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Google’s Latest Product Reviews Update Is Causing Late-Stage Search Volatility

Here’s what you need to know about Google’s latest update

In case you missed it, Google released a new algorithm update in March 2022 that focused on product reviews and their rankings in search returns. Officially called the March 2022 Product Reviews Update, Google began rolling out the changes on March 23, 2022, and said that the update would take about three weeks to complete.

Some site owners experienced peak volatility around their search traffic on March 31, but Barry Schwartz at SEO Roundtable noticed some late-stage volatility a week later. He wasn’t alone either:


While it’s not completely clear that these traffic fluctuations are related to the March 2022 Product Reviews Update, it’s likely that they are. Regardless, if you host a site that features product reviews, it’s a good time to make sure you’re up to speed on Google’s latest changes. This is actually Google’s third version of its Product Reviews Update. There were two previous updates in April 2021 and December 2021.

According to Google, the March 2022 version of the update “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.”

If that seems vague, it’s because Google’s updates are notoriously foggy on the details. However, Google does suggest following its best practices for product reviews to make sure your site is ready for the latest update.

Aside from making sure that your site hosts quality reviews that meet Google’s standards, it’s also important that ratings and reviews for product pages are populated with structured data. When developed correctly, structured data can be a powerful way to provide more information to Google about your product pages, which improves your search rankings in return.

For example, we successfully marked up the product review pages for RebelMouse-powered Premier Guitar. Soon after, their articles were ranking at the top of Google's organic search results:

Click here to learn more about our structured data for reviews and ratings.

Stay on Top of Google’s Latest Updates With RebelMouse

RebelMouse is a publishing platform with built-in, proprietary search technology that makes it easy for each piece of content to rank quickly and prominently on search engine results pages. We stay on top of Google’s latest updates so that you can focus on creating quality, SEO-friendly content that drives the level of traffic your site deserves.

Click here to start chatting with us about how we can help transform your business.

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Rebel Insights

RebelMouse Q1 2021 Platform Updates

Speed, performance, and Core Web Vitals enhancements

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates!

At RebelMouse, we pour our souls into making sure that our platform is always the most modern, high-performance CMS on the market. In fact, we invested over $100,000 worth of hours into our platform in Q1 2021 alone. This has resulted in updates and performance enhancements that publishers would have to pay for on their own to make happen on any other platform, such as WordPress. We're proud to be at a level of scale where we can invest this way into our platform, and we will continue to invest at this rate every quarter moving forward just as we have in the past.

Here are the major updates that we've added to the platform in Q1.

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Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty
Rebel Insights

Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty

New data from Chartbeat shows engagement time is increasing despite traffic dips

Getting users to your site is only half the battle. For publishers, it’s now become more critical to focus on how long those users stay on your site — and if they ever come back. Q1 2022 data analyzed by Chartbeat found that engagement is on the rise, even though metrics like pageviews and mobile traffic experienced a decline.

Chartbeat measures engaged time by the “amount of time that readers spend actively engaging with a page — scrolling, clicking, or moving their mouse.” With this in mind, their data showed that most regions in the world registered an average of 30 seconds of engaged time on site in Q1. Readers in Latin America led the results with an average of 34.7 seconds of engaged time.

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Google Launches Long Tap to Preview Function for Discover
Rebel Insights

Google Launches Long Tap to Preview Function for Discover

Google Discover just got a bit more interactive. SEO consultant Glenn Gabe posted on Twitter that he noticed a long tap to preview function pop up on Google Discover for Chrome users.

The new preview feature is another great reason to start optimizing your content for Google Discover. As a reminder, according to Google, Discover is a hyper-personalized feed that "actively tunes itself to a user's interests and displays content that aligns with those interests." Since Discover's feed is curated by a user's previous web activity, it's a great opportunity to expose your content to an ultra-targeted audience.

The long tap to preview allows a user to preview an article page when they press and hold down on a story. Here’s a screenshot of what the new long tap to preview looks like:

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