SEO News You Can Use: Google April 2023 Reviews Update Released

SEO News You Can Use: New Updates to Chrome FLEDGE

The Google April 2023 reviews update has been released. Google made the announcement via Twitter on April 12, 2023, stating that it will now cover reviews related to anything reviewable, not just products. This includes topics like businesses, services, media, travel destinations and so on.

Google’s “product reviews system” has been renamed “reviews system,” and the terminology in several sections of its guidance documents about product reviews has been adjusted to apply to all types of reviews.

Along with the reviews update, Google has also revamped its Search Status dashboard so that it covers the following:

  • Products
  • Services, and
  • Things.

To assist, Google also released an article with updated tips on how to write high-quality reviews. The changes to product review guidance are predominantly a language change, using more generic terms. These minor changes include broadening the scope to cover all kinds of reviews, as well as some additional guidance.

The changes can be beneficial to websites that publish any review content, improving organic traffic and rankings.

For a more in-depth look at the changes and best practices, visit Search Engine Land.

More SEO News You Can Use

Gary Illyes Provides Insights on Google’s Stance on Sudden Drops in Keyword Rankings: The most recent episode of Google’s SEO Office Hours featured analyst Gary Illyes responding to a question from a website owner. The website owner was worried that their site would vanish from search results for a particular phrase. The page was still indexed, but the website’s owner could no longer discover it despite once ranking #1. Illyes told them that losing a website’s rating for a single term is not common. Illyes advises examining to see if the problem is widespread in order to identify whether the ranking decline was a one-off occurrence or a result of a larger pattern. He advises doing this by inviting friends who reside in various cities to look at your website using the term as location and search history can influence search results. Alternatively, this can be done with a virtual private network (VPN). Websites can also drop from search results for a keyword if there is an increase in competition, there are changes in link profiles or technical issues. For insights visit Search Engine Journal here.

Google Forewarns Website Owners Not To Cloak HTTP Status Codes: Gary Illyes, an analyst at Google, was questioned by a website owner during Google’s April 2023 SEO Office Hours about whether it would be permissible to offer Googlebot a different HTTP status code from the one that is sent to human visitors. They specifically wanted to provide consumers with a 200 (OK) status code while serving Googlebot an HTTP status code of 410 (Gone). A page that has been permanently deleted and has to be de-indexed is indicated by an HTTP status code of 410. On the other hand, an HTTP status code of 200 indicates that the request was successful and the required resource was delivered. “Cloaking” is the practice of providing various HTTP status codes to users and search engines. Showing one version of a page to crawlers and another to human visitors is a common black hat SEO tactic used to manipulate search engine rankings. Illyes said it’s risky to do this as it could possibly result in problems like your website being de-indexed. Illyes suggests implementing a “noindex” robots meta tag to get rid of certain web pages from Google’s search results to avoid being penalized and being dropped in rankings. For more details, read the full Search Engine Land article here.

Google Webspam Report Clarifies SpamBrain’s Function: Google recently released its annual Webspam Report 2022, covering how it addressed fighting spam on Google Search last year. In its annual Webspam Report for 2022, Google outlined all the ways that its SpamBrain anti-spam engine improved at identifying various types of spam. The details about how SpamBrain functions felt just as essential as the report’s main focus, which is on how much more spam they captured this year compared to last. Google’s machine learning engine, which it refers to as a platform to launch algorithms that recognize various types of harmful content, is known as SpamBrain. The Webspam study stated that system upgrades led to capturing 500% more spam sites than the previous year. With more instruction, SpamBrain’s capacity to recognize compromised websites increased tenfold. Link spam training allowed the site to catch more than fifty times the amount of link spam sites than the previous year. Google’s SpamBrain blocks spam during crawl time before being indexed in multiple languages, lowering the number of clicks to these spam sites by 50%. For more information, read the full Search Engine Land article here.

Google Adds New Page Specifically for Bard Chatbot Updates: To make it simple for consumers to stay up to date with the most recent improvements, Google recently established a separate Experiment improvements website. On this brand-new website, you can get an early look at and test Bard’s newest features. Because Google announced Bard updates via Twitter in the past, it was difficult to stay updated with the most recent changes. The new Google page will now include a note about every noteworthy modification to Bard. Take a look at the most recent additions. One of the biggest changes in Bard’s initial trial is the addition of extra search options when users click “Google it.” Thanks to this update, users may now discover more pertinent topics and explore a wider spectrum of interests. Google has also acknowledged that Bard performed poorly on the math and reasoning tests. Bard’s most recent update, made public on March 31, significantly enhanced its math and reasoning abilities by incorporating enhancements from Google’s PaLM (Programme and Language Models) project. Bard can now comprehend and respond to word and math issues that involve several steps better as a result. Visit Search Engine Land here for more information. 

OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Other Generative AI Tools Could Be Faced With Global Legal Issues: One of many potential legal issues OpenAI may encounter is the recent prohibition on ChatGPT in Italy. Users of ChatGPT have submitted complaints against OpenAI globally for potential safety hazards; while the European Union tries to enact an Artificial Intelligence Act, the United States specifies an AI Bill of Rights, and the United Kingdom suggests existing institutions oversee AI. By filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Centre for AI and Digital Policy aims to prevent OpenAI from creating further ChatGPT models until safety barriers are in place. Due to a recent data breach and the lack of age verification to shield younger users from objectionable generative AI content during registration, the Italian Garante opened an inquiry into OpenAI. To ascertain whether ChatGPT has broken any privacy regulations, the Irish Data Protection Commission intends to work with the Italian Garante and EU data protection commission. Other countries that may be following suit include Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Spain, should more complaints be lodged. For more OpenAI legal news, visit Search Engine Journal.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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