E-Commerce SEO Tip: Here’s What You Need to Know About Google’s Product Review Algorithm Update
As more and more consumers research and buy products online, a robust e-commerce SEO strategy is critical for the success of any online business. In addition to properly optimizing your website, high-quality product reviews are now more critical than ever.
On July 27, 2022, Google started rolling out a major algorithm update regarding product reviews. Over the next three weeks, the search engine giant will change how it analyzes this content. Google will scrutinize product reviews on quality, like web copy and blog posts.
Google believes high-quality reviews make it easier for consumers to decide whether they want to purchase the products in question. With that in mind, the ranking update will essentially reward e-commerce sites with reviews that go above and beyond by ranking the corresponding products higher on the SERPs.
So, what does it mean to go above and beyond? In simplest terms, Google wants to see reviews that contain original research, insightful analysis, and expertise on—or at least enthusiasm for—the kind of item that’s being reviewed. As of the writing of this blog post, below are the guidelines currently posted on Google Search Central on how to write high-quality product reviews:
Source: Google Search Central.
Who Will Be Impacted by the Product Review Ranking Update?
In the future, product reviews written in any language will be affected. For now, the updated algorithm is only evaluating English-language content. Those that appear to have been crafted with a template or do not contain many details will drop in ranking, while those that meet Google’s standards will rise to the top. If you buy 5-star reviews with meager descriptions, you can no longer appeal to consumers.
What Can You Do to Keep Sub-Par Product Reviews from Hurting Your SEO Strategy?
A few scant product reviews won’t tank your rankings if you have an otherwise strong SEO strategy. While competitors’ products might surpass your own in specific scenarios, you can still maintain your visibility in general. Put another way; this update will not hurt your standing founded on other types of content.
How Can You Ensure Product Reviews Are Working for You?
While you can’t do much about existing reviews, you can make an active effort to secure higher-quality ones moving forward. It’s impossible to determine the best way to do so just yet (as Google is still rolling the ranking update out); however, there are a few strategies worth trying. Those that have the most significant potential include:
- Becoming an expert and leaving better reviews (the companies you write for may be inclined to return the favor!)
- Creating a landing page on your site that invites customers to leave reviews and includes the best practices for doing so
- Finding and connecting with micro-influencers who are well-versed in your products or services and can speak on them with authority
- Sending product review data to Google through your Merchant Center account
- Joining the Product Ratings program so you can display aggregated reviews to customers shopping on Google
While optimizing reviews may be challenging, it’s worth the effort if you do it right. As this is not Google’s first algorithm update targeting reviews, the search giant is prioritizing products with authentic reviews that contain highly detailed descriptions. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you may be able to get your products to rank higher in the Google SERPs. Consider what that could do for your bottom line!