On February 21, 2023, Google unveiled its sixth update for product reviews. This update, which took 14 days to fully deploy and concluded on March 7, refines how Google ranks and showcases reviews of product quality on its search engine results pages (SERPs). The aim is to furnish users with more reliable and beneficial insights on product quality.
As the most recent adjustments to Google’s algorithms continue to influence the realm of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it is imperative for businesses to remain well-informed about these alterations in order to sustain their competitiveness. In this piece, we delve into the latest update concerning product reviews by Google, scrutinize its implications on search rankings, and offer guidance on how businesses can promptly adapt to these transformations.
Initially, Let’s Define Google Algorithm Updates
The query “What do Google algorithm updates entail?” is one frequently posed by businesses.
Search engines undergo swift evolution to enhance user experiences or accommodate shifts in industry trends. Google’s algorithm updates are typically centered around E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These updates can induce shifts in rankings, profoundly affecting the traffic to your website.
Given the expanding list of Google algorithm updates, brands must vigilantly monitor these modifications and be ready to fine-tune their approaches accordingly.
What Constitutes the Product Review Update and How Does It Operate?
Introduced initially in April 2021, Google’s product reviews update was not a core update but an ongoing endeavor to enhance product reviews in search outcomes. Subsequently, Google has introduced various updates to the product reviews system.
Below is a catalog of Google algorithm updates focusing on product review content:
- Update in December 2021
- Update in March 2022
- Update in July 2022
- Update in September 2022
Google’s system for product reviews is structured to prioritize reviews that offer comprehensive and insightful assessments, rather than thin, formulaic content that merely provides a summary of numerous products.
Unlike preceding updates to Google’s search algorithm, this product reviews update is more extensive in its scope. It affects a broader range of languages, including:
Maintaining a watchful eye on the expanding roster of Google algorithm updates is crucial for online success. An adept SEO team can assist in evaluating your site, conducting a Google search ranking assessment, and devising product review strategies that align with the updates implemented in 2023.
Directives for Crafting High-Quality Google Product Reviews
- Google product reviews should showcase the reviewer’s expertise by offering firsthand substantiating evidence in the form of visuals, audio, or links.
- Utilize quantitative metrics to illustrate the product’s performance across various categories.
- Thoroughly elucidate the unique value propositions of the product.
- Emphasize that quality and originality in Google product reviews outweigh sheer length.
The product reviews system predominantly evaluates feedback on products on a page-by-page basis. Nevertheless, websites featuring a substantial volume of product review content may necessitate a site-wide evaluation.
Yet, the Google product reviews update isn’t solely confined to the content of the reviews themselves. Recent Google algorithm updates also factor in the overall quality and trustworthiness of the platforms hosting these reviews. This implies that product reviews on platforms featuring authentic, valuable, and reputable content are more likely to attain higher rankings on SERPs.
Having said that, it’s crucial to note that the latest Google algorithm updates do not directly penalize lower-quality product reviews with meager content. Essentially, they reward platforms with more perceptive reviews. However, if your rankings dip due to Google algorithm updates favoring the product reviews of your competitors, the effect can feel akin to a penalty.
Evaluating the Turbulence Induced by the Google Product Reviews Algorithm Update
The Google product reviews update was observed to have a substantial impact, leading to considerable volatility in search rankings from February to early March.
Presently, distinguishing the disparity between the prior and the recent updates remains challenging. However, one thing is certain: the February 2023 update exhibited more volatility compared to the updates in July 2022 and September 2022. It significantly influenced numerous rankings, particularly within the top ten results.
As per data from Semrush and Wix, Mordy Obersterin stated that the February 2023 update resulted in a 156% more pronounced increase in volatility compared to the Google algorithm updates in July 2022, as per U.S. desktop search data.
The Semrush Sensor scale indicated an escalation in volatility, rising from a baseline of 1.8 before the July 2022 update to 2.7. In contrast, the February 2023 Google algorithm updates exhibited a baseline of 3.1, which escalated to 5.4.
