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Google February 2023 Product Reviews Update Completed On March 7

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Google Product Reviews Update

The Google February 2023 product reviews update finished rolling out yesterday afternoon on March 7, 2023. It took 14 days to rollout this expanded language version of the product reviews update that kicked off on February 21, 2023.

As a reminder, original updates were in English only but now this update impacts Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.

Google Product Reviews Update Quick Facts

Here are the most important things that we know right now in short form:

  • Name: Google February 2023 Product Reviews Update
  • Launched: February 21, 2023 at around 5pm ET
  • Rollout: Two weeks – completed on March 7, 2023
  • 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.
  • Several languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish.
  • 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.

Big Impact

It seems this product reviews update was very impactful. We saw a lot of volatility over multiple days and also a ton of SEO chatter from within the SEO community. We reported on very big fluctuations this past weekend and on March 1st and additional spikes on February 25th.

Was This Update Being Prepped Earlier?

We have seen a lot of unconfirmed Google search ranking updates in the past several weeks prior to the official confirmation of this update. Many that seemed to have impacted product reviews sites throughout these tremors.

Glenn Gabe thinks maybe this was the case…

Here are the updates we covered:

It was super volatile the days and weeks leading up to this confirmed Google update.

Google Tracking Tools

Here is what these tools showed through the weekend over the past couple of weeks. According to the tools, it seemed to have slowed down after the weekend volatility. There is some chatter but not significant like from the weekend – at least not yet:

Semrush:

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RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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Mozcast:

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Previous Product Review Updates

Here are the dates for the previous Product Reviews Updates:

Google Product Review Update Advice

Here is the original advice but Google has posted this in a newish help document with the new advice from December 2022, 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:

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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.

Forum discussion at Twitter, Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld.



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Google Volatility, Indexing Bugs, Google Ads Broad Match Default & YouTube SEO Tips

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Google Volatility, Indexing Bugs, Google Ads Broad Match Default & YouTube SEO Tips


For the original iTunes version, click here.

This week, guess what, we had more volatility over the weekend and also a blip in the middle of the week. Google also had another indexing bug that lasted only about an hour. Google Search Console had a bug with new owner notifications. Google Search Console now lets you enter your shipping and return policies in settings. Google said it found the feedback it collected on the last core update really helpful. Google updated its URL best practices document to say don’t use fragments to change content on the page. Google Search will now extract composite images with trained algorithmic media types, i.e. AI. Google said if you are ranking for unrelated keywords in search, maybe try to make your content clearer. Google is testing country label tags in the search results. Google is testing auto-playing videos in the search results. Google is also testing thin video snippets. Google Ads enabled broad match by default for new search campaigns. Google Ads confirmed ads can show below featured snippets as part of its dynamic ad placement evolution. Google Ads is testing double row carousel shopping ads. Google Ads is testing people also browsed carousel.s Google Maps said it is not testing “add stop” ads. Bing is testing nutrition labels in the image results. Google Business Profiles added a consumer alerts page. Thumbtack is automatically adding its booking links to your Google Business Profile. YouTube shared some YouTube SEO advice and tips That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: July 12, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google Search Console now lets you add your shipping and return details in the interface. Google confirmed ads can show below featured snippets as part of “dynamic ad placement.” Bing is testing a voting feature in search. Google is maybe testing auto-playing video thumbnails. Thumbtack is adding booking links to your Google Business Profiles without you knowing. I also posted my SEO video recap today, so check it out.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: July 11, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google said the feedback around the last core update was really helpful. Google Ads is testing double-row shopping ad carousels. Google Ads also tests a “people also browsed” carousel. Google Business Profiles has new Consumer Alerts. Google is testing thin video search snippets. Google expanded translated results to more languages.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google: SEO Feedback On The Last Core Update Was Really Helpful


    Google’s John Mueller said in a video he posted yesterday that the feedback submitted and Google collected around the March 2024 core update has “been really helpful in evaluations and discussions.” He added the Google teams have “been reviewing with the search quality and ranking teams.”

  • Google Ads: Double Row Carousel Shopping Search Ads


    Google seems to be testing a new ad format with two rows of shopping ads in the search results in a carousel format, so you can scroll through more shopping ads at the same time. I don’t believe I’ve seen this format before – have you?

  • Google Ads Tests People Also Browsed Carousel


    Google is also testing this new ad format labeled “People also browsed.” I guess this shows you what other products on Google searchers looked at for a similar query and is now showing you ads that match those browser sessions for those queries.

  • Google Expands Translated Search Results To More Languages


    Google is now showing the translated search results feature in more languages, adding Arabic, Gujarati, Korean, Persian, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese to the list of of now 21 languages.

  • Google Search Tests Thin Video Snippets


    Google is testing a new video format for its search results in the mobile search results. This test shows thinner video search result snippets with smaller video thumbnails.

  • Google Business Profiles Consumer Alerts Document


    Google Business Profiles can include consumer alerts on them, which will notify those viewing your local listing on Google about a possible violation or suspension of spam. These alerts can show a banner, they can result in review posting restrictions and reviews being removed.

  • Google Math Competition


    Google held a math competition for nearly 200 students at the D.C. office recently. Here is one of many photos from that event that I found on Instagram.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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