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July 2022 Google Product Reviews Update Rolling Out

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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:

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:

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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.

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:

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.

Semrush:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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Cognitive SEO:

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SERPmetrics:

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Mozcast:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Algoroo:

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SERPwoo:

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SERPstat:

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Forum discussion at Twitter & WebmasterWorld & Black Hat World.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Search Testing New Video Layout In Search

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Google Video Timeline

Google may be testing a new layout for videos it displays in the Google Search results. Google is testing a new format for how the videos show in the Google Search results.

This new format shows a larger video in the listings, as opposed to a smaller thumbnail image with more details. This was spotted by Khushal Bherwani on Twitter who shared the new and old screenshots.

New video format:

New Google Video Layout Search

Old video format:

Old Google Video Layout Search

Google has been testing and displaying larger video thumbnails for some time, as an FYI.

I am not sure which one I like more, I would have to pick I guess the smaller thumbnail?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing Event Today – Expecting ChatGPT Search Integration

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Bing Phone Typing

I am currently in Seattle and headed to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond for an in-person press event. I decided to go, assuming it would be related to ChatGPT and Bing but Microsoft would not tell me what it was about, nor would Microsoft let us say we are going to the event. Then yesterday at 2pm, when the news broke about Google Bard (story will be here), Microsoft said we can talk about the event.

So the news is out there that there is a event, see Techmeme. The email Microsoft sent says, “Microsoft has some exciting news coming in February and we’d like to invite you to an in-person experience at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.”

“We can’t share a lot more at this stage, but you won’t want to miss it. This invitation is for you only, but if you’re unable to attend please let us know and we’ll see if we can consider another of your teammates,” Microsoft added.

Then after the Google news came out, Microsoft sent an email saying, “In light of recent announcements, you may now acknowledge your participation in tomorrow’s briefing in Redmond, leveraging the language in the briefing invitation.”

So yea, this press event seems to be about the Bing ChatGPT solution. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Microsoft Bing has to show here and I’ll be sharing the news here, on Search Engine Land and likely will be tweeting a ton @rustybrick. So make sure to follow me on Twitter to see the latest from Bing on this news.

And we have this photo of Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft with Sam Altman of OpenAI together last night:

I am expecting this to look a lot like the Bing ChatGPT interface leaks we covered earlier. Here are those screenshots:

Here is the home page screenshot that widens and enlarges the search box and says “Ask me anything”:

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Here is his screenshot of the results, the answers being returned:

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And here is the GIF he made of this:

Bing Search Chat Interface

More to come soon.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Google Search People Cards Visible In US

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Google Man Cards

Back in 2020, Google Search introduced a feature named people cards. It was only available in India but now it seems like it might be expanding, as I can now see it in the United States.

Brian Freiesleben’s card, which he created when it was first announced by spoofing his location to be in India, is now showing up as a people card for searchers in the United States. Personally, I was able to bring it up on my mobile device in New York.

Here is a screenshot he shared of this on Twitter:

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He said, “I found my name now triggers a ‘people card’. This was introduced in Google India back in 2020. I spoofed my location back then to create the card and now (finally) it’s appearing.”

Glenn Gabe was able to replicate it as well:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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