Google has released the April 2023 Reviews Update, different from their Product Reviews update as it now also covers reviews for services, businesses, destinations, and media such as games, movies, etc.
It looks like this is how it will be moving forward – from just exclusively product reviews, to a more all-encompassing reviews system.
Google has also altered their language in multiple parts of their guidance documentation on product reviews to now apply to all types of reviews, including their guide on how to write high-quality reviews.
If you are a review site, may it be a site reviewing products, services, businesses, destinations, games, movies, or other topics, then reviewing the Google's guidelines is a must.
According to Google, The reviews system aims to better reward high-quality reviews, which they define as content that provides insightful analysis and original research written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well. The reviews system works to ensure that people see reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products, services or other things. It is designed to evaluate articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content written with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis.
The Reviews system applies to English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish. Read more on the Reviews System here.
As for writing quality reviews, here are some best practices from Google:
- Evaluate from a user's perspective.
- Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about what you are reviewing—show you are an expert.
- Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with what you are reviewing, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
- Share quantitative measurements about how something measures up in various categories of performance.
- Explain what sets something apart from its competitors.
- Cover comparable things to consider, or explain which might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of something, based on your own original research.
- 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.
- Focus on the most important decision-making factors, based on your experience or expertise (for example, a car review might determine that fuel economy and safety are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas).
- Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.
- Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
- Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
- When recommending something as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, include why you consider it the best, with first-hand supporting evidence.
- Ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single reviews.
Read more about how to write quality reviews in this Google documentation.