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.

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