Google rolls out the March 2022 product review algorithm update, adding new criteria to the updates launched last year.
Google launches a third product review algorithm update in search results, which builds off of the product review updates introduced last year.
The first product review algorithm update, which is designed to reward content with first-hand research, went live in April 2021. A second product review update followed in December.
Today’s update continues Google’s efforts toward surfacing higher quality product reviews in search results.
“Today, we’re launching another update that builds on that work to enhance our ability to identify high quality product reviews. This will make it easier for us to get sound purchasing advice in front of users, and to reward creators who are earnest in being helpful.”
Google says the update will take several weeks to roll out and is likely to impact the ranking of English-language product reviews across “many” sites.
New Guidance From Google For Writing Product Reviews
With the rollout of the March 2022 product algorithm update, Google is publishing new guidance on writing reviews to ensure they meet the search engine’s quality threshold.
Google recommends meeting the following criteria when creating product reviews:
- Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
- Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
- Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
- Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors
Google’s Guidance For Reviews With Multiple Products
Since launching the first product algorithm update it hasn’t always been clear whether it applies to reviews of singular products, or reviews containing lists of multiple products.
Google confirms the product review updates do apply to ranked lists and comparison reviews.
“Yes. Product review updates apply to all forms of review content. The best practices we’ve shared also apply. However, due to the shorter nature of ranked lists, you may want to demonstrate expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way. Citing pertinent results and including original images from tests you performed with the product can be good ways to do this.”
If you’re writing a review of multiple products with the intention to recommend a “best” product overall, Google has additional guidance.
When recommending a product as the best overall, or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to include the following information in your review:
- What sets the product apart from others in the market
- Why is the product particularly suited for its recommended purpose?
- First-hand evidence to support your claims
- Lastly, Google adds it’s perfectly fine to create reviews for products individually, even if they’ve also been reviewed in a ranked list.
Should you choose to create multiple reviews, make sure there is enough useful content for each of them to stand on their own. Don’t just repeat the same points you already made.