SEO News You Can Use: Google Releases November 2023 Reviews Update

SEO News You Can Use: New Updates to Chrome FLEDGE

In its Q&A document, Google hinted that it would release a reviews system update that will simultaneously roll out with its November 2023 core update. The search engine company is delivering on its promise as it finally released its review system update on November 8, 2023.

Apparently, this will be the last explicit update on the reviews system since this is “now being improved at a regular and ongoing pace,” and Google will no longer post about future updates of the reviews system on the status dashboard.

This is a big change since websites that rely on affiliate review content will now have to optimize and reoptimize their content without any heads-up from Google. Since the April 2023 reviews update, Google has expanded its scope from just products to other types of offerings, such as:

  • Services
  • Destinations
  • Games, movies, series and other entertainment-based content

The takeaway? Keep track of your review content’s performance. While Google no longer announces reviews system updates, it doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal anymore. It still is, but the process of updating has become so frequent that it’s impractical for the company to keep announcing them.

Google also provided its guidelines for writing high-quality reviews and responsible use of affiliate product links.

But if you’re already putting the user first when creating content, you shouldn’t worry about future reviews system updates.

“When writing reviews, focus on the quality and originality of your reviews,” said Google. 

“This will deliver the most value to those reading your reviews.”

Check the status of Google’s algorithm updates here.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Clears the Air Around Its Helpful Content System: Many search engine optimization or SEO professionals raised valid concerns about their content’s fate because of Google’s helpful content guidelines. One X user, Brandon Saltalamacchia, posted a screenshot of a portion of Google’s guidelines pertaining to the harmful effect of changing dates and adding or removing content to your SEO. He asked: “Does this mean if we update our top performing posts regularly, move around product positions to match industry trends, add small info changes, freshen images that… we get punished for it?” Google Search Liaison responded that your changes should be made “for your readers” to avoid getting punished. In another thread, SearchLiaison said they don’t punish content if the “updates are made to be helpful to people” instead of making “Google think this is fresh.” So, your updates should always be to make your content more helpful, not rank better. Read the full story from Search Engine Journal.

Search Expert Shares Tips To Improve PageSpeed Scores: If you want to improve your PageSpeed Insights (PSI) scores, then Google’s John Mueller has some tips. In a Reddit thread, Mueller revealed that it’s not just video and image file size that makes your website faster. He suggests testing individual page elements on noindexed pages to understand their impact on speed. This approach helps “isolate specific changes and determine their individual effects,” Mueller said. He explained that if your site’s speed is already “reasonable in terms of PSI,” then you may no longer need much optimization. Read his complete response here.

Discover Traffic Bug Due to October Core Update Fixed: On November 1, Google announced a fix for a bug that affected traffic from its Discover feature because of the October 2023 core update. “We found a bug with how our Oct. 2023 core update was applied to Discover, which has now been corrected,” Google Search Central tweeted. The bug was fixed on the same day, so “some sites may see an increase in Discover-related traffic as a result.” We’ve previously covered Google’s past statements on how you can’t rely on Discover traffic and its “serendipitous nature.” While Google hasn’t changed its stance yet, this bug fix and its plan to incorporate Discover in its homepage tell a different story. What do you think? Read the full X discussion.

Google SGE Now Available in 120 More Countries: Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is ramping up its global presence. In its announcement last November 8, 2023, SGE expanded to over 120 countries and territories and added four new languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Indonesian. This move, as Hema Budaraju, Senior Director at Google, puts it, is about “testing how generative AI in Search can help people find what they’re looking for in new, faster ways.” SGE’s growth follows positive feedback in the U.S., India and Japan, particularly for complex queries. The expansion brings artificial intelligence or AI-powered overviews to a global audience, integrating a wider array of sources. Google is also innovating in user interaction, testing new ways for users to ask follow-up questions directly from the search results, enhancing the natural flow of information-seeking. Read the full blog announcement from Google here

Customized GPTs and More Introduced By OpenAI: OpenAI’s DevDay revealed significant updates. The GPT-4 Turbo, now “more capable and cheaper,” features a substantial 128K context window, allowing for extensive data handling. The event also spotlighted multimodality advances, including vision, image creation (DALL·E 3) and text-to-speech technologies, expanding the range of AI applications. Customization is another key focus, with OpenAI launching programs for fine-tuning and developing custom GPT-4 models, catering to specific organizational needs and large datasets. Read the full OpenAI documentation here.

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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