Now more than ever, Google is all about helping its users as much as possible, aiming to provide them with the best content that supports their queries.
If a user is looking to buy a product, then a helpful product review is just what they need to help them make that purchase decision.
Enter, Google’s product review update.
What is Google’s Product Review Update?
Rolled out from 21st February through to 7th March across multiple languages, Google’s 2023 product review update aims to reward high quality product reviews that provide new, insightful information, written by experts or people who have a thorough understanding of the product.
The update favours more in-depth reviews over thin content and looks for genuine opinions and expertise that go further than a simple summary resembling the product description.
It’s similar to the product review update we saw back in September 2023, except it now applies to languages other than English, including Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish.
Google also notes that it doesn’t need structured data to determine whether something’s a product review, but it does help them to spot one.
Which websites are affected by the product review update?
Product review sites and e-commerce websites that provide product reviews are the only sites that will be affected by the update.
E-commerce sites that sell products that customers can review won’t be affected – these are customer reviews and shouldn’t be confused with long-form reviews written by experts or enthusiasts.
For example, here we have a product review by Tom’s Guide – it’s a full page written by a gaming writer reviewing the PS5:
Whereas this customer review by Argos does not concern the product review update:
In most cases, Google will evaluate the reviews on a page-level basis, meaning it’s the one page that could see a ranking increase rather than the whole site. However, sites that are predominantly made up of product review pages could see a site-wide evaluation.
Here are some of our key takeaways from the guidance:
Review the product in the first person, rather than from a brand’s point of view
Show you’re an expert – be sure to state why you’re trusted to review, whether that’s due to your job title, education or experience
Compare the products against competitors
Be sure to include both positive and negative features of the product
Include evidence that you’ve tested the products, such as videos or images
Add helpful links – Google suggests linking to other useful resources, as well as multiple suggestions on where to buy the product
It’s important to provide your audience with genuinely helpful information that can assist their purchase decision – and that means information that’s expert and free from bias.
If you’d like to know more about product reviews and how they can impact your website, get in touch with a member of our team today. Alternatively, head to the NORTH blog to learn about more Google updates and ranking factors.