Search Engine Land just published some news on Google’s new “Trusted Stores”.
At first glance I thought “Wow cool, looking out for the consumers!” which is something we do need, and it’s certainly a welcome gesture from Google. In fact Trusted Stores is a great idea all around, nearly. There’s only one problem I can see in my little crystal ball, and that’s only if I’ve read and understood it right.
This is the bit I’m talking about:
“To qualify as a Trusted Store etailers must apply and voluntarily provide a range of data to Google. Google believes getting data directly from online retailers is more reliable than doing consumer surveys.
Trusted Stores must have a track record of on-time shipping and reliable customer service. Regarding customer service in particular, the etailer must have a history of quick resolution of consumer problems and issues.”
Now, I “think” that’s saying stores need to already have something to prove their reliability and customer satisfaction before getting on to the program. Right? Or is it saying that anyone can join and Google will use its own data to check these things, and then after a while you get the badge if you’ve proven yourself?
If the latter then great, that sounds fine to me. If the former though, that’s going to cause some problems. It’s kind of a case of merchants being guilty until proven innocent, which is no problem if one merchant can prove their innocence as easily as another, but for some merchants proving themselves innocent could be quite a lot of work and expense. More internet stuff that they don’t understand but HAVE to do if they want to keep on trading. I say that because I would guess that in time everyone is going to go for the trusted stores over others.
Anyway I’m sure it will all get figured out one way or another.
When Dave pointed this out to me I said, what’s in it for Google this time (I was curious after seeing that Google will offer a $1,000 purchase protection… only available in the US for now). Dave said said one word… Data! He went on to say how what they’ve been trying to do in terms of reviews, etc… to bring customers a positive shopping experience is flawed because of fake reviews. Competitors slating companies unfairly, and companies getting their friends and families to write undeserved positive reviews for them. With Trusted Stores Google will know which reviews are real and which aren’t because they’ll be able to follow the whole trail, from start to finish. They’ll know you purchased that item and received it in 24 hours, etc…
Of course recently there was the whole “less people are using Google for shopping now”, maybe they want to ensure the best possible experience for consumers so that everybody goes back to using Google for shopping again, that and the data I mean.
Now all we need is Google to create an “Untrusted Stores” badge, or better still, and “Untrusted Services” badge, then we can slap it all over the TopSEO’s site and every website that is deceitful enough to display one of their badges!