Google confirmed the roll out of March 2022 product review updates. The roll out started on March 23 and it was completely rolled out over a 19 day period.
The update is designed to make sure the reviews come from people who have expert knowledge and first-hand research about the products. The update is for English language content for now but will be expanded to other languages too.
According to Google, the reviews that give the periphery of products are not interesting to the users.
Google wants the sites to publish quality reviews to get an edge as users are interested in such content when searching online. Though Google does not intend to penalise such reviews based on quality.
The update aims to reward high-level product reviews over the thinner product review content. The current update will give a boost to in-depth research based reviews.
Google said that this update will help them get good purchasing advice in front of the users and reward creators who are being helpful.
This update can impact product reviews across various sites. This update can impact your performance on Google Discover.
The following are the criteria to be considered for authentic reviews:
- State the benefits and the drawbacks of the products. Also state how it is different from the previous version.
- Give information from the people who have physically or digitally used the product. Also give evidence about what it looks like and how to use it.
- The review should be beyond what is provided by the manufacturer. Give the perspective of the reviewer through visuals, audio and links.
- Give a list of similar products to the user and also state how the reviewed product stands out from the rest.
Google added these two best practices around this update:
- Provide proof such as video, audio and links of your experience with the product so as to support the expertise and authenticity of your review.
- Add links to multiple sellers so that the reader has the option to purchase from the merchant of their choice.
Google has offered three new points of advice:
- Product review updates apply to all forms of content reviews. They are relevant to ranked lists and also comparison reviews. Due to the shorter feature of ranked lists you should demonstrate expertise and authenticity in a concise way. Pertinent results and the original images of the tests you performed with the product are a good way to do it.
- If you recommend a product as the best or best for a certain purpose then you should share with the user why the particular product is the best. Also say what sets the product apart from the other products in the market and why is the product suited for its purpose. Also include first-hand evidence to support it.
- When creating reviews for multiple products do you have to write reviews for products individually? It would be good to write a high quality ranked list of related products along with single reviews for each product. If you write both then there should be enough useful content in the ranked list.
What to do if you are hit by this update?
If you are hit by this update then this is the checklist to find out what went wrong:
- Check if your products are reviewed by experts with a digital footprint in the field.
- Check if you are providing value to the review by including the pros and the cons to help the users make informed decisions.
- Check if you did quantitative analysis where the product was put under various performance tests to measure how it performs.
- Check if you have compared the product with the ones already available in the market. And have you given the details as to what makes the product you reviewed unique.
- Did you talk about product improvements made when compared to the last version.
- Check if you have highlighted the factors that make or break a deal.
- Check if you have used video, images, graphs and other evidence to back your claim.
- Check if you have given the users more buying options. Do not over-promote one seller.