This update aims to improve the quality of business and product reviews that appear in search results.
The update is designed to make business and product reviews more accurate and reliable. To achieve this, Google will encourage users to follow certain guidelines when writing reviews and will block reviews that are misleading or contain spam. In addition, business owners will be prohibited from writing reviews about their own businesses.
This update could mean significant changes for business owners and websites. If a business posts misleading or spammy reviews, Google’s algorithm could penalize those businesses and potentially lower their rankings in search results.
It’s important for business owners to take steps to encourage real and accurate reviews from customers and prevent misleading or spammy reviews. This will contribute to a better experience on Google for both business owners and customers.
Google released the reviews update in April 2023. This update goes beyond Google’s previous product review updates and will be used to evaluate reviews for any subject that can be reviewed, such as services and businesses, destinations, and media (e.g., games, movies).
Key point: Google has changed the name of the “product review system” to “review system” and applied the language in its product review guidelines to all types of reviews.
Review from the user’s perspective. Demonstrate your expertise in the subject you’re reviewing. Support your expertise and enhance the authenticity of your review by providing visual, auditory, or other links to your own experiences. Provide numerical measures of how something is measured in different performance categories. Explain what makes something different from the competition. Address comparable things or explain which might be better for certain uses or situations. Discuss the pros and cons of something based on your own original research. Explain how a product has improved over previous models or versions by highlighting improvements, addressing problems, or explaining how it has influenced users’ purchasing decisions in different ways.
Focus on the most important decision factors based on your experience or expertise (e.g., for a car review, you may determine that fuel economy and safety are important decision factors and evaluate their performance in these areas). Explain important design decisions in a product and describe the impact on users beyond what the manufacturer claims. Include links to other helpful resources (on your own site or other sites) to help the reader make a decision. Consider including links to multiple vendors to provide the reader with purchase options from their preferred vendor.
If you’re recommending something as the best overall or the best for a specific purpose, explain why it’s the best and provide first-hand evidence to support your claim. Make sure your ranked lists have enough valuable content to stand on their own, even if you choose to write detailed individual reviews. Affected languages. Google has indicated that this system is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Previous product review updates. This is an evolution of Google’s product review update series, which has seen six updates since 2021. Google has now redirected all previous pages that provided guidance on the Product Reviews update to the revised Reviews guidance.