Are You Prepared For the Google Zebra Update?
Google released their Panda update in 2011. Then a year later, Google released their Penguin Update. Now SEO Insiders are saying beware of Google’s next update dubbed Zebra, which will specifically target eCommerce websites.
So if you’re an eCommerce store, the question you need to ask yourself right now is, “Is your online business prepared for the Zebra Update?”
Search Engine Journal’s announcement of the Zebra update is reminiscent of the Florida update that occurred on November 13th, 2003. During that time I was the owner of my own successful eCommerce store selling radar detectors and other automotive electronic devices.
My site weathered the Florida update very well; however, there were literally millions of other successful eCommerce stores that filed for bankruptcy because of this update.
One such eCommerce store was a site that sold men’s ties. The owner of an eCommerce store ranking in the #1 position for men’s ties stocked their store by purchasing several hundreds of thousands dollars of ties on credit, right after Halloween. A few days after their inventory arrived, Google released their Florida Update and the tie website tumbled from being in the #1 position to #500 in Google’s Supplemental Index.
Sixty days later, the owner was forced to file bankruptcy and ended up losing everything they ever worked for, including their home.
How You Can Beat The Zebra Update!
Google’s Search Quality Guidelines
The first step is to make sure your eCommerce store meets the Google’s Search Quality Guidelines for your eCommerce store … such as:
- A “view your shopping cart” link that stays on the same site.
- A Gift registry that works.
- A way to track orders.
- Return policy with a physical address.
- Shipping charge calculator that works.
- Shopping cart that updates when you add items to it.
- The ability to register or login.
- User forum that works.
- “Wish list” link, or a link to postpone the purchase of an item until later.
Having a Physical Location – Other then a Residential Address!
Having a business address for your physical store that is NOT a residential address may become an important factor to your ranking in Google’s SERPs.
How to Become a Google Trusted Store
To qualify as a Google Trusted Store, you must have at least 500 orders per month with 90% of your deliveries shipping on time and provide excellent customer service.
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