Lost Product Reviews: Google Update & The Crucial Role of Content
Many online business owners do not know about the Product Reviews: Google Update & The Crucial Role of Content rolled out in 2023. You will want to read this if you are selling and writing about products. If you don’t adhere to and make some changes, your page rank will most likely suffer.
But before we dive in, let me back up a bit and remark on repetitive issues I experienced all too often in 2023 from businesses I worked with. And it centers around content. Content, of course, is related to Googe updates, but I’m not addressing those issues. I’m talking about getting fresh content from my clients to complete their websites, splash pages, product reviews, or blogs.
Whenever I brought up the content issue on a client website, whether it was old or needed to be updated, they would say no problem, I can get you that.
Addressing the Content Conundrum:
Uncovering the Mystery: Missing Product Reviews Post-Google Update – A Reminder of the Vital Role of Quality Content. Creation Challenges: How Business Owners and Marketing Managers Can Expedite Projects and Campaigns
Is that in most situations, the business owner needs to learn how hard it is to write or improve on content?
Writing this simple post requires planning, research, and writing time. Most business owners have never set aside time to write website content. Or know how to optimize their content for the user (the reader) or Google SERPs.
According to Search Engine Land, there were nine confirmed Google algorithm updates—as well as a new AI search engine.
- The March 2023 core update was on March 15 and ended on March 28.
- The August 2023 core update was on August 22 and ended on September 7.
- The October 2023 core update was on October 5 h and ended on October 19.
What happens after an update?
In some cases, there is a drop-off in site rankings. I experienced this from my customers—especially those with marketing personnel overseeing their websites.
Owners who needed to look at their analytics experienced a drop in their readership, contact forms, and online product sales. Brands, businesses, and organizations must “be tuned” into how these updates impact their websites in search results.
Why is this important?
Understanding the timing of Google’s updates empowers website owners to differentiate between traffic fluctuations caused by alterations to their site and shifts in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Not only understanding the timing but knowing what they did in their updates is critical. There is far too much to discuss in one post what the 2023 updates are, but let’s look at one example.
Google has changed the name of its “product reviews system” to “reviews system”
Google is now looking at all kinds of updates, both product and general reviews. There were three review updates this year.
Google said it aims to promote more informative content than what is currently online. And that they encourage and promote these types of product reviews in their search results. The review system prioritizes insightful and comprehensive reviews, discouraging superficial summaries of various products, services, or other subjects. It undergoes continuous enhancements to provide users with an improved experience.
Google does not explicitly penalize product reviews of lower quality that consist of “thin content merely summarizing multiple products.” Nevertheless, if your content falls into this category and you notice a drop in rankings while other content gains prominence, it can seem like a setback.
The review system is specifically created to assess first-party standalone content, including articles, blog posts, pages, or similar materials authored to offer recommendations, opinions, or analyses. It does not assess third-party reviews, like those posted by users in the review section of a product or service page.
Reviews can encompass a variety of formats, including individual assessments, side-by-side comparisons, or ranked lists of recommendations. They can cover various subjects, spanning products like computers or outdoor clothing, media such as movies or video games, and services and businesses like restaurants or fashion brands.
According to Google’s technical standpoint, this is not a punitive action against your content. Instead, Google prioritizes sites that provide more comprehensive and insightful review content by positioning them above yours in search rankings.
Currently, this system applies to the following languages globally: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish. Read more here.
I have read that this update will impact product review content, not other types.
The takeaway: What you need to know if you’re promoting products
Google said it is interested in providing users with content written by an expert or someone very knowledgeable about the products they are writing about. Here are some of the points Google mentioned in their core updates. Some of these are sure to bug you.
Follow these pointers to get a shot at good page ranking.
- Give the readers options to purchase from merchants they like by including multiple links.
- Give examples and evidence of using the product, such as visuals, audio, or other links reinforcing your expertise.
- Comment on how products have been built or designed, going beyond what the manufacturer states.
- Tell the reader some critical decision factors about how the product performs in a particular area. For example, if you promote a battery-operated drill, you might say the one you show lasts the longest in your drill tests.
- Describe previous products and recent upgrades and features of the newest model.
- Describe some of the faults or bad design of the product.
- Include competitive products and how they compare in your review.
- Write about what makes the product you are reviewing better than the comparable models.
- Provide extensive product details such as weight, measurements, and other important information.
- Explain how the product is used and what it feels like physically with unique content that goes beyond what the manufacturer states.
But wait, there’s more
Google provided three more new points of advice for this third release of the product review update. They are more in-depth and extensive. (see this link)
You get the picture by now; selling or recommending a product as an affiliate will take much more time and cost. So you either try to get ahead of the curb or stay caught up.
Furthermore, if your website promotes products, you’ll want to review your analytics. Did your Google organic traffic improve, decline, or remain the same? Let me know!