UPDATE: Google’s rollout of the product review update is taking longer than expected. You can get the full story here.
Google has rolled out a new search algorithm update that will reward high-quality, in-depth product reviews, according to a recent blog post.
More specifically, the new “product reviews update” is designed to “better reward” product reviews that “share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products,” according to Search Engine Land.
Furthermore, Google will also reward reviews that contain “insightful analysis and original research” and “content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” by ranking these types of reviews favourably in search results.
The goal of the Google product reviews update is to encourage reviews that go above and beyond the information you typically see on the web. However, it’s important to note that Google will not be directly penalizing other reviews with “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.”
Reviews that meet the new criteria will inevitably rank higher, but Google says that this should not be seen as a penalty or direct attack against other reviews.
The product reviews update will only affect product review content.
Rest Assured, This is Not a Core Update, Says Google
Google told Search Engine Land that the product reviews update is not a core update. It is simply considered a standalone update that is separate from Google’s regular core updates. However, Google did say that the advice it usually offers when core updates are rolled out is still relevant. This means that brands should continue to focus on producing high-quality content to set themselves up for success.
Other Advice Google Has to Offer
Google also provided some advice and recommendations specific to this new update.
Your product reviews should answer the following questions:
Do your product reviews…
Contain expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
Convey what the product looks like and how it is used, beyond the manufacturer’s instructions?
Provide quantitative measurements to explain how a product performs?
Explain what makes the product different from competitors?
Discuss other comparable products to explain which items might be best for certain uses?
Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the product?
Describe how a product has changed compared to previous versions and list its improvements and issues?
Point out important decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas?
Describe how a product has been designed and how this affects the user?
The product reviews update is now officially live for English-language reviews globally.