Had a bad experience leave a sour taste in your mouth from an online merchant? Google plans to protect you from these bad experiences by preventing bad merchants from ranking well. This past Friday at the SXSW Conference, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced some new algorithm updates you will need to be aware of.
At the conference Matt Cutts said:
“We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results.”
Google Cracks Down On Low Quality Merchants
This isn’t the first time Google has cracked down on merchants for low quality standards, and it most likely won’t be the last. Back in 2010 Google took action against sleazy merchants that provided a poor user experience to their customers. Only a small fraction of merchants were impacted from that crack down and we can expect to see a bigger impact this time around.
Matt is telling low quality merchants to prepare for a possible decrease in ranking. This could lead to a huge drop in sales, traffic and revenue. Matt seemed to confirm that they are using online reviews as being a part of their ranking factors.
Matt replied with the following statement:
“We are trying to ask ourselves, are there other signals that we can use to spot whether someone is not a great merchant, and if we can find those, and we think that they are not all that spammable, then we’re more than happy to use those.”
Google Pre-Announces Second Major Penguin Algorithm Update:
In 2012 at the SXSW Conference Matt Cutts announced a similar announcement he called the “over optimization penalty” which we know today as the Google Penguin algorithm. We can most likely expect this algorithm update in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2013.
This Penguin update is said to be one of the more talked about algorithm updates this year, and is considered to be very significant. The last Penguin update we had was in October of 2012 but it was a drop in the bucket compared to the upcoming update. Expect this release to send ripples through the SEO industry.
Upcoming Panda Update Friday or Monday
Matt Cutts also announced a new Panda algorithm update this Friday (March 15th) or Monday (March 18th). The last Panda update we had was version 24 on January 22nd.