Google confirmed on their Google Search Central twitter account that a new product reviews algorithm update is being rolled out and was complete as of August 2nd, 2022. This is the fourth in a series of product reviews updates that have been launched by Google over the past 18 months.
Google’s product reviews update aims to promote review content that is higher-quality, and Google will promote these types of product reviews in its search results ranking. You might find that the rankings for lower-quality reviews with thin content decrease, this isn’t due to any penalty against this content, instead Google is rewarding more useful review content with rankings above yours.
If we go back to Google’s first product reviews update in April 2021, Google’s mission was that they wanted product reviews to feature useful and helpful information that involves a comprehensive review and testing process. The algorithm has adapted since then to reflect this mission further.
At the moment for the initial rollout it’s only “English-language product reviews” that are impacted, however, Google has said that in the future this update may impact those who “create product reviews in any language”.
This update wasn’t expected, however, we shouldn’t be surprised as Google already released two refinements to its original product reviews algorithm. This is the fourth product review update over the past 18 months.
It doesn’t seem that anything specific has changed with the ranking criteria with this update. It’s most likely just Google making small adjustments and refreshing the algorithm.
If you notice an unexpected or sudden drop in pages that use product reviews, then you may have been impacted by this update.
The advice is the same as the previous update back in March 2022 when Google released a document titled “More helpful product reviews on Search”. It’s important to remember that Google is not punishing websites, but rewarding websites that have high-quality and informative product reviews.
To summarise the recommendations for meeting product review criteria in search from Google, they recommend to:
• Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
• Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
• Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
• Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors
Google’s overall goal is to help people find trustworthy, reliable advice when they come to Search. Going forward you’ll want to ensure that your product review content is unique and informative in order to perform well.
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