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Google Updates Search Snippets For Product Review Pages

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Google Updates Search Snippets For Product Review Pages

Google updates search results for product review pages by listing an item’s pros and cons in the search snippet.

In addition, there’s structured data to go along with this update, but it’s not 100% mandatory to qualify for the new snippets.

While the new pros and cons structured data is recommended, Google says it will try to pull the information into the snippets automatically.

Here’s what’s changing and how to manually add the structured data to your product review pages.

New Search Snippets For Product Review Pages

Google is displaying more detailed snippets for product review pages with new lines of text listing pros and cons.

In a blog post, Google states:

“Product reviews often contain a list of pros and cons, which our research has shown to be popular with shoppers when making their purchasing decisions. Because of their importance to users, Google Search may highlight pros and cons in the product review snippet in Search results.”

An example of the new search snippet is shown below:

Image credit: Screenshot from developers.google.com/search/blog, August 2022.

Google can create these new snippets automatically, as long as the information appears somewhere on the page.

You can make the information clear to Google by marking up your product review pages with pros and cons structured data.

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New Pros & Cons Structured Data

In conjunction with the update to product review search snippets, Google is introducing a new type of structured data.

As a best practice, it’s always recommended to use Google-supported structured data when possible, even if it’s not a requirement.

To manually tell Google about the pros and cons of an editorial product review, add the positiveNotes and/or negativeNotes properties to your nested product review.

Examples of both types of markup code are shown below:

Google Updates Search Snippets For Product Review PagesImage credit: Screenshot from developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/product
Google Updates Search Snippets For Product Review PagesImage credit: Screenshot from developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data/product

See Google’s official documentation for more information about applying this markup.

If you add pros and cons structured data, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Currently, only editorial product review pages are eligible for the pros and cons appearance in Search, not merchant product pages or customer product reviews.
  • There must be at least two statements about the product. It can be any combination of positive and/or negative statements (for example, ItemList markup with two positive statements is valid).
  • The pros and cons must be visible to users on the page.

Source: Google
Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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SEO

Aftermath Of August 8 Google Outage

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Aftermath Of August 8 Google Outage

Google experienced a major outage this week that affected Search and Maps. Publishers and SEOs also reported problems with search indexing.

The problem seems to largely be resolved, although earlier today there were still some pockets reporting ongoing issues.

Ranking Disruptions

Many people reported disruptions in rankings, and some thought it was due to a ranking update.

One panicked individual posted a discussion on WebmasterWorld about lost rankings:

“I’ve noticed something that really worries me. Some of the main keywords got dropped from 1-2nd place to 10th.

This happened overnight, yesterday everything was fine. Today what I see is that keywords are going from top positions to the bottom of 1st page.

The reason is quite obvious at least in my eyes – the displayed URLs are not relevant. For example, our top ranking page for many commercial keywords was changed (by Google) with a page that is almost not relevant.

…Something else I see is that when using site:sitename.com the indexed pages dropped again overnight from ~230 to 169! The home page in the local language does not show anywhere.”

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On August 10, 2022, the person who started the discussion reported:

“Things seem to be back to normal at least for our website.”

Many others on Twitter and Facebook are also saying no further issues are lingering around.

Indexing Issues

An area that the mainstream media didn’t report was an indexing issue. Many in the search community posted about problems with indexing.

Marie Haynes asked if anyone was still seeing problems with indexing:

Some reported that things were back to normal or beginning to return:

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Google uses data centers all around the world, and changes introduced to search have historically taken time to spread worldwide.

Google Apologizes

The Guardian reported that a Google spokesperson apologized for the outage and explained it was due to a software update (that caused unintended consequences).

“We’re aware of a software update issue that occurred late this afternoon Pacific Time and briefly affected availability of Google search and Maps,” they said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience. We worked to quickly address the issue and our services are now back online.”

Google rankings and indexing issues should be resolved now; if they haven’t, give it a little more time.

If they haven’t changed by the end of the week, it is possible that it could be unrelated to the outage because coincidences do happen.

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