Google announced a new search algorithm update calling the product reviews update. It is designed to rank well–researched, in-depth content over brief product reviews.
The Google Product Rating program allows merchants to attract more potential buyers and to draw traffic to their website making available all the information needed for their purchase.
To help buyers to find this information more easily, Product Ratings are now directly displayed in Product Listing ads. ratings on products that are listed on Google Shopping are available in every country where Google Shopping has been launched.
To be clear, this is not a core algorithm update that affects all search results. This update specifically targets product reviews.
In an announcement, Google says it designed the product reviews update to reward content that users find the most helpful.
As explained by Google:
“ Google Search is always working to show the most useful and helpful information possible, through testing, experimenting, and review processes. From this, we know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems, which we call the product reviews update, that’s designed to better reward such content.”
The focus of the update is to provide increased SERP placement to product reviews that include insightful analysis and original research.
For now, this update available only English-language search results.
Sites that don’t have product reviews have nothing to worry about with this update.
Sites that do product reviews should carefully monitor their traffic and look for anything out of the ordinary.
To help with this, Google has also provided specific advice on what, exactly, it’s looking to the better surface with this update, saying that it will put increased focus on review content which:
- Expresses expert knowledge about products.
- Shows what the product is like physically, and/or how it’s used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer.
- Provides quantitative measurements about how the product measures up in various categories of performance.
- Covers comparable products to consider or explains which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
- Discusses the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research.
- Describes how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements.
- Identifies key decision-making factors for the product’s category, and how the product performs in those areas.
The above recommendations are in line with Google’s goal of rewarding the most useful product reviews.
We’ll likely learn more about this algorithm update over time as it continues to roll out.
This update is already in live now.
Any sudden hike or drop in search traffic, likely indicates a site was impacted by the product reviews update.
Regardless of any changes in traffic, site owners should add an annotation to Google Analytics and other monitoring tools to indicate the product reviews update went live today.
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