Google recently released a new algorithm update that aims to promote high-quality product reviews. Dubbed the “product reviews update,” Google announced that the update will promote better-written product reviews with deeply researched content rather than thin content that summarizes products superficially. Generally, original research and insightful reviews will be higher ranked in Google search results, especially those created by enthusiasts or experts with a deep understanding of the topic.
While these algorithm updates have a lot of implications for review blogs and articles that compare and review products online, they also come with guides and best practices for creating such content.
According to Google, these new updates aim to improve online product review content and ensure that only the best and most helpful results top the search results. By doing this, the platform will provide both accurate and high-quality content for users relying on reviews to make purchases and other eCommerce decisions.
That said, unlike other preceding Google updates, these changes focus on websites and content, not URLs. Therefore, they will most likely affect entire websites and not sections of the site. Since the changes are not core algorithm updates, they will only affect rankings of specific types of content in Google’s search index. Non-reviewing websites or platforms that don’t publish product reviews won’t see any effect from the updates.
Also worth noting is that the updates will affect SEO rankings of all types of reviews. From service review, round-ups, and single-product reviews, to other regular reviews.
OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT
As mentioned, Google provided a guideline that business owners, marketers, and content creators can leverage to get the most out of the update. While there is no clarity on the technicalities of the product review updates, SEO writing guidelines are at play. SEO ranking factors are used as signals, so businesses can use well-known strategies to optimize their content.
Proper keyword research, technical SEO, and meta-data optimization are certainly beneficial. That aside, you should approach these updates by ensuring that your product reviews are written for the user. This ensures your content will meet Google’s goal of insightful and expert content over a vague and “thin” review.
That said, Google provided some questions that marketers can use as a guide when creating their product reviews. Your content should;
• Always provide expert knowledge about products reviewed
• Demonstrate the products physically, how to use, and unique information beyond what manufacturers provide on the box or product.
• Provide key measurements and the overall performance of products
• Explain what features differentiate the product from other competing products
• Feature competing products and highlight which product is best for specific users or situations
• Outline the advantages and disadvantages of the product
• Describe the evolution of products from previous versions and the benefits of these improvements
Indicate key decision-making features about the product’s niche and how the reviewed product performs in these areas. For instance, if a review of a garden hose determines that the length, material make, cost, and flexibility are decision-making factors, explain how the reviewed product performs in these areas.
Taking these questions into consideration will help boost your content on Google search engine results.
AVOID NEGATIVE IMPACTS
Like other algorithmic changes and fluctuations in search engine rankings, there is no specific solution to the negative impacts of these updates. However, it is best to ensure that you provide honest, accurate, and high-quality content. Therefore, besides counter-checking your reviews with the guide above, you should also read through Google’s Search Central documents. This will help you build high-quality content while avoiding penalties resulting from algorithmic updates.
For long-term success, ensure that you continue to produce detailed and unique product reviews that stand out from competing sites.
Mike Gingerich is President of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing firm. He is also a business blogger on tech, marketing, and growth. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.