Google Deals E-tailers Two More Losing Hands
At least in Vegas the dealers don’t stack the decks. Google does, and they do it quite well. Only a tight cabal of executive juggernauts know what search engine algorithm cards await release. A 2011 round of Google Panda updates were laced with a lethal dose of digital cyanide, one that would have sentenced many Yahoo! Merchants to a permanent Waybackmachine archive status, if antidotes weren’t available. But, antidotes have side effects, and simply meant that merchants had to work harder to match (if they were lucky) their former Pageranks that were years in the making. (This doesn’t just affect Yahoo! Store merchants, but everyone playing the ecommerce game.)
While we don’t know the kind of scourge swirling at the moment in Google’s nefarious beakers, its Mysterio, Matt Cutts, tipped his glass-shelled gaze to what’s peril awaits. According to this SearchEngineLand.com article: …Google is working on a search ranking penalty for sites that are “over-optimized” or “overly SEO’ed.”
This will “level the playing field” so the small fish merchants will have a chance to rank alongside whalishly large merchants who have thrown enough money at SEO to choke a ten ton shredder. Sounds noble enough right–help the small guy–”…give sites that have great content a better shot at ranking above sites that have content that is not as great but do a better job with SEO,” said Matt Cutts.
When does this “deal” go down?
According to this PCMag article, “Cutts added that the optimizations could hit anytime between the next few weeks to a month from now.”
It’s not that the first update is so bad, it’s just that anytime Google mentions changing anything it seems like everyone gets caught in the carnage. Unfortunately there are more changes to come. According to this Wall Street Journal article, Google Gives Search a Refresh, “Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. The changes to search are among the biggest in the company’s history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results. At the same time, they could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.”
This means two things for Yahoo! Store merchants: 1) Natural search engine results will appear further down, where searchers are less likely to look, and 2) Any merchant whose SEO strategy included ranking as an answer source for industry relevant questions could lose clout as Google swoops in to be everyone’s go-to answer guy.
It’s hard to plan around these updates, especially when over-correcting could bring on more penalties than ever. Perhaps the best thing to do in this case is wait, and consider spending more on Google PPC (funny how those ads never lose premium placement, huh). What do you think?