The Google Search Liaison Twitter account has confirmed a new Product Reviews Algorithm Update for March 2022 is rolling out from today.
This is the third version of the product reviews update that was originally launched in April 2021 and further updated in December 2021. The new update is aptly named the “Google Product Reviews Update March 2022” and will continue to build on the last two updates.
As we have come to expect, the announcement was through the Google Search Liaison Twitter account at 12pm Eastern Time on Wednesday 23rd March:
Today we’re launching the latest of our product reviews updates, designed to help ensure reviews come from people who demonstrate expert knowledge and first-hand research about products.
Guidance for Product Reviews from Google
In the document titled “More helpful product reviews on Search” that was linked by the Google Search Liaison account, Google provided the following recommendations for meeting product review criteria in search including:
• Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
• Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
• Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
• Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors
*Note: The above data is verbatim and has been extracted directly from the More helpful product reviews on Search document released by Google to accompany the update.
In essence, this is another quality update that is designed to better reward product reviews that display in-depth research instead of listicles or affiliate style articles. The update is another step towards higher quality product reviews updates and weeding out websites that are using and abusing product reviews without providing any real value to readers.
The March 2022 product algorithm update from Google will see product reviews expand into more languages:
Our work to improve product reviews will continue, including expanding these updates to more languages beyond English. Ultimately, our goal is to help people find trustworthy, reliable advice when they come to Search — no matter what they’re looking for.
What if I am Impacted?
If you notice a sudden or unexpected drop in pages that use product reviews over the next few days, then you may have been impacted by the March 2022 product reviews update. Google will not be punishing websites or handing out manual penalties, however, webmasters may find that their sites have been demoted and replaced with sites that are correctly using product reviews to enhance the user experience.
It’s important to remember that any negative changes to rankings are not a punishment from Google. Rather, websites that are using product reviews correctly have been rewarded and can expect to see a boost to rankings and overall organic search visibility.
Is this a core update?
This is not a Google core update, and most websites will not be impacted by the changes that occur over the coming days. In spite of recent fluctuations to search results and speculation (including from us) that Google would be releasing a Core Algorithm Update this month, this is not a core update.