Google releases product reviews update to keep all content up-to-date and relevant for their users. The update was released on the 21st of February at 5 pm ET. More languages have been added as part of the new update, so updates would be affected if any website had been left under the radar in previous product reviews.
In this article
- What’s New In The Update?
- Who Does The Update Impact?
- How To Prepare For The Update?
- Should You Be Worried?
What’s New In The Update?
This February 2023 update is the sixth in a series of product review updates, and the latest one is named the Google February 2023 Product Reviews Update. This product reviews update aims to reward websites that do more than just give a simple spec sheet of the products. This update considers product listings that are detailed, with plenty of information about the product and containing relevant links to the product manufacturer and the real accounts of the user that gave the product review.
The product review update will ensure that users get a detailed overview of a product, not just thin layers of words that hardly describe the product.
The new February 2023 update is an evolution of the previous update but has some minor changes. More languages have been added to Google’s algorithm, which scans the internet for product review sites. The new languages include:
Who Does The Update Impact?
The Google February 2023 product reviews update will hit the following websites.
- Affiliate sites that review products or services.
- Websites that offer products (for example, any brand with a website offering its products and services).
- Websites that offer services (for example, doctors or lawyers who offer them through their sites).
The reason why sites offering services will be hit by this update is that Google’s algorithm won’t be able to differentiate between a product and service site with a site that offers only a product or only services.
If a brand has a site where you can buy products and they have product reviews, Google’s algorithm will define it as a product review site.
How To Prepare For The Update?
If you have a product review site or a brand site with a customer review section on your website, these are some important and helpful tips that can help you be better prepared for when the update hits the site.
1. Use Proper Image Alt Text
If Google sees stock images of a product with a generic alt text like “iPhone 13 Pro,”
chances are Google’s algorithm will write it off as a stock template image, and when combined with the customer reviews, it will think it is a product review site.
So, to prevent this from happening, using descriptive image alt text helps Google’s algorithm to understand the image better. Instead of an iPhone 13 Pro stock image, use an image of you or someone else holding the phone. Then change the image alt text to “a person holding a gray iPhone 13 Pro in their hand.” This will help Google understand the site is not a product review site.
2. Clearly Mention The User Review Section
If you have a product review section on your website, clearly mention it and also link the user’s LinkedIn or any other social media account. It is important to link genuine accounts of the users to help Google understand that this is a user review site and not someone else’s personal website. If there are numerous customer reviews with their genuine accounts linked, it will be helpful for Google’s algorithm to understand that it is a product reviews page.
3. Make Sure Your Website Is Verified
If you have a website offering your services, make sure your LinkedIn account is linked. If you have a genuine account linked, everyone can see who you are, what you do, and most importantly, that you are a legitimate person, offering their services.
The account should state who you are and your area of expertise. It is also a good idea to link your blog to ensure credibility.
Apart from this, Google has also given some points to product review sites.
- The product reviews must be relevant to any comparisons or rankings you may have done on the website previously. This will help reinforce your credibility and area of expertise in the matter. However, it should be concise and to the point without missing any important information. To further improve your authenticity, add original images of the products that were taken during the time of testing.
- Products that are listed as “recommended” should have an explanation as to why they are the best of the rest. It should inform the reader why it is good and what differentiates it from the competition.
- If you have a ranking of products in the same category, for example, “10 best Garmin watches”, add product reviews for individual products on those lists. When writing both, add products with content; they should have enough potential to stand on their own. Doing so can help create an image of authority and trustworthiness and help your website be more organized and well-rounded.
You can even check out Google’s tips on how to write better product reviews for a more detailed analysis.
Should You Be Worried?
Before you start worrying about the update, remember that this is not a core update. Google releases small updates like this one to fix issues that were not identified. If you have a website that has product reviews, check to see if there is a decline in traffic. Implement the above tips to ensure your website stays safe in the long term.