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Google Announces Rollout of Fifth Product Reviews Update

Google debuts another update before September 2022 core update is even completed

Another week and another surprise from Google. On September 20, 2022, the search giant announced the rollout of its fifth product reviews update, fittingly called the September 2022 product reviews update. While another installment of the product reviews update was expected, this one surprisingly launched before the September 2022 core update was completed.

Luckily, according to Google's search ranking updates log, the September 2022 core update and the fifth installment of the product reviews update were both completed on September 26, 2022.

Click here to get caught up on what we know so far about the September 2022 core update.

What Is a Product Reviews Update, and Why Are There Five of Them?

Google first launched the product reviews update in April 2021. In that announcement, Google said the update aimed to favor product reviews with in-depth research instead of “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” This update is not a core update, but rather an ongoing effort to specifically optimize product reviews in search results. Since it first launched, Google has rolled out additional product reviews updates in December 2021, March 2022, and July 2022.

After the September 2022 product reviews update, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan reminded a user on Twitter that the product reviews update is subject to periodic refreshes that won’t always be known to the public.

As with every update from Google, many site owners and publishers are left guessing about how to optimize their content for each product reviews update. Sometimes Google will provide some detail about what each product update entails, but always directs users to its official advice on how to write quality reviews. Here’s their list of best practices:

  • Evaluate the product from a user's perspective.
  • Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products reviewed — show you are an expert.
  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance.
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors.
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on your own original research.
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision.
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product's category and how the product performs in those areas (for example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas).
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.
  • Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
  • Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
  • When recommending a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, include why you consider that product the best, with first-hand supporting evidence.
  • Ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single product reviews for each recommended product.

Make Sure Your Product Reviews Are Set Up for Success

We still don’t know much about the September 2022 product reviews update, but as always, it's possible that any kind of site that publishes product reviews could feel the impact of this latest update in a big way.

Google hasn’t been shy about making it clear that the product reviews update is aimed at favoring high-quality reviews that add value to the user experience. The best way to take advantage of this is to make sure your site’s product reviews are detailed, high-quality, and easy to understand.

However, ratings and reviews for product pages are populated with structured data. When inputted correctly, it can be a powerful way to provide more information to Google about your product pages, which improves your search ranking in return. Click here to learn more.

Brace Yourself for Google’s Endless Stream of Updates

The September 2022 product reviews update made its debut on the heels of several major updates from Google in preceding weeks. If you’re a content creator, web developer, site owner, or anything in between, it’s impossible to find the time to keep up with these frequent algorithm changes that can often cause traffic volatility.

But you don’t have to be wondering if your content is up to Google’s rigorous, ever-changing standards. RebelMouse is a modern publishing platform that anticipates major changes from Google, like the September 2022 product reviews update, before they even happen. Our holistic search strategy makes sure that the sites within our network consistently rank highly on search and crush industry standards on site performance.

Request a proposal today to learn how and get started.

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