Google’s September 2022 product review update will have a big impact on businesses and marketers. Here’s what you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.
The fifth version of Google product reviews, named September 2022 product reviews update for English-language product reviews, was released on September 20th at 4 am ET. This release follows the most recent update from July 2022 which occurred only a couple of weeks prior.
This is the fifth edition of product reviews, and it’s a search ranking algorithm update designed to rank product review-related content on the web that is most beneficial to searchers. On April 8, 2021, Google released the first product reviews update, which was followed by updates on December 1, 2021, and March 23, 2022. The fourth was unleashed on July 27, 2022, followed by another one on September 20, 2022.
This version has been released on Google’s official Twitter feed, as seen below.
Today we released the September 2022 product reviews update for English-language product reviews. We’ll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/sQ5COfdNcb
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) September 20, 2022
September 2022 product reviews update for English-language product reviews
The new Google product reviews update will prioritize more unique and personal review content from around the internet, rather than bland, templated information. By doing this, Google hopes to improve the quality of its search results rankings.
While Google isn’t purposely lowering the ranking for lower-quality product reviews that don’t offer much content, if your rankings are being pushed down because better quality content is being promoted, it will feel like a punishment. Even though Google says this technically isn’t a penalty against your review specifically, it still can hurt your business. This is why you should try and create more insightful reviews so that they stand out from the competition.
This update will only affect product review content and not other types of content.
The release date for the September product review update is today, as Google announced. These updates normally take a few weeks to roll out to everyone, so there’s no need to be surprised if it takes a little while for the changes to show up. The July update only took five days total to roll out.
Is anything impacted? Google stated this update might in the future affect those who “create product reviews in any language,” but they clarified that the initial rollout will only be for “English-language product reviews.” They said they have seen before “positive effects” arise from this update and therefore they plan to make support for more languages available in the future.
These updates might be quite big, comparable in size to core upgrades, however, the July update was not felt too severely.
What about the Core Update?
Google has not finished the September 2022 core update yet, but they have said that it is mostly done. They expect it to be fully done in a week, and they will share this information on their updates page. You can tell if you were impacted by the core update or the product reviews update by looking at your analytics data:
Google stated: “If you observe a change and wonder if it’s due to the core update or the product reviews update:
- If you produce product reviews, then it’s probably related to that.
- If not, then it might be related to the core update.
As Google said, the primary focus of this update is to provide users with content that is original and well-researched. This means your product reviews should be written by experts or people who are passionate about the topic. Additionally, Google recommends that your product reviews cover these specific areas:
Do your product reviews…
- Are your product reviews reliable and informative?
- Describe the physical attributes of the item, or does it show how the product is used? Also, is your content original and different from what the manufacturer has already provided?
- Give readers an in-depth analysis of how a product fares against its competitors?
- Does your product review explain what makes a product distinct from its competitors?
- Compare similar products, or do they explain which products would be best for specific uses and circumstances?
- Does your product review process discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a product based on research?
- Evaluate how a product has developed from previous versions or releases to provide enhancements, solve problems, or otherwise assist customers in making a purchase decision.
- Provide key category-specific decision-making information, as well as the product’s standing in those areas? For example, when reviewing a car, fuel economy, safety, and handling would be key decision-making factors that are rated.
- In your product reviews, do you go over key design choices and their impact on users? This should include information that goes beyond what the manufacturer says.
- Include evidence to back up your opinion, like audio or visual recordings, or links to show that you’ve used the product. This way, you come across as more credible and trustworthy.
- Do your product reviews include links to several vendors so that the reader may shop from their preferred vendor?
Earlier this year, Google blogged about how product info has been improved for potential customers.
Google released three new tips for writing product reviews in its third update:
- Is it necessary to update product reviews in order to keep them relevant? Yes, they are. Product review updates apply to all types of review content. The best practices we’ve described also apply. However, because ranked lists are shorter, you may wish to demonstrate expertise and authenticity more concisely by referring to pertinent findings and including original test images. This can be accomplished by mentioning relevant results and including unique product images from tests you ran with the item.
- Best-of-the-best, or “top” products – Do there exist any suggestions for reviews that recommend “best” items? If you suggest a product as the finest overall or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to explain why you feel it is the finest. What distinguishes this item from others on the market? Why is the product uniquely suited to its suggested usage? Make sure to include testimonials.
- In addition to writing single-product reviews, should I also create a review that covers multiple products? Yes, this can be effective. By creating both the ranked list and in-depth product reviews, you are sure to increase conversions. Just make sure that your ranked list has enough content to stand alone.
It is not a critical upgrade. Google had previously stated that product review upgrades are not the same as core updates. The term “product reviews update” refers to this standalone release. Despite the fact that this is a separate issue, Google informed us that it would continue to provide “about creating high-quality content for those who need it most.” In addition to offering prior advice on core updates, Google offered further information specific to this event.
If you offer product review content on your website, it’s important to track your rankings to see if the Google algorithm update affected you. Did your organic traffic improve, decline, or stay the same?
You should make sure that, in the future, you put more effort into your product reviews so they are unique and different from the other product reviews on the internet.
If you have worked hard on your website in the past, you may be rewarded by Google’s September 2022 product reviews update.
Google’s September 2022 product review update is coming up soon, and it looks like it will have a big impact on businesses and marketers. The new update will prioritize more unique and personal review content from around the internet, so if you want your business to be seen as an authority in your field, you need to start preparing now. This update will only affect product review content and not other types of content, so make sure that you are putting extra effort into creating high-quality reviews for your products. What do Google’s guidelines recommend that your product reviews cover? Make sure to pay attention to these specific areas if you want to be rewarded by the September 2022 product reviews update. Are you ready for this change? Sign up for our newsletter today to stay ahead of the curve and get tips straight from the experts at Ignite Digital.