April 9, 2021
Google Product Reviews Update
Google recently announced on April 8, 2021 a new search algorithm update called the Product Reviews Update.
What is the Product Reviews Update?
This update is not a core algorithm update. Rather, this is a standalone update designed to promote outstanding product reviews that share insightful analysis over shallow reviews that simply summarize the product’s features or attributes. With more people shopping online and more people reading reviews, Google wants to promote thoughtful, in-depth product reviews that can help buyers make more educated purchasing decisions.
It’s worth noting that Google won’t directly penalize lower quality product reviews. However, if you provide “thin” content and find your rankings demoted because other content is promoted above yours, it might certainly feel like a penalty. Google wants to iterate this is not a penalty against your content, it’s just rewarding websites with more insightful reviews.
- Some things to consider in terms of product reviews. Do your reviews:
- Include relevant expert knowledge about products where necessary?
- Describe what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
- Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
- Explain what sets one product a part from its competitors?
- Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
- Discuss the benefits or drawbacks of a particular product, based on in-depth research?
- 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 between one model or another?
- 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.
- Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?
What You Can Do
If your site hosts product reviews, you should check your rankings to see if you were impacted by this update. Moving forward, ensure your product reviews are insightful and in-depth to stand out from the competition.
As always if you have specific questions and/or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.