Google announced its most recent search algorithm update – Product Reviews Update. The Google update is another significant step in presenting the most useful and helpful information possible to its consumers.

The Google algorithm update aims to weed out thin content and reward well-researched and in-depth content based product reviews written by experts on the topic or product enthusiasts.

Google’s announcement on the product reviews update states –

“Google Search is always working to show the most useful and helpful information possible, through testing, experimenting and review processes. From this, we know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems, which we call the product reviews update, that’s designed to better reward such content.”

Google recognizes that product information and reviews are an integral aspect of the shopping experience for customers. Hence, quality product reviews with insightful analysis and original research will be rewarded by ranking higher on the SERPs, thereby providing users with valuable content.

Will the new Google Algorithm Update affect all sites?

The product reviews Google update will have an impact on all sites that publish product reviews. To embrace the quality update rolled out by Google, sites will have to include a lot of details, research work and thought into product reviews and testimonials to enjoy higher ranking positions.

Product reviews new standards based on the Google update – 

  1. A rounded analysis of products
  2. Reviews to include comparisons to similar products and/or comparisons to versions of the same product
  3. Well-researched content by subject experts and product enthusiasts
  4. Include quantitative analysis and data that may help consumers in their decision making process

It is also essential to carefully monitor traffic and look for change that is out of the ordinary to stay above the Google update. Check the website’s organic traffic from various sources and make relevant tweaks to the product reviews.

Does the Google Update attract a penalty?

The product reviews update does not attract any penalty however if your competitors meet Google’s standard of product reviews they will be ranked higher on the search results which in-turn might push you to a lower rank. As a result, sites with reviews that are short, vague or just a summary of products will have fight harder to rank higher on the search results.

Google also stated that the Google algorithm update is not classified as a core update and is only rolled out for English language reviews as of now.

Recovering from Google’s product review update

If your site has unfortunately experienced a negative impact on the rollout of the new Google algorithm update then follow the below recommendations from Google that will help you turn things around for your site –

  1. Reviews should include expert knowledge about products, written by product enthusiasts who know the topic
  2. Include product demonstrations with comparisons of performance data
  3. Unique research based content beyond manufacturer details along with product USP (what sets a product apart from its competitors)
  4. Include similar products one might consider, or suggest a products that might be best under different circumstances
  5. Include the journey and growth of the product
  6. Address decision making features of the product and its performance in respective areas
  7. Share reasons behind the design of a product and how it will affect users, beyond just what the manufacturer claims


Currently, the product reviews update is specifically aimed at products reviews however the Google algorithm update does have the potential to influence service reviews as well.