Product Reviews Update: What E-Commerce Sites Need to Know
With the goal of rewarding high-level purchasing advice on its search engine, Google dropped its third update on its Product Reviews feature earlier this year.
In March 2022, Google announced the release of its third algorithm update on its Product Reviews feature. In this recent rollout, the search engine proposed additional ranking guidelines for sites with product review pages.
Much like the previous Product Reviews updates, this March update is designed to elevate product reviews that demonstrate expertise and trustworthiness. Google aims to make helpful purchasing advice more accessible to searchers through this algorithmic change.
This latest update isn’t as big as previous ones released in April 2021 and December 2021. However, the newest Product Reviews update can still influence search engine results page (SERP) rankings of sites with product review pages, particularly e-commerce sites.
To make sure e-commerce sites are optimized for this updated algorithm, Google provided guidelines to optimize for this change. The search engine listed the following as additional recommendations when writing, selecting or featuring reviews:
- Offer extensive analyses of products on product review pages. This includes providing detailed descriptions of products’ specifications, advantages, and disadvantages.
- Provide supporting evidence of product use. This can be in the form of photos, videos, or audio files. Evidence must show the physical characteristics of the item.
- Feature reviews that demonstrate users’ experience with the product. Multimedia assets can be added for better visualization.
- Showcase original testimonials from actual product users on their product review pages. Reviews must be original and not lifted from other sites.
The goal of this new set of criteria is to encourage e-commerce sites to provide reviews that are original, thorough, and in-depth in order to give searchers the best purchasing advice. It also aims to eliminate unreliable sources of recommendations on its system and enhance product research altogether. So sites that follow this additional set of guidelines will most likely see an improvement in their SERP rankings.
Apart from these new recommendations, Google also provided additional advice to websites to improve their product pages. When granting product badges or recommending the best products to users, e-commerce sites are encouraged to provide clear justifications regarding what makes the items unique in the market or why they’re considered the best in their categories.
Furthermore, the search engine favors product comparisons and ranked lists that also demonstrate expertise and trustworthiness, just like standard product pages, but in a more concise manner. This can be made by affixing proof of testing or supporting evidence of product quality in the form of photos. Indeed, you can observe a substantial change in your traffic growth and SERP rankings by following these recommendations.
To be clear, the Product Reviews update impacts product review pages only. So far, Google hasn’t announced any intention to expand to other pages. In addition, this March update currently affects reviews written in English only and Google is still looking to expand this to other languages in the coming months.