Google launched a product reviews update at the beginning of December 2021 which will impact how SEO agencies approach this aspect of future campaigns. We’ve commented (more than once) on the frequency and proximity of updates throughout 2021 and this was quite a large change to sneak in at the end of the year! This update was the second product reviews update we experienced in 2021 and came immediately after a core algorithm update which look place in November and also came alongside a local search update.
Data providers, including Semrush, have reported that the December update was noticeably bigger than the previous, which took place in April 2021. Google have communicated that the update took roughly 3 weeks to finish rolling out, potentially creating a lot of ranking disruptions across the Christmas period. In our experience, the majority of change during an update takes place relatively quickly, so SEO teams will have spotted any issues almost immediately. Volatility across sectors was high throughout the first half of December which accounts for this update.
Last year has been incredibly volatile in the SEO world and we’re planning to provide another recap to summarise the updates and changes for anyone struggling to keep up – we don’t blame you!
Google have stated that the update aims to improve results by “providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well”. To benefit from the recent update, consider these aspects of your reviews in addition to the guidance found here.
- Do your reviews contain expert knowledge?
- Do your reviews show what the product looks like and how it’s used?
- Do your reviews contain unique content? (not provided by the manufacturer)
- Do your reviews contain measurements regarding performance, usage or other relevant figures?
- Do you reviews illustrate how a product differs from a competitors?
- Do your reviews consider other similar products and which might be better for different circumstances?
- Do your reviews give a balanced argument containing both the benefits and drawbacks?
- Do your reviews set out how the product has improved from previous models or versions?
- Do your reviews clearly define the key decision-making factors?
- Do your reviews go beyond what the manufacturer outlines in terms of how it’s designed its effect on users?
These all relate to the quality of content that appears on your site and there should be a focus on expertise, authority and how this develops trust with both users and search engines. Ask yourself, how valuable is my content and does it genuinely service the best interests for anyone reading?
If you have any questions regarding website content and its impact on SEO or specifically about this update, contact us and we’d be happy to help.