SEO community is still reeling from the effect of Google Panda and Google Penguin update. These updates shook the SEO community and affected several sites. Sites that topped the search results vanished overnight. SEO followers and SEO community are now keeping their eyes extra wide open for Google’s new updates. There are many stories across the web that talks about Google’s new update named Zebra. None of these stories exactly describes the Zebra update or its impact. It is hard to tell what exactly Google’s next update is; unless it is officially announced. Until then, it is just a guessing game.

Google’s take on online merchants
Matt Cutts, Head of spam for Google recently announced that Google would soon be rolling out a major update for Google Penguin. According to Cutts, Google Penguin 4 update will be the most talked about changes in the year 2013. Well, since no more details are released, it would be difficult to assess the impact of this update on website owners.

Google Zebra?
Matt Cutts also made an announcement regarding the quality of online sellers. He clearly indicated that Google would be analyzing quality of the online traders. They would try to ensure that only high- quality user experience merchants feature in searches. This statement has put most online merchants on high alert. Matt Cutts did not share the parameters on which merchants would be rated. It is therefore a question on how will Google differentiate qualitative merchants from others. Would the quality parameter be reviews, or would they be customer ratings or would it be industry portal rating?

How to stay safe from Google’s upcoming update on online merchants
If you are an online trader/seller/retailer, then it is best that you refer to Google’s update about true online merchants in November 2012. Adhering to existing Google guidelines may help you to stay safe from potential Google update.

Some of the important aspects of these guidelines are as follows:
• Ability to register or ability to login
• Shopping cart that gets auto-updated as you shop
• It is essential that website should have a return shipping address
• Customers should be able to track FedEx shipped orders.
• An online merchant should have a wish-list option so that customers can buy the items later.

It is essential that online merchants should clearly mention their physical location. It is important that online merchants claim their location on Google maps. These steps can only act as prevention measures; merchants would know the true impact only when the update is released.