On April 10th Google finally started cracking down on “review websites” by announcing they had launched a new algorithm update called the product reviews update. This update is designed to reward review websites that share in-depth research, rather than summarize a bunch of products with links out to affiliate websites.
Launch Date: April 10, 2021
What Google’s Review Update Impacted
The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content from websites that are above and beyond much of the basic information you can find on the web and within Google’s search results. Google said it would start to give more weight to these types of product reviews.
How Google’s Review Update Works
Google is not directly penalizing low-quality product reviews and websites with thin review content or simply summarizing many products. However, it can feel like a penalty if you see your rankings drop and other website’s rankings increase – but it’s simply that they provide more value with their content (according to Google’s datapoints) than your website does.
People appreciate product reviews with in-depth research. Our product reviews update that’s going out today is designed to better reward such rich content. For now, it involves English language searches.
Google Search Central
This update not only impacts what is traditionally thought of as “review content”, but it also impacts expert round-ups.
How to Fix Your Review Website If Google’s Review Update Impacted You
Like the Panda Update and the list of content recommendations that brought, review websites will need to focus on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis, original research, and content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the product well.
In addition to the aforementioned recommendation, Google recommends your product reviews cover areas such as:
- Show what the product is like physically or how it is used beyond what is provided by the manufacturer.
- Provide quantitative measurements that are going to be helpful for decision-making purposes.
- Explain what sets a product apart.
- Cover similar products a shopper may want to consider.
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the particular product.
- Describe how a product has evolved from previous models.
- Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas.
- Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and its effect on the users.
If you are writing the reviews yourself, you will most likely need to purchase the item to get this information.
Long term, you want to ensure that you put more detail and effort into your product review content to provide more user value than the competition.