Things you need to know about the launch of the December 2021 Product Review Update

2 min read

The second google product reviews update of the year is here, At at 12:30 p.m. ET on December 1, 2021, Google began rolling out the December 2021 product reviews update. For the time being, this only affects English-language pages. Google estimates that it will take three weeks to finish.

 

The update to product reviews intends to reward high-quality product review content over shallow product review content. This isn’t a core update; we already had one; instead, it’s targeted at product review content, such as what you’d find if you Googled a product name and reviews, such as Asus laptop.

 

Product reviews are very important as many customers trust reviews before buying a product or service. People rely on others’ reviews while researching and this makes them in making an informed decision.

 

A tweet from Google Search Central announced:

 

“Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete.”

 

Google Developer Advocate Alan Kent tweeted:

 

“It is one of many ranking signals, but certainly the goal is to reward authentic high quality reviews. The docs page lists our recommendations for good reviews.”

 

Kent clarified about the types of  sites will be affected by the December 2021 product review update:

 

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products. Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com. Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

 

Over time Google has received more feedback from users on what type of review content is deemed trustworthy and useful, which motivated them to provide additional product review guidance. Users have been told, that they trust reviews with evidence of products actually being tested, and prefer to have more options to purchase the product.

Therefore Google is introducing two new best practices for product reviews, to take effect in a future update.

  • 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.

 

Some best practices to use to write high-quality product reviews:

To help shoppers discover your product reviews in Google Search and on other Google surfaces, follow these best practices:

  • Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective.
  • Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products reviewed – show you are an expert.
  • 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.
  • Share 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 your own original research.
  • 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.
  • Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
  • Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

Product reviews often use affiliate links to products listed on an e-commerce site, so that if a shopper finds a review useful and follows the provided link to purchase a product, the creator of the review is rewarded by the seller.