Google announced the launch of its latest product reviews algorithm update on 23 March, aimed at improving the search engine's ability to identify and promote high quality product reviews over fake or boilerplate content.
The update is the third for product reviews, following on from the previous ones in April 2021 and December 2021. It’s a specific update affecting product review related content on the web, so not a core update. Google says it will roll out gradually and will be extended to further languages.
“The update will roll out over the next few weeks, and may impact the rankings of English-language product reviews across many sites.
We've seen positive effects of our initial changes on the English-language ecosystem and online shoppers, and we plan to open up product review support for more languages.“
The first two updates were aimed at ensuring reviewers demonstrated expert knowledge and first-hand research about products, and this latest update builds on the previous work.
Google listed the following criteria that product reviews in Search should meet:
- Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
- Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
- Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
- Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors
Google also published the following answers to questions received about reviews with multiple products.
- Are product review updates relevant to ranked lists and comparison reviews? Yes. Product review updates apply to all forms of review content. The best practices we've shared also apply. However, due to the shorter nature of ranked lists, you may want to demonstrate expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way. Citing pertinent results and including original images from tests you performed with the product can be good ways to do this.
- Are there any recommendations for reviews recommending “best” products? If you recommend a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to share with the reader why you consider that product the best. What sets the product apart from others in the market? Why is the product particularly suited for its recommended purpose? Be sure to include supporting first-hand evidence.
- If I create a review that covers multiple products, should I still create reviews for the products individually? It can be effective to write a high quality ranked list of related products in combination with in-depth single-product reviews for each recommended product. If you write both, make sure there is enough useful content in the ranked list for it to stand on its own.
Google recommends following their best practices for product reviews, whichever language you’re writing in.