Google’s fifth Product Review Update is officially underway amidst the latest Core Update rollout.
Google announced the rollout on Twitter on September 20, and although most updates take around two weeks to complete, Google went on to tweet that this time the rollout may be completed in as little as a week. In fact, the July 2022 rollout only took five days to complete. This means that you may already start to see some volatility.
There have been two significant updates in the past month: the Helpful Content Update (HCU) and the Broad Core Update. So, you’re forgiven for finding it a challenge to determine which update to attribute the changes in your reports to.
Google clarified that the impact is likely caused by the September 2022 Product Review Update if you publish product reviews. If not, it’s more than likely due to the Core Update.
When considering the aforementioned Helpful Content Update, it’s important to note that the HCU could amplify any other updates. So, you may see more of an impact than experienced with previous product review updates. Additionally, those previously unaffected may now start to see changes in rankings.
The main aim of this update is to urge website owners to create high-quality product review pages that offer detailed information and value to potential customers. Although it may feel like a penalty to those affected, it is quite the contrary. In fact, Google rewards high-quality product reviews, which essentially may push your competitor’s rankings up and yours down.
Google places particular emphasis on reviews written by those who have tried and tested the products personally, offering insights different from those provided by the provider. This update, however, only applies to long-form reviews, offering insights on competitors’ product comparisons, pros and cons and photos or videos.
So if your website only publishes customer reviews rather than long-form product reviews, this update shouldn’t affect you as they are treated differently.
Take a look at the Help Doc providing suggestions on how to write good product reviews. In addition, Google has added three new tips regarding recommendations for “best product” reviews, whether to create a single or various reviews for multiple products and whether product review updates apply to comparison reviews and ranked lists.
Visit the Google Search Ranking Updates page to find out when the rollout is complete.
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