Google has updated its algorithm to account for product reviews and this update does affect some brands who post reviews through Google.
Here’s a quick blurb on Google’s product review update and whether or not you should care about it:
What is Google’s Product Review Update?
The Google Product Ratings program allows brands to display aggregated reviews on products when shopping on Google. These ratings are shown in free listings and ads and they show up as 1 to 5-star ratings and a total number of reviews.
The update is aimed at improving how online product review content is displayed. Essentially, Google wants the most helpful reviews to be prioritized. Of course, this is in line with Google’s desire to be as accurate and helpful as possible.
Therefore, if someone wants to make a purchase, whether it is on a product page, eCommerce page, or you’re scrolling through review sites, Google wants to make sure that the pages being given are effectively helping to make an informed purchase decision.
The update therefore prioritizes:
- Reviews that have in-depth research rather than thin content
- Improved ranking system for reviews
- Quality reviews
- Reviews with high levels of relevance
- A focus on more insightful analysis or research
- Reviews written by experts or enthusiasts who are familiar with the topic, product, or service
This update is website focused (not just URL slugs) and it therefore might affect an entire website.
How Does Google’s Product Review Update Affect You?
Google regularly updates its algorithm and often this affects SEO. Google’s product review update is not one of its core updates, so any changes that it made won’t affect your web page’s search index. The only real change that it affects is when brands, business, and eCommerce websites publish reviews in the form of blogs.
While the update is not attached to a core algorithm update, it can affect sections of your website. If you don’t publish any product reviews, then you won’t be affected by this update.
Luckily, Google has published guidelines on how to navigate the changes made back in the beginning of 2021. So if you have published reviews on your page and you’ve noticed a dip in SEO, then you might want to address your reviews!
How to Build High-Quality Sites
Overall, okwrite follows Google’s long-proven motto of high-quality websites, and we provide this for all our partners and clients. This is because high-quality sites are the most helpful and the most relevant to the consumer when using a search engine such as Google.
While Google’s product review is definitely not a core update, it is in line with the trends of Google’s updates. BERT, a huge core update that has affected the very ways that we interact in online search, was also a major shift towards promoting and rewarding high-quality content.
The product review update was issued in April 2021, and since then, we’ve noticed some dips in web traffic with eCommerce websites. Nonetheless, this suggests major trends towards high-quality product reviews over others.
High-quality content should be:
- Have a purpose
- Provide value to the audience
High-quality content is not:
- Slanted towards a personal favorite or opinion
- Filled with grammatical errors
Best-Practices for Product-Related Marketing Content
Google is reminding us that content is king (or as we say, content is queen!) and that providing high-quality content is soon moving up in the online hierarchy. High-quality content should be a focus across all your digital marketing campaigns.
Here’s what SEO-rich content should be for product-related reviews:
- Information should be relevant. For the product review update, Google relies on accurate and trusted data (including the addition of elements like SKU and GTIN numbers) so that shoppers can be informed.
- The information should be clear and easy to understand.
- Reviewers should be providing product names and even years.
- High-quality photos are a plus
- Be cautious around sponsored content, which relies on backlinks for promotions. Website owners can notify Google when sponsored content is being used and this might affect how Google treats your page.
Why Content is so Important
Content marketers know that content is key for more site visitors and conversions. Content creation is also huge for eCommerce.
According to recent data, 47% of global purchases are made online, and nearly half of shoppers use Google to find new products.
The bottom line is that the eCommerce market is huge! In 2019, that market brought in nearly $3.5 trillion, making up 51% of website traffic! If this is true, then content is critical to visitors making their way to your website.
Before looking into technical ways of improving your website, brands should consider content marketing.
Blogging and improving the language on your site will improve your rankings overall. Even if you have yet to optimize your product reviews, you can use content production and digital marketing tactics to inform Google that your page is trying to improve overall.
Internet browsing is now more normal than ever, and it’s how people like to spend their time. It’s like a trip to the mall! By not prioritizing your webpage and product content, then you’re missing out on lots of web traffic.