The fourth version of the Google Product Reviews Update is now rolling out – this update is called – you guessed it – the July 2022 Google Product Reviews Update. This update, like previous updates, will take about two to three weeks to fully roll out.
The previous three versions were the April 2021 Product Reviews Update, the December 2021 Product Reviews Update and the March 2022 Product Reviews Update. The March version was updated to incorporate more signals and criteria in this niche ranking algorithm but the July version makes no mention of any new or additional ranking signals and criteria.
Google started to roll out the July 2022 product reviews update yesterday, July 27, 2022 at about 1:20 pm ET. Here is the announcement:
Today we released the July 2022 product reviews update. We’ll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/sQ5COfdNcb
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) July 27, 2022
Yea, not much there, Google just links to its new and brief updates page and wrote there “Released the July 2022 product reviews update. The rollout will take 2-3 weeks to complete.” It links to the Write high quality product reviews help document.
Google also said it will take about three weeks to complete and can impact “product reviews across many sites” – “many sites,” Google said. So like previous product review updates, sites hit by this, can feel this in a big way.
As a reminder, the product reviews update aims at rewarding high-level product review content, above thinner product review content. Product review updates are not core updates, but they may be mistaken as such.
Not Seeing Much Change Yet
So far, we are not seeing too much volatility – that is yet. It is still super early and sometimes we don’t see changes for 48-72 hours but often we see the changes within the first 36 hours. The SEO chatter from within the community is currently light. The tracking tools are currently not showing too much fluctuation in the Google rankings. It is just not an update that started off immediately with a bang.
Based on the SEO community chatter, which there are more details below on, and based on the Google tracking tools, again more details below – it just seems like this started off pretty slow so far.
Google Product Reviews Update Quick Facts
Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:
- Name: Google July 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Launched: July 27. 2022 at around 1:30 pm ET
- Rollout: It will take about two to three weeks to fully roll out
- Targets: It looks at product review content
- Penalty: It is not a penalty, it promotes or rewards “insightful analysis and original research.”
- Not a core update: Many are going to say this is a core update, it is not.
- English Language but will expand: This is only looking at English-language content right now but likely will expand to other languages, this is a global launch. I am surprised it is still only English but it is, as we documented below.
- Impact: Google would not tell me what percentage of queries or searches were impacted by this update.
- Discover: This update can impact your performance in Google Discover, Google previously said.
- Recover: If you were hit by this, then you will need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s advice below
- Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes to this algorithm but may not communicate those updates in the future. This may be the first refresh that Google has done, it is the first refresh Google communicated about.
Google Product Review Update Advice
Here is the original advice but Google has posted this in a new help document with the new advice from December, this does not include the specific new points listed above:
- 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 in making 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?
- 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.
Here is the updated advice from the March update:
(1) Are product review updates relevant to ranked lists and comparison reviews? Yes. Product review updates apply to all forms of review content. The best practices Google shared also apply. However, due to the shorter nature of ranked lists, you may want to demonstrate expertise and reinforce authenticity in a more concise way. Citing pertinent results and including original images from tests you performed with the product can be good ways to do this.
(2) Are there any recommendations for reviews recommending “best” products? 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. What sets the product apart from others in the market? Why is the product particularly suited for its recommended purpose? Be sure to include supporting first-hand evidence.
(3) If I create a review that covers multiple products, should I still create reviews for the products individually? 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. If you write both, make sure there is enough useful content in the ranked list for it to stand on its own.
Google also posted this graphic showing that product review lists can be impacted by this as well:
Google also listed these four points about the criteria Google uses for product reviews:
- 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
I have written about every tiny detail of these product reviews update, just do a search on this site for more.
SEO Community Chatter
So we have some discussion early on regarding this update on Twitter & WebmasterWorld & Black Hat World. It is super early and I am not seeing too much on the chatter side just yet. Here are some interesting quotes I wanted to pull out:
Also, here are two comment from a Googler that does not say too much new:
The published recommendations for reviewers to follow have not changed. We generally don’t publish exact ranking signals (or their weights). We try to provide guidance that makes sense to people who want to create great content (and we want to promote great content).
— Alan Kent (@akent99) July 27, 2022
If the reviews are in English, yes. No change from when we first shared about this: https://t.co/nTOauRvOlu
But anyone might want to consider the guidance for other languages, because we do tend to bring these updates into other languages. Guidance here: https://t.co/kmUGBZNf2A
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) July 27, 2022
I noticed a huge drop in my traffic, around 80 -90% of my traffic was gone. Maybe it’s because of the update? I thought that I was penalized or something.
What just happened? Since the last 24 hours or so, everything is spam. Huge blasts of spam traffic are thrown at sites.
That is really it, at least that I can find. I suspect those who reported traffic issues or quality issues, it is unrelated to this update – as I am not seeing more widespread complaints at least at the time of publishing this story.
Tracking Tools On July 2022 Google Product Reviews Update
Overall, so far, these tools are not showing too much volatility. I know it is just about 20 hours since was announced, so it may take time. It is just too soon to say how big of an update this is based on this data.