like this guy here.
Dr. Pete, from SEO Moz, very closely follows the changes in order to detect even the smallest hint that Google is changing anything. Recent activity in a niche he was following revealed that some changes occurred and named this possible update from Google: Bigfoot.
I am sure you would like to be able to be such a great SERP wizard. I have the absolute solution: spend each and every second of your life hunting the Google update and you'll get to rank #1 in Google. NOT. If all you want to do in regards to BigCommerce SEO is to chase algorithm changes then you need to stop before you throw your business into oblivion.
Several changes have taken place in last weeks and all you need to know as a store owner is this: if in the day those algorithm updates were rolled out you lost some traffic simply read a bit about what type of update that was and what it may mean. Panda is created to fight low quality content and content farms and Penguin is meant to fight overoptimization attempts.
Any of those two have been updated and you lost traffic during that time then you might have a clue as to why this happened.
Before I finish this little rant: stop chasing the algorithm because only some really dedicated SEOs can be on top of every single change. BigCommerce store owners need to make sure to have relevant content in each page and that they work on building good relationships (that lead to backlinks). These are the things you want to chase.
Google Trusted Stores: do we need another badge?
A few BigCommerce store owners have already asked about what this Google Trusted Stores programme might be. In a nutshell: Google offers you a trust badge if you play nice.
One thing that ecommerce stores cherish are the badges. Credit cards logos mean that the payment gateways have a trusted partner, Verisign SSL seal reassures the customers that the transactions are secure and the W3C badge shows that the site's code HTML/CSS is as clean as you'd want it to be.
Each of the above mentioned badges inspire trust and invite customers to enter in a merchant-client relationship. Why would Google Trusted Store badge be any different?
Search Engine Roundtable mentions that the webmasters, SEOs and merchants might be both happy and upset by this change. Most webmasters posting on Webmasters World are not happy with this move because, as they mention there, this way Google might have access to even more data about the merchants and customers and it may change this free service to a paid one, like it did ( and will very soon do) with Google Shopping.
Google Trusted Stores is a service in which only merchants from US can enter. During a 29 day test period the stores are verified if they offer high quality shipping and customer service. After those 29 days they might receive the Google Trusted Store badge.
That won't mean that Google endorses any products form those store. It will only mean that the stores offer good services. On the other side, customers can opt in into having becoming a Google Trusted Stores Customer and if they have any complaints regarding any of the trusted stores Google might step in and solve the issue.
Merchants can apply here and in about a month from now they should get their badge. For free. For now. The numbers shown in the success stories are in a wide range (between 0.1% - 8% increase in sales), but hey, every bit counts.
See below a short presentation of this service:
Do you want that badge? Yes. Will people abuse of this service? Yes. Do you have time? Not really. With every new thing like product reviews or trust badges or whatever Google might come up with it is best to be in the front line. For a while it will be a cozy place to be until it will be overrun by excess. But by that time an intelligent BigCommerce merchant would have reaped the benefits and will be ready to apply the newest changes.