Google is rolling out a third update to the product rating algorithm in search results, which builds on product rating updates introduced last year.
The first product rating algorithm update, designed to reward content with first-hand searches, went live in April 2021. A second product rating update followed in December.
Today’s update continues Google’s efforts to bring higher quality product reviews to search results.
“Today, we’re rolling out another update that builds on that work to improve our ability to identify high-quality product reviews. This will make it easier for us to get great buying advice in front of consumers. users and to reward creators who strive to be useful.”
Google says the update will take several weeks to roll out and will likely impact the ranking of English product reviews on “many” sites.
New tips from Google for writing product reviews
With the rollout of the March 2022 Product Algorithm Update, Google is releasing new guidelines on writing reviews to ensure they meet the search engine’s Quality Threshold.
Google recommends following the following criteria when creating product reviews:
- Include helpful, in-depth details, like the pros or cons of a certain item, details about a product’s performance, or how the product differs from previous versions
- Be from people who have actually used the products and show what the product physically looks like or how it is used
- Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides – such as 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 tips for reviews with multiple products
Since the launch of the first product algorithm update, it has not always been clear whether it applies to singular product reviews or reviews containing multiple product listings.
Google confirms that product rating updates apply to ranked listings and comparative 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 listings, you may want to demonstrate your expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way.Citing relevant results and including original images of tests you have performed with the product can be good ways to do this.
If you’re reviewing multiple products with the goal of recommending an overall “better” product, Google offers additional advice.
When recommending a product as best overall, or best for a certain purpose, be sure to include the following information in your review:
- What sets the product apart from others on the market
- Why is the product particularly suitable for the use for which it is recommended?
- First-hand evidence to back up your claims
Finally, Google adds that it’s perfectly acceptable to create reviews for individual products, even if they’ve also been rated in a ranked list.
If you choose to create multiple reviews, make sure there is enough useful content for each to stand on its own. Don’t just repeat the same points you’ve already raised.
To learn more about writing product reviews that meet Google’s Quality Score, see the recommendations shared with last year’s updates:
Feature image: Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock