An SEO professional was concerned about the latest boost to extensive product reviews. They were curious about how hard it would be to be competitive.
They were also curious about the e-commerce platform Yotpo – and whether Google has a preference for native platform review functionality.
John answered that regarding new e-commerce sites – he believes things are always changing on the web.
It’s difficult to say – will this make it harder or easier for sites to be competitive?
It’s more likely that users are going to expect different things from websites over time. There are also different types of sites available over time.
This is always a very dynamic relationship, he believes.
He also emphasizes that Google is not spending time devising things that can make it harder for sites to be visible in search.
However, they see things differently regarding user expectations: which way are they going?
So they want to make sure that they align their algorithms with what users want.
This can sometimes drive things that they show in the search results.
Regarding trying to be competitive with new e-commerce sites, John believes that as a new site, they always need to look at the bigger picture and see where you can fit in.
Where can you provide something that’s valued by both users and something that’s missing from other websites anyway.
This can always be challenging when starting out, because you need to identify so many different aspects that play into how a site shows up in search.
There are many different things that can come into play.
Regarding platform review functionality, John explains that he honestly doesn’t know.
However, he does not believe that they would have any preference regarding specific providers or setups.
Usually, Google systems are set up in such a way that they are kind of active to respond to the web as they find it overall.
So long as something that users are searching for is visible on your site, then that’s usually what Google is going to be looking for.
This happens at approximately the 40:53 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
With the recent update giving a boost to extensive reviews, won’t this make it difficult for new e-commerce sites to become competitive? Also, does Google have a preference for native platform review functionality? Or platforms like Yotpo?
John (Answer) 41:10
So I don’t know…so won’t this make it difficult for new e-commerce sites? I think things are always changing on the web. So it’s really hard to say, like, “Will this make it harder or easier for sites to be competitive?”
And it’s something where users expect different things over time. And there are different kinds of sites available over time. And this is always a very dynamic relationship, I think. And it’s not so much that we’re trying to make it harder for new websites to be visible in search. But rather, we see user expectations are going this way.
So we need to make sure that we kind of align with what users want. And that can sometimes drive what we show in the search results. With regards to new e-commerce sites and being competitive, I think as a new site, you always need to look at the bigger picture and see where you can fit in, where you can provide something that is both valued by users, and something that is perhaps missing from other websites anyway.
So from that point of view, it’s like, it’s always going to be hard, especially if you’re starting out fresh, then you have to look at so many different aspects there and how things are shown in search is one aspect there.
But there are lots of different things that can come into play. And with regards to native platform review functionality, I honestly don’t know, I don’t think we would have any preference with regards to particular providers or particular setups. Usually, our systems are set up in a way to be kind of active, to kind of respond to the web as we find it overall.
So if something is visible on your website in a way that users can see it, that search engines can see it, then usually that’s what we’re looking for. And if that’s handled in the background, by some third party, or handled by yourself, or even maybe hand-coded or something like that, that doesn’t really bother us at all.
It’s like we look at the pages, how they end up on the web, and we try to index them like that.