This story goes back to 2010 when a feature in the New York Times wrote about bad customer service from a glasses / sun glasses online store. The key to the story was the organic rankings came from people writing, blogging and basically linking to the site because of the poor customer experience.
This then opened the debate regarding can google tell good from bad? A link is a link?
In short Google in 2010 ended up downgraded the site manually. You can read all about it in the following blog post:
- Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story
- Google: Now Likely Using Online Merchant Reviews As Ranking Signal
- Google Now Degrading Rankings Of Some Merchants With Poor Service
Back to 2013
Matt Cutts of google brought the topic back up at SXSW conference last week suggesting google are going to look at the issue again and downgrade organic ranking of merchants with poor customer experiences:
“because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results”
Credit for the quote and conference coverage to searchengineroundtable
This of course all ties in with google’s “trusted stores”
When will google trusted stores come to the uk?
Currently you still have to be based in the US and price in USD to be a trusted store. Google haven’t mention anything about other countries as yet. If you or your client is in the US then check out how to become a Trusted store merchant here.
I’ve worked with google Merchant Center (froogle, google base) from the start. I’ve even had chance to help Clay, the product manager at google, out back in 2006 with all the problems it had with the crazy data feeds and delays back in the day.