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It’s Not the Google Core Update, It’s Product Review Update

May 30, 2021  |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every year, Google updates or adjusts its algorithm to improve user experience. Most of the time, these updates do not noticeably impact SERP, and most website owners do not even notice these minor changes. However, this is not always the case. A few significant times, Google has made updates that cause obvious changes in rankings and traffic rates.

On April 8, 2021, Google announced that their product reviews update went live. This update is meant to promote content that reviews either products or services. This means that it is not a Google core algorithm update. It’s a product review update.

With this update, Google’s goal is to promote “product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.”

Furthermore, this update crossed all sectors: health, finance, e-commerce, blogs, technology, trade businesses, etc. Many websites with product review content on them saw huge gains or huge losses. Some reported losses are as high as 50% or higher in terms of Google organic traffic, and yes, that is almost similar to a Google core algorithm update.

As per Google, for those creating content, there are some additional useful questions to consider in product reviews. Writing reviews one has to consider the following:
  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  • 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? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing because Google tries to provide the best information as quickly as possible to its users. To keep a high SERP rank and presence, no matter how the algorithm changes, it is recommended to create high-quality, user-friendly content.

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