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:
Seeing late volatility with some sites impacted by the March 2022 Product Reviews Update. Most of that movement is in the same direction (surges continuing or drops dropping more). Maybe the tail end of the PRU... Stay tuned.pic.twitter.com/9PmpUQB0co— Glenn Gabe (@Glenn Gabe) 1649245657
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.
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