Google has just announced that it has delivered a new search algorithm update. Launched on the 8th of April, this update has been named ‘Product Reviews’.
Google’s update has been designed to better reward product reviews that share in-depth research rather than simply delivering thin content that summarises a product.
“Reviews that are written to deliver insightful analysis and original research will be rewarded, especially content written by experts or enthusiasts who know a topic well.” Google said.
The Product Reviews update aims to promote review-based content that goes 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 result rankings, thus delivering an increased visibility for quality reviews.
Google will not directly punish lower quality product reviews, the content of which is considered “thin content that simply summarises products.” The trouble here is that websites that deliver better reviews will be promoted above those that do not. Consequently, this will feel like a penalty even though that is not the case.
Technically this is not a penalty against your content, as Google have recently stressed. Instead they are simply rewarding sites with better review content. As a result, this update should only impact product review content and no other types of content.
One thing to understand, is that “this is definitely not a core update” Google have explained. This is simply a standalone item aimed at increasing page relevance and usability. Google did add that its advice from last year on producing quality content is also relevant here.
Google did provide additional guidance specific to this update and is now placing its focus overall on providing users with content that delivers insightful analysis and original research, as well as content that has been written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well. Google recommends your product reviews cover the following areas and provides answers to the questions listed below;
- Does your content express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
- Does your content show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what is provided by the manufacturer?
- Does your content provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
- Does your content explain what sets the product apart from its competitors?
- Does your content cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
- Does your content discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
- Does your content describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
- Does your content identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
- Does your content describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on its users beyond what the manufacturer says?
In this announcement, Google also provided a link to a blog post from earlier this year within its developers section; https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/02/product-information .
It is important to understand that this update is live now for English-language reviews globally. We therefore advise that if your website offers product review content, you should check your rankings to see if you have been impacted. Did your Google organic traffic improve, decline or stay the same?
Moving forward, it is important to deliver a lot more detail and effort into your product review content so that it is unique and stands out from competition on the web. This will improve your overall visibility!