Google Releases February 2023 Product Reviews Update

On February 21, 2023, Google announced the release of the February 2023 product reviews update. This update, which is the sixth release of the product reviews update, brings new languages to the product reviews update, including English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish. It is set to roll out over the next two weeks.

The Google product reviews update aims to promote review content that goes beyond the templated information found on the web. Google’s search result rankings will favor product reviews that provide insightful analysis and original research, and that are written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.

This is not a direct penalty against lower-quality product reviews that have “thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” However, sites that provide such content and find their rankings demoted because other content is promoted above theirs will feel as if they’ve been penalized.

The February 2023 product reviews update also provides guidance for those creating product reviews.

Google recommends that:

  • product reviews express expert knowledge about products
  • show what the product is like physically or how it is used with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer
  • provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance
  • explain what sets a product apart from its competitors
  • cover comparable products to consider or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances
  • discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product based on research into it
  • describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements
  • address issues, or otherwise help users make a purchase decision
  • identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas
  • describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on users beyond what the manufacturer says
  • provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review
  • include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

Google also added three new points of advice for this release of the product reviews update.

Firstly, the product review updates apply to all forms of review content, including ranked lists and comparison reviews.

Secondly, if you recommend a product as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, be sure to share with the reader why you consider that product the best, and include supporting first-hand evidence.

Lastly, if you create a review that covers multiple products, it can be effective to write a high-quality ranked list of related products in combination with in-depth single-product reviews for each recommended product.

It is important to note that product review updates are not the same as core updates, according to Google. This is a standalone update, separate from Google’s regular core updates, although the advice provided for core updates, “about producing quality content for those is also relevant here.” This product reviews update is particularly relevant for those with websites that offer product review content.

The February 2023 product reviews update from Google adds new languages and provides guidance for creating high-quality product reviews. By following Google’s recommendations, those creating product reviews can increase their chances of having their content favored in Google’s search result rankings.

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