The April 2023 Reviews Update, which started rolling out last April 12, 2023, is now complete and it took 13 days to finish rolling out.
As initially mentioned in our article on its rollout, the reviews update now encompasses reviews on products, services, businesses, destinations, and media such as games, movies, etc. Previously, there were product reviews updates which focused on reviews only on products but that has now expanded to cover more.
The reviews system does not penalize sites, rather, it 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 applies to English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Have you experienced drops while the update was rolling out and wondering how to move forward? 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.
As to when to expect ranking improvements, provided that you have made the necessary improvements to your content, Google does not exactly say but as with all other updates, improvements may be experienced in the next reviews update. Just enough time for you to go through Google’s documentation on writing reviews and make some content updates to your site.
Check out The Google Search Status Dashboard for more information on when updates roll out. You could also subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated on SEO News, including Google update rollouts and anything SEO.