Gather ye horses, trusty steeds, flask of whiskey and your Google bot dogs, for we have word of another fox in the rank-house and Matt Cutts has sounded the trumpets!

Bad Merchant? Google May Drop Your Rankings Later This Year reports that  Matt Cutts signaled yet another blow to spammers and bad online businesses.

Cutts said:
We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results.

So far, other attempts to rank credible web sites in the ecommerce space created a delightful new revenue stream for writers and fake user reviews.  Even Matt isn’t sure how they can truly tell the difference between a good or bad merchant.

Says our Hunt Master,

We are trying to ask ourselves, are there other signals that we can use to spot whether someone is not a great merchant, and if we can find those, and we think that they are not all that spammable, then we’re more than happy to use those.

horseshowI may be riding my gorgeous white mare in the back of the hunting group but I do have a teeny suggestion for the Leader of the Pack. How about using the ability to USE the site as an indication of a good online merchant? Why not support sites that can be used by EVERYBODY (accessibility), searchable on all devices (responsive), and pass usability audits?

Try Usability!

Customer experience design is usability design. An online business that wants to rank should be able to prove it wants real customers who arrive with confidence and trust.

So Matt, why not make web site usability a rank factor?

Kim Krause Berg Speaking at PubCon New Orleans
Kim Krause Berg Speaking at Pubcon Regional SFIMA Summit Florida


Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)