There’s no denying it: people love reviews. In fact, almost 90% of consumers go out of their way to read reviews before making a purchase. And why wouldn’t they? There are lots of benefits to be had from reading reviews. They can give consumers an idea of what to expect from a product, its quality, and ultimately, whether it’s worth the purchase.
Google knows that consumers put a lot of trust into product reviews, so it’s no wonder that they’ve decided to make some changes regarding their search engine results page (SERP) rankings. On December 1, 2021, Google started rolling out its December Product Review Update, its second after the one in April 2021. These updates were meant to promote only the highest quality product reviews based on consumer feedback.
Here’s our take on Google’s Product Review Updates.
What are Google’s Product Review Updates?
Google is known for taking its SERP rankings seriously. So, to help ensure only the highest quality content is making its way to the top of the list, they’ve started these Product Review Updates, or PRUs. These PRUs have had a considerable impact on how Google ranks this type of content.
For example, the April 2021 release contained some guidelines to help creators and SEO experts understand what Google now considers to be high-quality content. If you want your review content to rank well, it should do the following:
- Contain expert knowledge about the product in question
- Provide unique content outside of basic manufacturer instructions
- Use quantitative measurements to compare products
- Weigh the pros and cons of a product
- Identify other key factors that may influence a purchase decision
The December 2021 PRU included two additional best practices for creating high-quality content. Your content should also:
- Provide first-hand evidence of your personal experience with the product, including video, images, or other links
- Give consumers links to multiple sellers so they can choose where they purchase the products
However, note that these last two guidelines were not a part of the December update. They are more meant to indicate where Google may be going with their algorithm in the future.
Who is Affected by Google’s Product Review Updates?
These updates are meant to target websites that often focus on product reviews, such as blogs and affiliate websites. However, ecommerce websites are also affected, as people often rely on product reviews to purchase items online.
How Do You Create High-Quality Reviews with the New Updates?
If you’re looking to increase your rankings under Google’s new system, try and create reviews that feature the following:
- Include your own images, video, etc. with your product reviews. This shows you’ve actually tried the product.
- Write for the user. Go above and beyond the manufacturer’s instructions, and talk about how the product worked in your everyday life.
- Compare products alongside their competition
- Provide links to multiple sellers
While it may mean more work for creators, Google’s focus on high-quality content is certainly a win for consumers. Simply follow their guidelines, and your site should do just fine on the SERPs.
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