Google - Product review update

Google Algorithm Update: Product Review Update

There was an update to this article made on 04/05/2021 – Go straight to the Update

Google has announced a brand new shining ranking quality algorithm, known currently as the Product Review Update. This updated is entirely aimed towards rewarding high-level product review content with better ranking. Google said:

“we know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems, which we call the product reviews update, that’s designed to better reward such content.”

This is not an update to Google’s core ranking algorithm and is only aimed at product review types of content. 

This update launched around 1pm (ET) on April the 8th 2021. This update has been fully announced by Google and will take around 2 weeks to fully roll out, so far there seems to be no penalties for lower/thinner review content but more in depth content will certainly start to overtake.  

Something to note, is that currently Google are only rolling this out across english-language content.  Meaning as of today countries whose official language is not english will not be affected. Currently Google has not said if and when this update will roll out in non-english speaking search.

Google added that the “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.”

Product review update: What we recommend:

If you are a product review blog here are my tips to help thrive within this latest update.

  • Make sure your reviews express expert knowledge about the products, where appropriate.
  • Show what the product is like physically. How is it used? And create unique content about that, beyond what is simply stated on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Show the product USP, what sets it apart from the competition.
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Cover the pros and cons of each product, what are its best and worst features. The benefits and drawbacks.
  • 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?
  • Feature key decision-making-factors, such as product certification, category, price and quality. For example a car review would highlight fuel economy, aesthetics safety and handling. 
  • Avoid presenting simply as a top ten etc instead, present clear and concise comparisons, using star, number or letter ratings can help readers identify the difference between products quickly.

It is hard to say how this will affect the larger picture but I will keep my ear to the ground, so check back here for updates.  

UPDATE – 04/05/2021

This past Friday we continue to see a lot of spiking especially on Starurday. This could be another Google Search Ranking algorithm update but it seems to be having a big effect on site that were effected by the Product Review Update, so I suspects these fluctuations are a contiunation of that. Google have yet to confirm anything. This update is very similar to a core update, to how it acts and maybe something larger was rolled out that impacted both product reviews and other categories. At this point this is purely speculations but there are signs from both the tracking tools and elsewhere this past weekend – and the changes seem bigger than last weekend.

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