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Google said they are launching another update “in the coming weeks to make it even easier to find high-quality, original reviews.” Google said this is another refinement to the product reviews ranking system that aims to “make sure you find the most useful information when you’re researching a purchase on the web.”
Timing. Google will post on its updates page when it launches and when it is done rolling out, we will also post a new story when it begins rolling out and when it is completed here on Search Engine Land.
Google did tell us they are targeting to roll it out the week of August 29th but the date may change.
Previous updates. This is the fifth version of the product reviews update, a search ranking algorithm update targeted at ranking product review-related content on the web that is most helpful and useful to searchers. The first product reviews update was launched on April 8, 2021, the second was launched on December 1, 2021, the third has been released on March 23, 2022, and now the fourth has been released on July 27, 0222. The fourth one was named the July 2022 product reviews update and released on July 27, 2022 and completed on August 2, 2022.
Google product reviews update. The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content that is above and beyond much of the templated information you see on the web. Google said it will promote these types of product reviews in its search results rankings.
Google is not directly punishing lower-quality product reviews that have “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” However, if you provide such content and find your rankings demoted because other content is promoted above yours, it will definitely feel like a penalty. Technically, according to Google, this is not a penalty against your content, Google is just rewarding sites with more insightful review content with rankings above yours.
Technically, this update should only impact product review content and not other types of content.
What is impacted? Google said this update may in the future impact those who “create product reviews in any language,” but Google said the initial rollout will be “English-language product reviews.” Google added they have seen “positive effects” from this update in the past and the search company “plans to open up product review support for more languages” in the future.
Please note that these updates can be very big, almost as big as core updates.
Previous advice on the product reviews update. The “focus overall is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” Google said about this update. That is similar advice to the core update recommendations mentioned above, but here is a list of “additional useful questions to consider in terms of product reviews.” Google recommends your product reviews cover these areas and answer these questions. Do your product reviews…
Google also linked to its blog post from earlier this year named providing better product information for shoppers.
Google added three new points of new advice for this third release of the products reviews update:
Not a core update. Google also previously said that product review updates are not the same as core updates. This is a standalone update they’re calling the product reviews update. This is separate from Google’s regular core updates, the company told us. Nonetheless, Google did add that the advice it originally provided for core updates, “about producing quality content for those is also relevant here.” In addition to that advice, Google provided additional guidance specific to this update.
Why we care. If your website offers product review content, you will want to check your rankings to see if you were impacted. Did your Google organic traffic improve, decline, or stay the same?
Long term, you are going to want to ensure that going forward, you put a lot more detail and effort into your product review content so that it is unique and stands out from the competition on the web.
Also, those impacted by previous core updates, that put in the work, may be rewarded by this August 2022 product reviews update.
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