In an update earlier, Google has confirmed that the product reviews update has now completed rolling out.
Alan Kent informed Barry Schwartz that the rollout is now complete as of April 11, 2022.
This update is actually the third version of the product reviews update.
Sorry for the delay in response. It was almost… almost… almost…….
Yes! The rollout is now complete!
— Alan Kent (@akent99) April 11, 2022
More About the Product Reviews Algorithm Update
This update began rolling out around 12:00 p.m. ET on March 23rd. It took 19 days to complete the entire roll out after it was announced.
March 23rd was the start date for the rollout, and then this rollout persisted through April 11th.
It wasn’t a huge update, compared to the December 2021 update, however.
Why the Product Reviews Update is Important
If you primarily have product reviews content on your website, you may want to double-check and review your rankings just to see if you were affected.
In the longer term, Search Engine Land reports that you will very likely want to make sure you are putting as much effort into your reviews as possible, and not just writing low-effort reviews.
This review content should:
- Be unique and not similar to other content on your site,
- Stand out from your competitor’s reviews – for example, does your competitor provide certain information, but no videos, additional commentary, or in-depth analysis? Then perhaps you may want to improve on those reviews in that fashion.
- It’s not just about word count! Rather, it’s about how in-depth your reviews go, how thin they are, and how much more information you can reliably provide your potential consumers.
- When it comes to product reviews, just writing a summary of the manufacturer’s description and a few additional comments are likely not going to cut it anymore.
Determine how you can make your site stand out from the competition using the above points.
What Can You Do If You Have Been Hit by the Product Reviews Update?
Google explained that its advice on dealing with content from a core update still applies to the product reviews update.
If your site’s content is relatively low-quality, they provided some advice on how to improve it. Do your product reviews:
- Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
- Show 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 a product apart from its competitors?
- Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
- 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?
- 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 Else Has Changed for Product Reviews?
Google recommends that you follow these best practices when creating product reviews, so that you can maximize the impact that your reviews have:
- Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective.
- Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products reviewed – show you are an expert.
- Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
- Share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance.
- Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors.
- Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on your own original 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.
- 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.
- Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
- Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
- When recommending a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, include why you consider that product the best, with first-hand supporting evidence.
- Ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single product reviews for each recommended product.
How Have You Been Affected by the Product Reviews Update?
You should know by now whether you have been affected by the product reviews update, since it should be fully live in the Google algorithm.
In case you don’t know, you can always use the Barracuda Panguin tool to interface with your Google Analytics and give you data about Google algorithm updates.
If you have been affected, please let us know on Twitter.