What is the Google Zebra Update?
So you have heard about the Google Zebra Update, and you want to know what particular woes this “next in the series of black and white creatures” is going to bring with it from Google?
Well the first thing to know is that it is based around internet sales and E-commerce. So if your website doesn’t sell anything and doesn’t have a shopping cart installed then this Google update will likely not affect you. At least the first stage will probably not affect your website. Some of you are probably heaving a sigh of relief right now, where as those of you who do have Ecommerce websites may be starting to panic.
“But why would they be doing this?” you might be asking. Well it is pretty simply really, Google want to earn as much as they can from their own shopping system – Google Shopping.
You may have noticed that when you do a search for something like say “Laptops” for example in Google, the whole of the top right section of the page is entitled “Shop for Laptops on Google” and is full of products the you can buy via Google. They want to discourage people from finding products elsewhere that can be bought through them, so to stack the odds just that extra bit in their favour, they are introducing Google Zebra the bad tempered black and white beast that will trample down your Ecommerce website in the SERPS.
So is there anything you can do? Of course there is! But you will very likely need to do quite a bit of work to stave off this attack. Schema.org and Rich Snippets can go a long way towards making your products and E commerce website pages compliant. They can be a bit daunting at first, especially as they are not well explained at all, so you will need to do some research and find out about them. But don’t give up, it is well worth the effort.
You can test your website for Rich Snippets and Schema structured data here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
You will also need to make sure that each product has it’s own page, complete with a unique page title and product description, Product image(s) and if possible product video.
You also want to include product reviews, and if you are able to man it, a live chat system.
All of this contributes to making your site well structured and easy to use from a customers perspective.
If you want help with implementing these changes to your website, or you are researching for a new Ecommerce website then feel free to contact us.