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4 Things to Expect from the Upcoming Google Zebra Update

Googles Zebra Update

4 Things to Expect from the Upcoming Google Zebra Update

It’s been more than a month since our Google Penguin 2.0: Essential Things to Know Penguin 2.0 update and many people are still dealing and recovering from its effects. Now we’re again waiting, with a healthy dose of fear and anxiety for Google’s upcoming algorithm update – Zebra.

Matt Cutts announced this latest major update at a SXSW conference last March during which he hinted a launch later this year that will target certain websites that are ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

To help you prepare for the new Google Zebra update, here are four things to keep an eye on:

1. Online Merchants Beware!

“Looking at the quality of merchants” appearing in the SERPS, according to Matt Cutts Google is now focusing on doing a better job to rank high-quality experience merchants and penalise “low-quality experience merchants.” Webmasters have actually called this new update the “Merchant Quality Update”, while Matt simply calls it “The Zebra”. If you’re a merchant, start cleaning up your web marketing strategies to avoid the “Zebra Penalty”.

2. Merchant Reviews

Everything is just speculation right now, but the best possible way to implement the update, according to experts, is the use of merchant reviews. Online shoppers tend to check out reviews and ratings of certain e-stores before they purchase anything online and there’s evidence pointing in that direction.

If you’ve noticed lately, we now see seller ratings in AdWords ads, which are based on the Google Product Search tool that collects customer reviews from around the web.

3. Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines

Google introduced the Search Quality Ratings Guidelines to the public earlier this year, it provides the criteria to recognise true merchants. To learn more about the guidelines, here’s a pdf copy to download.

4. Google’s Trusted Stores Program

There is a set of criteria that you should meet in order to qualify for Google Shopping’s Trusted Stores Program. One of them says that you should have at least 500 transactions per month with 90% successful deliveries. High-quality customer service is another criteria that counts towards your goal.

This program applies to large merchants, for smaller ones you can check out the program here.

Other speculations suggest that social media may also be affected by Google Zebra which is a possibility we also need to be prepared for, but all we can do for now is wait and see what happens when the update finally rolls out.

Meanwhile, let’s focus on offering valuable contents and building quality links. There’s not any other best preparation than that.

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Tim Brown
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