Keep an eye out for these Google updates if you're an eCommerce retailer!

Keep an eye out for these Google updates if you're an eCommerce retailer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016Lauren Macdonald Hey e-retailers! It’s no secret that Google likes to update its search algorithm and advertising requirements from time to time in order to improve user experience. Last year, they began boosting the rank of mobile-friendly websites, and back in 2014 they boosted the ranking of sites with encryption as well. The intention is to not only direct people to more informative results, but also to results that are user-friendly and easy to navigate.

If you’re selling online and want to keep traffic flowing to your website from Google’s search engine results, it’s a good idea to stay on top of Google’s updates so that your search ranking is boosted rather than lowered.

To help you out, we’ve outlined two new updates that you should be aware of:

Seller Ratings

Google has recently made it official that the number of reviews required for Seller Ratings to be shown on ads has increased from 30 to 150 over a 12 month span. The average rating of at least 3.5 stars or higher has remained unchanged.

“So, what does this mean for e-retailers?”

Accruing a larger number of reviews may prove to be a challenging endeavour for low-volume retailers. However, larger retailers will likely benefit from this change, since their ads should perform better as the smaller retailers lose out on ad real estate and potential click-through-rates. One suggestion for smaller retailers is to offer incentives to happy customers in exchange for a positive review.

Pop-ups on Mobile Ads

The second update from Google is one that will begin taking effect in January 2017. Websites that use pop-ups and interstitials on mobile devices will begin to rank lower in Google’s search engine results.

For the most part, Google is targeting overlays that gray out the content beneath them to prevent you from reading a website, either for a few seconds or until you find the little “X” to dismiss them. They will also be counting ads that create the effect of a pop-up without actually being a pop-up, by taking up most of the page after a site is loaded.

However, pop-ups needed to meet a legal requirement—like verifying someone’s age—are still okay, as are small banner ads at the top of a screen that use a reasonable amount of screen space only.

We suggest e-retailers go through their websites and make sure that any pop-ups on mobile devices meet these requirements before January hits, in order to maintain their ranking in Google’s search engine results.
Know of any other upcoming Google updates that e-retailers should be aware of? We’d love to hear them! 
 
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