Semrush’s data unveiled substantial alterations in keyword rankings across various industries following the Google updates in 2023. For instance, Beauty and Fitness, Shopping, and Hobbies and Leisure witnessed an increase of 6.7%, 7.3%, and 6.8% respectively, with URLs moving up into the top 10 search results from not ranking in the top 20.
To ensure your website is prepared for any updates to the product reviews algorithm, it is advisable to consistently refer to Google’s product reviews guidelines. Google also suggests that implementing structured data may aid their crawler in better recognizing product reviews and indexing websites.
Strategies for Generating More High-Quality Reviews
Google algorithm updates are implemented to enhance the precision and pertinence of search outcomes. Businesses reliant on SEO to channel traffic to their websites need to be vigilant about Google updates in 2023 and swiftly adjust their tactics as necessary.
To stay ahead of the latest Google search algorithm updates, website owners should guarantee that their product reviews offer lucid, comprehensive, and reliable information.
Here are a few techniques for garnering more high-quality product reviews:
1. Provide Incentives in Exchange for Reviews
Almost 73% of consumers indicate they would be motivated to write a review if offered an incentive (Power Reviews).
You can offer complimentary products, exclusive early access, special discounts, loyalty points, or free shipping vouchers. By extending free or discounted shipping to customers, you not only enhance product content but also cultivate customer loyalty.
2. Dispatch Personalized Post-Purchase Emails
Ideally, customers should voluntarily submit product reviews. However, in reality, most customers require a gentle nudge in the form of a post-purchase email.
A timely, personalized thank-you email can further fortify trust in your brand. Experiment with various engaging subject lines or headlines and optimize the layout of your post-purchase emails to capture the recipient’s attention and encourage them to leave a review.
3. Optimize Review Forms for Mobile
In 2022, over 60% of the global internet population accessed the internet using a mobile device (Statista). Leveraging mobile traffic is one way to generate more product reviews.
Product review forms should be entirely responsive on any device – be it a computer, tablet, or smartphone – to ensure that customers don’t abandon the process due to inconvenience.
4. Gather Image and Video Reviews
The latest Google product review update favors reviews that incorporate “visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product” to bolster the reviewer’s expertise and authenticate the review.
According to a recent study by Intent Lab, the majority of consumers assign more significance to visual information compared to text when making a purchase.
Given that a growing number of individuals prefer reviews accompanied by images, permitting reviewers to submit photos and videos not only boosts your unique content but also reinforces trust with customers and heightens conversion rates.
5. Share Reviews on Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms constitute some of the finest venues for disseminating customer feedback.
You can either repost customer testimonials or craft engaging posts that spotlight a direct quote. This demonstrates to customers that you value their perspectives. Simultaneously, transparency is an excellent means of earning the trust of potential ideal customers.
Sharing customer reviews on social media substantiates your brand’s credibility and encourages other customers to contribute their own reviews.
6. Implement Structured Data Markup
Incorporating schema markup aids search engines in comprehending the context and significance of the review. Structured data identifies specific particulars, such as the product’s name, price, and review rating. This empowers search engines to seamlessly crawl and index the content.
Allow Leadshouse to Position Your Brand in Front of the Right Audience
Consumers rely on product reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. By augmenting the quantity and quality of your product reviews, you’re positioning your business for higher search rankings and enduring prosperity.
Let Leadshouse assist you in navigating Google’s search engine algorithm updates and staying ahead of the competition. We can conduct a thorough site audit and Google search ranking assessment to formulate the most effective strategy for your SEO. Our comprehensive range of SEO solutions encompasses keyword research, link building, content creation, on-page and off-page optimization, as well as local SEO services.
Simultaneously, our affiliate company, Rize Reviews, delivers services for generating and monitoring reviews to fortify your company’s visibility and online reputation.
Reach out to us to discover how Leadshouse’s content creation and local SEO services can enable you to swiftly adapt to Google’s search algorithm updates.