Google's Product Reviews Update

Key points for site owners & affiliate marketers:

By Glenn Gabe

What did the update target?

The update was designed to reward in-depth reviews versus thinner review content (whether that’s a single product review, a group of products, service reviews, UGC reviews, etc.)

Thin vs. Valuable:
Google knows that people are looking for high-quality, insightful, and helpful content while researching products or services. They don't want thin content.

The update began rolling out on April 8, 2021 & took two weeks to roll out.

Important Note:
Google explained it's evaluating sites & sections on a broader level with the update.

So it's beyond just a page versus page comparison. Think holisitically about your site and reviews content.

The Core Update Connection

Site and section-level evaluation made sense since some sites previously impacted by broad core updates surged back.

E.g., some sites saw recovery-like visiblity gains after December core update drops.

This is NOT the typical way sites recover from core updates.

Types of reviews impacted:
Google explained that several types of reviews can be impacted, including product, service, and UGC reviews.

Frequency and Recovery:

Google explained that the Product Reviews Update requires a periodic refresh and we might not be told when that happens. Sites need to improve and wait for the refresh to see recovery.

Google's Danny Sullivan responded on Twitter about the refresh.

Google Discover Impact:

Since Google is evaluating sites & sections more broadly with the update, Discover visbility can be impacted (just like with core updates). See the next page for an example >>

Great Example of Discover Impact:
This site surged into Discover with the Products Review Update after having *no visibility at all* prior to the update (ever).

Questions From Google:

Google provided an important list of questions that site owners should consider (and objectively answer) about their reviews content.

More Questions From Google:

What's Thin vs. Valuable?

To better understand thin vs. valuable reviews content, visit my blog post about the Product Reviews Update. I also provide the anatomy of a great review article.

Summary: Google's Product Reviews Update

  • Rolled out on April 8, 2021.
  • Targets several types of review content.
  • Goal is to surface insightful, high-quality reviews (& not thin content).
  • Google is evaluating sites & sections more broadly with the update.
  • Requires a periodic refresh.

Information about Glenn Gabe:

Learn more about Glenn Gabe of GSQi.

Visit Glenn's blog for more SEO posts.

Follow Glenn on Twitter.