Merchants who are registered within the Google Merchant Center are eligible for a Trusted Store badge, Google stated in an announcement last week.
In February, the company notified users it would start rewarding merchants who provide “excellent customer experience” as part of its new program called Shopping Experience Scorecard. This reward, according to the announcement, would come in the form of a badge, a boost in rankings and other benefits that put merchants in front of their target audience.
Google follows through by expanding the Trusted Store badge to free product listings and enabling more merchants to generate interest and clicks on their products. To earn the badge, merchants must demonstrate high scores across various performance metrics that are measured relative to other merchants.
These metrics include (but are not limited to):
The scores are determined using the Shopping Experience Scorecard program, which keeps track of a merchant’s performance based on the metrics shown above. On each metric, they can get a rating of “Excellent,” “Comparable” or “Opportunity.”
If certain criteria are achieved, Google will reward that merchant with the coveted Trusted Store badge and a boost in rankings under the Shopping tab. Anyone who has signed up for Buy on Google or free product listings in the U.S. is eligible for the reward.
The company stated in the announcement,
“Merchants who provide excellent shipping and returns services, for example, may receive a badge indicating they’re a Trusted Store, which will appear alongside their free product listings on the Shopping tab.”
In essence, the Trusted Store badge is designed to help qualified merchants reach and convert more buyers. According to Google, those that display the badge are more likely to get clicks, and those who are lesser-known in their market niche could generate more traffic and prominence with the badge on display.
The benefits, overall, include increased brand awareness, higher rankings, greater customer trust and more product listing engagement.
With these opportunities on the horizon, Google merchants are encouraged to provide the best possible customer service and excel in areas of shipping and returns.
The new reward system speaks to Google’s continuous push for customer experience and is aligned with everything we know about the search engine so far: Provide value to customers, and you shall be rewarded.
Poll Reveals 70 Percent of Marketers Plan To Switch to GA4: Earlier, we reported that Google will sunset Universal Analytics and transition to Google Analytics (GA4) in 2023. According to a poll conducted by Search Engine Land, 70 percent of 250 marketers claimed they intended to switch to GA4, while 12 percent said they were open to exploring analytics platforms other than GA4. These findings indicate that despite the initial pushback from SEOs, there appears to be a consensus that migrating to GA4 and continuing to use Google Analytics to monitor website activity is the best move. Marketers had initially expressed skepticism toward Google’s decision to retire Universal Analytics so soon and force marketers to migrate sooner than later, as the platform doesn’t allow exporting data from Universal Analytics to the new version. The migration will be a major undertaking and comes with a price that many organizations cannot afford. But again, an overwhelming majority of marketers maintain that they are willing to pay the costs. This revelation just highlights how truly prominent Google Analytics is as a free platform.
Microsoft’s Ad Takedowns Double in 2021: Microsoft took down more than 3 billion ads in 2021, nearly double the number of ads it had removed in 2020. Supported by advancements in technology and machine learning, this is the company’s way of combating low-quality ads, scammers and bad actors. According to data, 270,000 accounts were suspended and 400,000 websites were prohibited from its network. The company also removed investment scheme ads, suspending 10,000 accounts and taking down 200,00 ads that supported these schemes. The number one threat to Microsoft advertisers in 2021 were sophisticated techniques that let bad actors get past multi-factor authentication. The company resolved this by using its advertisers’ behavioral identity signals and identifying unauthorized account users. Safety is a growing concern for advertisers and their audiences, so it’s good to see Microsoft’s systems are working.
TikTok Rolls Out Search Ads: TikTok has been quietly beta-testing search ads for specific partners. The ads started appearing in its search results, tagged with a “Sponsored” label and located within the first four results. This was first spotted by paid social advertiser David Herrmann, who tweeted, “TikTok has began rolling out ads within search results.” Herrmann added in a separate tweet that once you’re able to run ads in search results (it’s unclear if it’s available to everyone), you can begin pulling the search terms of the ads that converted and make a list of those search terms. Then integrate those terms into the titles of our top-performing TikToks for additional value. He observed that keyword targeting is not yet possible for TikTok advertisers, only placements. There has been no official word from TikTok about the new feature, but in the meantime, Herrmann advises making your ads “solve problems” instead of selling. In any case, it’s interesting to see more social media giants like TikTok provide new opportunities for brands and advertisers to get in front of their audience.
Google Plans To Terminate URL Parameters in Search Console: Google is sunsetting the URL Parameters tool in April as part of the Google Search Console “spring cleaning.” No action will be required from current users, meaning site owners no longer need to manually specify the function of their site’s URL parameters. Instead, Google’s crawlers will do it automatically, removing the need for the URL Parameters tool. In the announcement, Google’s Gary Illyes stated that the URL Parameters tool gave site owners the ability to identify how certain parameters affected their site’s content, giving them “granular control” over how Google crawled their site. Over time, the search engine got better at predicting which parameters were actually useful and which were not, and it was found that only 1 percent of these specified configurations were crawl-worthy. Google has since recognized the low value that the URL Parameters tool provides for users, hence rendering it now obsolete.
Google Rolls Out Grid-Like Interface for Mobile Results: Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that it has rolled out a new mobile search interface that offers better visualization of the search results. The spokesperson said the redesign is meant to help users gain a better understanding of the results they’re seeing by surfacing relevant information related to an image. The new interface is available for mobile searchers for select queries, including “game room design” or “hand tattoos.” It shows images in a grid layout to add more visual effect to the results. According to Google’s Barry Schwartz, the new format could help site owners gain more exposure on the search results page, which now shows two side-by-side results, most likely from two different sites.
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