ATTIRE 109 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY get altered over time. This could potentially introduce some usability issues that could be construed by a quality rater as being below the quality required for Google. It’s always a good idea to look at what the bigger e-commerce retailers like AO.com are doing and compare this to your own website – if you notice a big difference in functionality and user experience it’s probably time to bite the bullet and get a new website for your business. Copied text – why you shouldn’t One thing that is mentioned quite strongly in the reasons for giving a page a ‘lowest’ rating in the Google Search Quality Rating Program document is the use of copied text. We have been advising clients for several years that using supplier descriptions alone without some effort to personalise is a bad idea as we have noticed rankings for product level keyphrases slipping for those clients who choose to do this. Google states that, “We do not consider legitimately licensed or syndicated content to be copied.” However, given our own experience when writing one-of-a-kind product level copy for clients, the results are hard to argue against. If you want a ‘before and after’ snapshot, how about bottom of page two in Google results for a product page using supplier sourced description against number one in Google for a product utilising distinctive page copy written by a professional copywriter. As the number one spot gets the bulk of clicks from organic results, writing a good product description and an informative product title really is a no-brainer, even factoring in the effort required. See this Google result https://goo.gl/XH2Xo1 – you should see the Jeanstore page at the top of organic results. I’d recommend that anyone who is serious about their website read the Quality Rating Program document; it gives real insight into what Google is looking for when rating websites and can really reinforce the advice given by a good search engine marketer. If nothing else, once you have read and absorbed the document you will be able to recognise a bad website from a really good one! A Further information: David Fairhurst is Head of Creative Online Marketing at Intelligent Retail. David has been involved with search engine optimisation (SEO) and web development since 1999 and has spoken at many different retail and SEO conferences including Spring Fair and SES London. Call David on +44 (0)845 680 0126.