claaarky - 12:17 pm on Mar 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
Trusted Stores is only available to US merchants at the moment so if "bad merchant" treatment is dished out elsewhere in the world before it's available to merchants elsewhere, we'll know that's not how they're identifying bad merchants.
Mind you, the requirements are quite stringent so if you qualify and maintain the standards over a long period of time it would add a lot of credibility to your business in Google's eyes. They'd be crazy not to factor that into the algo.
Some big brands struggle to provide the sort of personal service customers really want, but this is what small business is great at, so this could be a way for smaller businesses to fight back against big brands in the rankings.
I think they must have another method for identifying bad merchants, but it would make sense for them to boost rankings for sites with great Trusted Store ratings.
After looking at the 'Eligibility' section it looks pretty clear Google don't regard affiliates or drop shippers as 'trusted' merchants. The writing has been on the wall for years and the noose is tightening.