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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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Delivering a secure, high-performing environment with extreme reliability is essential to all of our clients at RebelMouse. We only use industry-leading, reliable approaches to host our infrastructure. This ensures maximum stability and security for all of our clients’ data. Here are just some of the reasons we’re able to maintain a hard-bodied product that’s flexible, too.

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Make sure your site is set up for success in 2022.

In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.

Since its rollout, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.

HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, has revealed how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. RebelMouse consistently outperforms major CMS platforms on Google's most critical metrics since its rollout and into 2022:

Getting superior scores on Google's performance benchmarks isn't easy, either. The Ahrefs blog analyzed Core Web Vitals data from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), which is data from actual Chrome users, to see how the web stacks up against Core Web Vitals. Their study found that only 33% of sites on the web are passing Core Web Vitals.

data from Ahrefs tracked on a line chart finds that shows only 33% of sites on the web pass Google's Core Web Vitals From Ahrefs.

Luckily, performing well on Core Web Vitals is possible with thoughtful, strategic changes to your site’s codebase. Here's what you need to know and how we can help.

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