SEO News You Can Use

SEO News You Can Use: Google Rolls Out Third Product Reviews Update

Google’s third product reviews update is here, helping the search engine better identify high-quality product reviews and promote them in the search results. The latest version builds on the first two updates released in 2021 and continues the push for product reviews offering users insightful, helpful information that guides their buying decisions.

Google launched the first product reviews update in April 2021 and the second in December 2021. The third and latest, called the March 2022 product reviews update, will happen in the “next few weeks” and is projected to affect most volatility in the earlier phases of the rollout.

The March update moves further away from templated review content and prioritizes in-depth product analysis and insightful information that aid the buying process. In the announcement, Google’s Alan Kent stated that the update “makes it easier for us to get sound purchasing advice in front of users, and to reward creators who are earnest in being helpful.”

Google has outlined the criteria brands and marketers need to meet when publishing product reviews: 

  • Insightful Details – Pros and cons of a product, specific information on product performance, the product’s unique features or differentiators
  • Actual Customers – Shared by people who have actually used the product
  • Unique, Experiential Information – Contain information outside of what brands or manufacturers typically provide, like visuals and audio depicting the user’s experience
  • Product Comparisons – Cover comparable products and identify strengths and advantages between competing items

The update rewards reviews that satisfy the above factors and place them higher in the search results. In effect, “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products” will be buried under higher-quality, more detailed reviews. 

It’s aimed at English-language product reviews for now, but Google is planning to support more languages in the future.

The company also expressed previously that product review updates are not core updates but rather standalone updates. However, they can have a major impact on rankings. If you’re offering review content and have noticed changes in your rankings and organic traffic, it’s most likely due to the new update. Going forward, you will want to put more detail and care into your review content and keep it fresh, unique and compliant with Google’s criteria.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Announces Integration of Google Analytics 4 and Search Ads 360: As part of the initiative to replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July 2023, Google has launched a new integration of GA4 and Search Ads 360, making data sharing between the two platforms easier than ever before. The capabilities of this integration are the same as the Universal Analytics and Search Ads 360 integration: It enables Search Ads 360 cost and campaign data to be exported to GA4 and GA4 conversions exported to Search Ads 360. It also means GA4 app and site engagement metrics can be accessed through Search Ads 360. One of the biggest advantages of linking the two data sources is the reporting on cross-channel metrics and showing users cross-both attribution for both search ads with these reports. To link the two platforms, users must be an Editor on GA4 and an Admin on Search Ads 360.

Google Released a New Partner Program Directory To Regain Good Faith Among Participating Marketers: In February 2020, Google announced changes to its Partners program that had the PPC community losing faith in the program. In one Search Engine Journal post, it was said “the new rules are soiled with sales initiatives that strong-arm agencies to do Google’s bidding – to do so to the detriment of their clients.” Google has since shown commitment to making amends by first, revamping the program and more recently, releasing a new directory of Google Partners and all participating agencies and marketers. On Wednesday last week, Google launched a directory that serves as an easy resource for businesses and companies looking for Google Ads experts to hire. And for marketers, this can be perceived as the tech company’s next step towards enhancing the program and adding value to its Partners’ experience.

“Related Search for Content” Is Now Available in Google AdSense: Google has dropped its newest AdSense feature, Related Search for Content. The feature is a navigation area that shows terms related to the content on a website. After a site visitor clicks on a search term, they’re directed to a results page on that creator’s website. The results would then contain all relevant topics, now including search ads, boosting visibility and potential for engagement and revenue. This new feature is best utilized by content creators who are already using AdSense or have just started monetizing their website.

Irrelevant Search Results Have Been Cut in Half, According to Google: In a continuous attempt to improve users’ search experience, Google claims it has reduced irrelevant search results by over 50 percent over the last seven years. The company has been on a nonstop path of changing and upgrading search quality and relevance. And according to its internal metrics based on quality-rater data, the search engine has been successful in weeding out at least half of irrelevant search results on the search engine results page (SERPs). This finding goes to show Google is doing something right and that the benchmark for relevance is higher than it’s ever been. Marketers can only survive is by investing in quality and providing their audience with the best possible user experience.

Google Ads Offers a New Format for Car Ads: Google has introduced a new vehicle ads format on Google Ads, giving advertisers a new way to get in front of shoppers with relevant product information and inventory. The ad format shows images of the vehicle and information detailing its make, model, location and price. Clicking on the ad directs the user to the description page on the car dealer’s site. From there, the user learns of the dealer’s contact information and moves further down the sales funnel. The new format is available for all car dealerships in the U.S. and is not allowed for individual sellers and auto brokers. Only non-commercial passenger vehicles are eligible for ads; that means commercial vehicles, airplanes, buses, trains or any outdoor utility vehicles do not qualify. With this ad new format, Google aims to help advertisers increase their exposure, qualified leads and omnichannel conversions.

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

Taz Tan

Taz is a content editor at SEOblog. All throughout her career, she has helped brands reach more customers through informative, valuable and compelling content. When she’s not working, she’s either playing with her cats or looking up expensive furniture she can’t afford.

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