Google continuously works to improve the user experience with Google Search results. In line with that, the search engine giant has announced a new search ranking algorithm update in relation to product reviews. The Google product reviews ranking update is now live in search results to show the most useful and helpful information possible on the internet based on reviews with insightful analysis and research.
The new search ranking algorithm update aims to reward well-researched product reviews with in-depth analysis and content over brief reviews and summaries. It is not a core search engine algorithm update and specifically targets only product review types of content for related searches. It doesn’t affect all search results. Websites that have nothing to do with product reviews should not worry about this update.
In the official announcement, Google explains it as:
“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.”
The Google Product Reviews Update is now live, which means product review sites may already observe ranking and traffic fluctuations. It aims to improve the SERP placement of product reviews with original research and insightful analysis done by experts who know the topic well.
The new product reviews-based ranking update could change the way brands use reviews from customers, bloggers, and publications to promote their products. The new update is all about an in-depth review ranking approach for more informative search results instead of just talking about a product with no original content.
It is also important to note here that the review update only involves English language reviews for now and will affect search results in English-language only.
To make it more clear, Google also provided specific advice for sites that publish product reviews for better ranking in search results. If you notice any impact on your traffic and ranking, you should follow these pointers from Google to create better and more informative product reviews:
- Express expert and appropriate knowledge about products
- Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used to create unique and original content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer.
- Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures and performs upon various parameters
- Try to do a comparative analysis of the product to explain what sets it apart from its competitors.
- Cover or explain which products might be best for certain purposes, uses, and applications in comparison with other similar products.
- Based on thorough research, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the product.
- Describe how a product has evolved and what improvements it has from its previous models or releases to address issues, or customer requirements and help users in making a purchase decision.
- Help users identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the particular product in review performs in those areas
- Discuss the product design and its effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.
These insights are released by Google on its official blog along with the announcement of Product Reviews Algorithm Update. It will encourage original reviewers and enforce brands to seek out more professional reviews than customer reviews to sell their products.
Key takeaways of Google Product Reviews Update
- It focuses on improving the SERP ranking of the most useful product reviews.
- Reviewers with short summaries or with no original product analysis may face a harder time ranking in search results.
- Affiliates sites that don’t provide any actual value to users in making a purchasing decision and only focus on making quick commissions will have a harder time ranking in search results.
- Google will now give priority to product reviews that have comparisons with similar products or previous versions of the same products for more insightful information.
- With product review-based ranking updates, Google trying to filter out reviews that are aimed to target and punish a brand based on emotional behavior. It has now become a trend to downgrade a business with mass negative reviews without actual interaction when they don’t agree with their values or concept.
Broadly speaking, Google just wants to discourage the misuse of the product review approach in order to earn commissions, views, traffic, or defame a business. Product review posts with a well-researched and in-depth analysis of a product will show up more in search results. It will be more useful for users who are actually looking for a detailed product analysis before making any purchasing decision.
Either way, Google Product Reviews Update is an important ranking factor for the SEO process of product review sites. To ensure a better ranking in SERPs (search engine result pages), you need to focus on Google’s advice provided to publish more informative and helpful product reviews for shoppers.