Honesty and Consistency: Good for Your Customers and for Google

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Google really never stops trying to improve Google. 

Recently, they announced some changes that could greatly impact how your business ranks online. 

Following Google’s guidelines can help your company to not only rank higher, but to improve with your customers (as well as potential customers). 

They recently said that they’re going to penalize companies for giving customers something that the members of our Google Partners company have always disliked: unwanted surprises. 

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What Google Wants to Stop Businesses From Doing 

 

Has the following ever happened to you? 

You search online for something you want. 

So, you shop around. You whittle it down to a few options. 

Finally, you go with the one with the best price. 

You click on it. 

Then, you put it in your online “cart/basket/something similar.” Then, the company’s site takes you to the final purchase page… only to find that the price is now higher. 

This is about as frustrating as it gets. 

Even if it’s only for a few dollars, it’s annoying. Moreover, it’s deceitful. You, the customer, thought you were paying one price. Then, moments later, you found out that it’s something higher. 

Sure, many of us are used to this experience from having purchased goods in person, only to have the tax rung up at the register. 

However, you know online that this can be much, much higher than a sales tax would’ve been. 

So, Google, to their credit, is going to do something about it. 

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How Google’s Enforcing Accuracy 

 

According to this, Google is quite serious about this. 

“Beginning April 6th, in addition to reviewing and enforcing price accuracy between your Merchant Center product data and your landing pages, we (Google) will begin to review and enforce price accuracy at checkout.” 

What does “enforce” mean in this context? 

Well, Google goes on to say “if during an account review Google finds that the price provided for one of your products at checkout is higher than the price provided for that product on its landing page, you (the business) will receive a 28-day warning to resolve these mismatches, otherwise your account will be subject to suspension at the end of the warning period.” 

“Subject to suspension” is a very real, live threat. 

It behooves your business to make sure that the price shown is the one that customers will actually get. 

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What It Means for Your Business 

 

Now, you might have read to this point and thought: “OK, fine, but, I don’t use ‘Google Merchant Center.’ What does this have to do with me?” 

Even without the Sword of Damocles, so to speak, of Google’s wrath hanging over your company, it’s in your best interests to offer the same price (or just a bit higher) throughout the customer purchasing process. 

After all, as Google points out, “if (a) product’s price at checkout is higher than the price shown in an ad, free product listing, or on a product landing page, shoppers are more likely to abandon the purchase.” 

You don’t want that to happen, regardless of what Google does or doesn’t do. 

This is the kind of thing we mean when we talk about “authenticity,” “empathy,” “forging a connection with your customers,” etc. It’s not just about making sure that your retail facility is clean; it’s about treating customers fairly and honestly. 

For more about growing your business, you can reach our Google Partners and full-service digital marketing company at (888) 477-9540. 

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