Google Reviews Update: Not to be confused with rich snippets meant to show stars in search results
Although the title of this Google update might lead us to believe that it will target the rich snippets responsible for displaying yellow stars placed within search results that are properly encoded using structured Schema.org data, this Google update actually has a different purpose: Promoting real product tests at the expense of “fake” tests Optimized for SEO whose sole purpose is to monetize affiliate income (usually Amazon) without “real” testing.
What is the purpose of this new update to arrange product review?
Google wantThrough this Product review updateAnd the Bonus Expert Content And the Penalize content deemed to be low quality ‘poor content’ (His only goal is to redirect an internet user to an online store to get an affiliate commission without being an expert or having done a real product test.)
What types of pages and articles does this Google update target?
- Pages and articles that position themselves based on requests of the type “review (product name)” / “test (product name)”;
- “Lists”, these articles present the “best products” for the product category and are placed on requests of the “best (product type)” types (eg the best 5g smartphones).
What types of pages are not affected by the Product Review Update 2022?
- Online stores product sheets that include customer reviews.
- Pages that don’t test a product or share a review.
What languages are affected by this update?
at this moment, Only English language search results are affected But Google plans to roll out this update quickly for more languages, without giving specific timelines or details.
The French results can therefore be quickly affected by a similar update, hence the desire to prepare for it as quickly as possible to anticipate the effects as best as possible.
What criteria are being considered by a Google update targeting pages and articles that provide “reviews” on products?
For Google, a good “review” of a product would be a page:
- Prove that the product has already been tested by the author : Google indicates in its guidelines that the author should be able to “prove” their experience with the product in order to highlight their expertise and enhance the credibility of their opinion.
- Includes unique visuals, images, graphics, videos, sounds, and test results The content is not duplicated from other websites.
- Offers multiple purchase options (if any) to the user instead of just one (Google is indirectly targeting MFAs (Designed for Amazon) here who redirect all their traffic to Amazon just to take advantage of Amazon affiliation).
What questions to ask to assess the suitability of a test/product review page against Google’s quality standards?
During the first update in April 2021, Google shared a file series of questions That the authors of tests and opinions can ask themselves before publishing their content on Assess whether its content meets the US search engine quality guidelineshere they are :
- Does the article describe the author’s experience with the product when necessary? Google this question
- Does the content provide exclusive photo or video content that shows what the product looks like and/or how it is used?
- Isn’t the article limited to adding photos from the manufacturer?
- Does the article provide test data for specific criteria? For example: device battery life during different use cases, image quality of the camera during different types of shots, etc.
- Does the test article indicate what distinguishes the tested product from other similar/similar competing products?
- Does the content include a section on the best alternatives to a product that has been tested for specific use cases or needs that an Internet user might have?
- Does the article present the advantages/disadvantages of the tested product based on the tests performed?
- Does the page show how the product has evolved compared to its previous versions (when the status arose)?
- Does the article provide information on the performance of the product against the main selection criteria for this type of product with scores for the various criteria specified? For example, for a smartphone: battery life, image quality, screen quality, etc.
- Does the article objectively judge the ergonomics of the product, its design and potential impact on use, freeing itself from the marketing rhetoric of the manufacturer?
With this second version of the update, the authors will also have to ask themselves the following question:
- If the article includes links to buy the tested product online, are there many purchase options offered to the Internet user and are not links to a single online store?
What are Google’s recommendations for Product List articles?
In announcing the new version of the March 2022 Update on pages that position themselves in queries linked to product reviews, Google has dedicated a section dedicated to pages that identify products and thus target search queries. Type “best (product type)”.
Here are Google’s recommendations for these:
- Although in these articles the search engine does not expect detailed tests of each product, it recommends that each product listed be combined in a test synthesis performed with the addition of unique images.
- Provide “evidence” or arguments justifying the order of the products.
- If possible, do detailed tests of each product listed in a “listicle” type article without neglecting the amount of content built into the article that lists the best products in the selection.
What is the example to follow so that this update is not negatively affected?
While the Google teams don’t provide concrete examples of content they consider to be in compliance with their quality guidelines, here’s an example that shows exactly what kind of content a search engine should expect: Product testing conducted by Les NumériquesAnd theA high-tech niche site known for testing its products.
Here are some points that I think make this a good example to study:
- In their tests, professional journalists follow a similar testing process by product type so that they can compare products in the same category as objectively as possible.
- The tests include their own photos taken during the tests.
- In some tests, test videos are also added.
- The advantages and disadvantages of objectively tested products are presented.
- The limitations of the tested product are identified and alternatives are presented to the reader.
- The site in all its tests adds redirect links to different stores where Internet users can buy the tested product (these links are of course affiliate links).
In light of Google’s recommendations above, this type of article appears to generally align well with what Google considers in its guidelines to be a product quality review, which was written by an expert and involved in proving the testing performed.
What do you think of this new update from Google? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.