On September 20 at around 4 am ET, Google released the fifth iteration of the Google product reviews updates, titled September 2022 product reviews update. We were alerted by Google a few weeks ago to expect this update, which is unusual because it follows so soon on the heels of the previous product reviews update, which was in July 2022.
This is the fifth iteration of an update to the search ranking algorithm designed to improve users' ability to find the most relevant and helpful product reviews on the web. The first was released on April 8, 2021; the second on December 1, 2021; the third on March 23, 2022; the fourth on July 27, 0222; and the fifth on September 20, 2022; the updates were named "product reviews." The new version is titled "Product Reviews Update — September 2022."
The purpose of the new Google product reviews update is to highlight content that goes beyond the typical pre-written reviews. Google has stated that it will prioritize such product reviews in its search engine rankings.
Reviews that have "thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products" and is otherwise of poor quality are not being downgraded by Google. However, it can feel like a penalty when you provide this type of content and then see your rankings drop due to other content being promoted over yours. Google maintains that this is not a punishment for the quality of your writing; instead, it results from the search engine favoring sites with more in-depth review content.
In theory, this update should only impact product reviews.
The time required for this release is Google announced the release of the "September 2022 product reviews update for English-language product reviews" on March 21. It should be no surprise that these fundamental updates take a few weeks to implement. Most fluctuation in rankings is likely to occur at the beginning of this rollout. It took only five days to release the update in July of 2022.
Google has stated that "English-language product reviews" will be the focus of the initial rollout but that "creators of product reviews in any language" may be affected in the future. Search giant Google said it "plans to open up product review support for more languages" shortly because of the "positive effects" this update has had in the past.
Although the September 2022 core update is not yet complete, Google acknowledged as much on Twitter, writing, "Please be aware that the September 2022 core update is still in progress, but has made significant progress." We expect it to be available to the public within the next week and will announce it on the status page. In addition, Google detailed how to distinguish between the core update and the product reviews update and learn whether or not you were affected by either:
It was explained by Google as follows: "If you see a change and wonder if it's related to the core update or the product reviews update:
According to Google's official announcement, the update will prioritize results written by "experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well," i.e., content that provides original research and insightful analysis. The following is a list of "additional useful questions to consider in product reviews," similar to the fundamental update recommendations discussed above. Google suggests you address these issues and questions in your product reviews. Create some product evaluations.
There was also a reference to a blog post from earlier this year titled "Better Product Information for Shoppers" by Google.
In addition, Google has stated in the past that product review updates are distinct from core updates. This update is being released on its own and referred to as the "product reviews update." Google clarified to us that this is distinct from its periodic core updates. Google did note, however, that its previous guidance for major updates still stands: "about producing quality content for those is also relevant here." Google also offered additional tips and tricks for making the most of this update.
You should see if your search engine rankings have changed if your website features content such as product reviews. Did you see an increase, decrease, or maintenance in your organic Google traffic?
Long-term, you'll want to make sure that in the future, you put a lot more detail and effort into your product review content so that it is unique and stands out from the competition online.
This update to the product reviews is scheduled for release in September 2022, and it may provide compensation to those negatively affected by earlier core updates.
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