Google has announced that they have released the February 2023 Product Reviews Update, which is rolling out to these languages – English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish. The update is set to complete rolling out in 2 weeks.
What Is The Product Reviews System?
The product reviews system aims to reward high quality product reviews that provide insightful analysis and original research written by experts or enthusiasts that are knowledgeable about the topic. It works to ensure that people see product reviews that share in-depth research rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.
The product reviews system primarily evaluates product reviews on a page-level basis but for sites that have a substantial amount of product reviews, any content within the site may be evaluated by the update. If your site does not have a lot or product reviews, a site-wide evaluation is not likely to happen.
Google’s documentation on the product reviews system also states that structured data might help them better identify something as a product review, however, they do not solely depend on it.
So what constitutes a good product review content? According to Google’s documentation on writing high quality product reviews, the following people can create the review pages:
- An expert staff member of a merchant that guides shoppers between competing products.
- A blogger that provides independent opinions of products.
- An editorial staff member at a news or other publishing site.
As for best practices in writing review pages, Google provides the following guide:
- Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective.
- Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products reviewed – show you are an expert.
- Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
- Share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance.
- Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors.
- Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, 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.
- 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).
- 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 a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, include why you consider that product 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 product reviews for each recommended product.
For content or sites that have been affected by the product review update, assuming improvements have been made, recovery might not be until the next product reviews update is released. Google also adds that their automated assessment of product review content is only one of many factors that they use in ranking content and changes can happen anytime due to various reasons.