The forthcoming update continues Google’s efforts to show more helpful, in-depth reviews based on first-hand expertise in search results.
Google’s timing for the next product review update aligns with the conclusion of the just-announced helpful content update.
When you add in July’s product review update, that’s three confirmed Google algorithm changes in a month.
Google appears to be on a mission to purge the front page of low-value content, with an acute focus on content people use to inform purchasing decisions.
Few Details About Next Product Review Update – More Of The Same?
Google’s announcement offers few details about the next product review algorithm update.
If you skimmed the blog post, you might have missed it, as the mention was brief. The announcement reads:
“We know product reviews can play an important role in helping you make a decision on something to buy. Last year, we kicked off a series of updates to show more helpful, in-depth reviews based on first-hand expertise in search results.
We’ve continued to refine these systems, and in the coming weeks, we’ll roll out another update to make it even easier to find high-quality, original reviews. We’ll continue this work to make sure you find the most useful information when you’re researching a purchase on the web.”
This sounds like the next update is more of the same.
Google’s messaging around its product review algorithm hasn’t drastically changed from one update to another. It’s reasonable to expect Google’s guidance to stay the same this time.
Possible Connection With The Helpful Content Update?
Google’s next product review update is slated to start rolling out around the time when the launch of the helpful content update is complete.
The proximity of the helpful content update and product review update suggests a possible connection between the two.
My guess is the helpful content update will allow Google to better identify product reviews that add unique value or demonstrate first-hand knowledge.
Both algorithms are designed to identify similar qualities in a piece of content. In a blog post regarding the helpful content update, Google offers the following advice on assessing a page’s value:
“Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?”
It sounds similar to what the product review update looks for.
When the helpful content update is finished, Google may take the data it gains and apply it to the next iteration of the product review update.
This may boost helpful product review pages that Google missed in previous updates.
Conversely, Google could also use the data to identify low-quality product reviews. Pages that didn’t get devalued after previous updates could then drop rankings.
It’s unknown whether Google will offer more information about the next product review update before it goes live.
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