Google released the Google April 2023 Reviews Update today, April 12, 2023 at noon EST (9 AM PDT). This update leans heavily on signals of experience.
Google’s April 2023 Product Review Update is accompanied by a new Google Search Central documentation that offers direction to the kind of content that Google’s Reviews System Algorithm may be looking for.
Considering that Google calls this algorithm their Reviews System, it may be useful to think about this update as an update to one algorithm among many algorithms that are collectively known as Google’s Algorithm.
Reviews Update: Focus on Experience
Double-E-EA-T is the new level of content quality that supersedes E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
The extra E that’s added to the E-A-T stands for Experience.
It is evidence of Experience that Google’s Review System may be looking for.
There has been anecdotal accounts that adding phrases such as “in my experience” or “my hands-on analysis” to reviews caused product review webpages to increase rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Regardless if those reports are accurate or coincidences, the new documentation makes clear that the standard for demonstrating experience is set much higher than mere words on a page.
Google’s new documentation encourages publishers to demonstrate evidence of experience.
Signals of Product Reviews Experience
The new documentation lists the following signals of experience:
- Visual evidence
- Links to evidence of experience
- Quantitative measurements
Those signals of experience are evidence that the product has been handled, tested, used and measured.
Obviously this means taking photographs of what is being reviewed, original photos as opposed to stock photographs.
Quantitative refers to measurements of a quantity. Taking performance measurements of a product is always a good idea.
Audio and Visual Experience
Google didn’t provide examples of what audio or visual experience may be, but one can easily surmise possile contexts of when it’s appropriate.
This may not be applicable to all reviews but it may be for some, where visual and audio experience is important, such as demonstrating how quiet or noisy a product may be.
Languages Affected by the Product Reviews System
The April 2023 Reviews System Update affects the following languages:
Google’s Product Reviews System
The new update raises the bar on product reviews. It may be that low quality reviews may still rank in the absence of higher quality reviews. But that doesn’t mean the Reviews System isn’t working, it may be a reflection of the quality of product reviews.
If you see competitors ranking with fake signals of experience such as using phrases associated with experience, it may be useful to go the extra step and provide actual evidence of experience such as original photos and quantitative measurements (where appropriate).
Read Google’s New Reviews System Documentation
Featured image by Shutterstock/Merkushev Vasiliy