Did you know that 84% of Internet consumers find online reviewers as trustworthy as a friend when it comes to product advice? If you are an e-commerce brand or you depend heavily on e-commerce to sell your products, this fact should be of concern. After all, in the age of Yelp and Google Reviews, one bad review can significantly reduce your sales.
Fortunately, most people also visit review sites before they buy things. There are many famous examples, such as CNET for computers and Consumer Reports for just about everything. And it’s unsurprising that people seek out review sites before buying new products. After all, nobody wants to be left high and dry with a bad product. To help ensure the quality of review sites, the Google product review update helps people find the most relevant reviews.
What is the Google product review Update?
When you hear the term product review, chances are that your thoughts wander beyond review sites. After all, a quick browse of any e-commerce site, including Amazon, quickly displays many user reviews. And if you’ve ever gotten those pleas from third-party sellers to leave a great review, it’s easy to see how anxiety-inducing even these reviews have become.
However, the Google product review algorithm update doesn’t consider this type of review. Because e-commerce brands do not have control over this form of user-generated content, it doesn’t factor in your website’s rankings. Rather, Google Designed this update to help consumers find the best product reviews.
How does the Google product review update work?
By far, the most important thing to know about this update is that it works very similarly to the helpful content update. Specifically, Google is trying to give the best rankings to review sites that produce genuinely helpful reviews. This stands in contrast to a review where the author is just ticking off the boxes rather than truly talking about the products being reviewed.
To that end, however, Google does not issue explicit penalties for websites that don’t meet their ideal. However, they do promote sites that best meet their expectations. Naturally, this means a low-quality review site or web page will typically not perform as well as a site that follows best practices.
Recovery from the Google product review update
Because the Google product review algorithm update does not explicitly analyze lower-performing websites, there isn’t a recovery as such. Essentially, your site can perform better after this update by producing the best possible product reviews. In other words, with this update, it’s more about outperforming your competition than avoiding a demerit.
Fortunately, there are some best practices that you can follow that will help your review website perform to its highest potential.
Google product review algorithm update best practices
As with many other factors in SEO, Winning at the Google product review update mostly comes down to observing some best practices. While certain techniques, such as the expert use of keywords, are the same for nearly all content types, review sites need to concentrate on certain areas.
Produce an in-depth review
One place where Google is cracking down is brief, superficial reviews. In this case, we’re not talking about word count so much as how detailed or knowledgeable the information is. Therefore, you should talk about a product’s features, how you can use it, and why it’s important. Similarly, you should mention both the advantages and disadvantages of a given product.
Remember that people who read this type of review are looking for a balanced analysis. If they wanted a purely complementary review which only told one side of the story, then they’d read manufacturer material.
Demonstrate that you understand the product
It may be easy to simply mention attributes of a product that you can find online. But that’s not what people want to read. Instead, they want to hear from an expert about a product so that they can decide if it’s worth buying.
Typically, producing a knowledgeable review requires that you test the product. Ideally, you should experiment with it for a file before you write the review. And at the same time, consider taking pictures of the product to demonstrate its use.
Be careful about products lists
While product lists are a mainstay of review sites, you want to be sure and do it right. For example, a comparison of multiple products is very useful and should perform well after the Google product review update. This is especially true when you emphasize when one product may be better to use than another.
By contrast, a review that simply lists a bunch of products and doesn’t talk much about them will probably perform poorly on Google rankings. At least so long as competing content is more useful.
While the Google product review update sounds scary, it’s really just a way to help consumers find relevant content. To further that goal, the algorithm prioritizes reviews that consumers who need in-depth information will find most useful. And at the same time, these changes recognize that online reviews are one of the most important factors which people consider before they buy products and services.