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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:

click for full size

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 Not Indexing & Serving New Content?

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Google Logo Burning Ashes

Google Search may be having a new indexing or serving (or both) bug where it is now showing new content from sites that are creating new content. Sites like the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, CNN, Forbes, and others are showing very few new pages being indexed in the past hour by Google Search.

While all of these sites have produced dozens of stories in the past hour, most are showing 0 to 10 new content (URLs) in the Google Search index in the past hour.

Google has not posted any issue yet in its Search Status Dashboard and I do not see massive complaints yet but I received a notice on X about this (that post was deleted) but I still see the issue.

Here are some examples:

site:cnn.com – within hour – 2 results:

Google Cnn Index

site:wsj.com – within hour 2 results:

Google Wsj Index

WSJ down to nothing:

Wsj Hour

site:nytimes.com – within hour 10 results:

Google Nytimes Index

site:hollywoodreporter.com – within hour – 2 results:

Google Hollywood Index

site:forbes.com – within hour 0 results:

Google Forbes Index

Here are more examples of massive news sites not seeing much content in the Google index in the past hour:

Foxnews Google Index

Nbcnews Google Index

Apnews Google Index

Reuters Google Index

Cnbc Google Index

I often see indexing complaints about Google Search but I rarely see it on sites this big that produce a lot of content.

We last had a larger issue like this in January 2024, then in December 2023, October 2023 and then many more over the years.

Are any of you seeing this?

Update at 7:30pm ET: I waited over 30 minutes for this story to be indexed by Google and it was not. Normally this site is indexed within minutes of a story going live.

Ser Google Index Hour

So I checked Google Search Console and it said the page was crawled on Jun 20, 2024, 7:14:49 PM but the page was not in the Google index:

Gsc Not Indexed

Meanwhile, the live URL inspection tool says there is nothing preventing it from being indexed:

Gsc Can Be Indexed

I did request indexing manually to be sure – but still, not indexed.

Forum discussion at X.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 19, 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 posted its FAQs on AI Overviews, asking why you can’t disable then. Google may be showing fewer Reddit links. Google explains when it is not a good thing when Googlebot is crawling you more. Google is testing 6 people also ask by default. Google launched menu buttons in the Google Maps results. Google AdSense has a new privacy and messaging feature for privacy rules.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google AI Overviews FAQs Including Why You Can’t Disable AI Overviews


    Google has posted a new document in its forums named frequently asked questions about AI Overviews. In this document it has a section named “why can’t I disable AI Overviews?” The answer is that Google’s “goal is to help people find the information they’re looking for quickly and reliably.”

  • Report On If Google Showing Fewer Reddit Links In Search?


    Some in the SEO industry have been asking if Google has been showing fewer links in its search results to Reddit over the past several weeks. So Mordy Obserstein pulled some Semrush data that showed a slight downtick in Reddit results in Google’s Discussion and Forums section.

  • Google: Two Common Reasons When A Spike In Crawling Is Bad


    Google’s Gary Illyes posted on LinkedIn with two common examples of when a spike in Googlebot activity, crawling, is a bad thing. The short answer is when Googlebot gets to crawling an infinite section of your site (like calendar pages that goes on forever) and when your site is hacked with a ton of new hacked pages.

  • Google Tests Two More People Also Ask Results (6 PPA)


    Google is testing showing two more people also ask results, by default, which is a total of six people also ask, instead of the typical four people also ask that Google would show in its search results.



  • Google Local Panels Gains Menu Button


    Google seems to be adding a “menu” button to the Google Business Profiles, the local panels, in the web search results. I think Google has tested this one and off over the years, but as Marcin Karwowski noted, it seems to be rolling out now to some businesses.



  • New Google AdSense Privacy & Messaging For Users To Opt Out


    Google has begun rolling out a new privacy and messaging feature for AdSense ads in some US states. This is to comply with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Utah privacy laws. The feature allows the site to communicate to the user about opting out of the sale or sharing of their personal information.



  • Google Japanese Circular Keyboard


    Here is a photo from Daniel Waisberg’s trip to the Google Japan office, and it shows these circular Japanese keyboards on display. There are other items on display.

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: June 18, 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 reports with # signs in them are not related to canonicalization in Google Search, it is related to Google Sitelinks. Bing Webmaster Tools can show clickthrough rates of over 100%, no joke. Google is testing black sitelinks. Google Maps added an edit and post button to the main buttons for Google Business Profiles. And no, Google Search does not always show the original source in its search results.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google: #s In Google Search Console Reports Are Unrelated To Canonicalization


    There is a lot of talk in the wider SEO community around pound signs, #, in the Google Search Console reports, meaning something about canonicalization. John Mueller from Google, along with a number of SEOs, said it has nothing to do with canonicalization. Instead, it has to do with Google tracking on-page sitelinks from the Google Search results.

  • Google: Our Search Results Do Not Always Show Original Source


    Google’s John Mueller said in the last SEO Google Office Hours video that Google’s “search results are not an indication of what Google’s systems consider to be the original source.” This means that just because Google ranks a piece of content, it does not necessarily mean that the content is the original source.



  • Bing Webmaster Tools Clickthrough Rate Over 100%


    Did you ever sort the Bing Webmaster Tools clickthrough-rate column from highest to lowest and notice that you can see a CTR higher than 100%, I even see 300%. Well, Fabrice Canel from Microsoft said this is possible when a searcher clicks on your listing more than once from the same search result set.


  • Google Maps Adds Edit & Post Button To Business Profile Listing


    Google has added an “edit” and “post” button more prominently as big buttons to Google Business Profiles within the Google Maps interface. Previously, these buttons were not as accessible in the Google Maps interface.

  • Google Search Tests Black Sitelinks


    Google is testing another variation of its sitelinks design, this one uses black font colors for the sitelinks. Of course, Google generally uses blue for those links, because links are generally in blue underlined font.



  • Google Japan Zashiki Seating


    Daniel Waisberg was at the Google Japan office and he snapped some photos, shared them on LinkedIn. Here is one of one of the cafe areas that has the Japanese floor seating, also called Zashiki /Tatami seating.

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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