Google product reviews algorithm: what you should know

Google product reviews algorithm: impact

Christina Neuman

Google has announced an update to its ranking algorithm in relation to product reviews, in an effort to highlight more in-depth, informative overviews within search results. This update only involves English language reviews.

For those creating content, here are some additional useful questions to consider in terms of product reviews. Do your reviews:

  1. Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  2. Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  3. Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  4. Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  5. Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  6. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
  7. Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  8. Identify key decision-making factors for the product's category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  9. Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, explained that the update is more focused on review sites and affiliate websites than on e-commerce sites with customer product reviews. He also explained that although it is a separate algorithm at the moment, it could later be integrated into the general algorithm.

The Google Product Reviews Update showed a significant impact on review sites, that can be compared with Google Core Updates.

Google Update

As previously reported by Google, the full launch of the update may take about two weeks, but its effects became visible as early as Friday, April 9. On some forums, experts note a traffic decrease and SERP fluctuations.

Google has also explained that the Product Reviews Update can impact Discover visibility.

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