New Google Updates Focus on User Reviews
Google advises users of algorithm updates that are rolled out periodically, with the latest made last month. Google rolled out its latest updates on December first, and like most Google updates, it rewards sites that continue to implement Google best practices.
December’s update is a refresh of April’s update focusing on product reviews, rewarding sites that offer high-level review content. This new algorithm will continue to analyze product and service review content on sites, piggybacking on the April Product Reviews Update.
Google’s Goal Number One: User Experience
Google algorithm updates are usually focused on their main goal: user experience. This includes searches for products online and the ability to make choices based on information the user is exposed to and product reviews that other people leave.
According to Google, “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…to better reward such content.”
Over the years, product review spam has been an ongoing issue, with many users falsely taken in by fake reviews. As Google continues to refine its systems, it will rely more on authentic, insightful review content written by individuals who know and understand the product well. As always, Google remains committed to those site owners who provide expert, original content, even when it comes to their product reviews. This new update further reinforces that.
Getting Better Quality User Feedback
New advice from Google suggests that site owners focus on getting more quality feedback from their users in the way of trustworthy and usable review content. They analyze the trustworthiness of this content by looking for evidence that the product has been used and tested. Consequently, they have added the following to their list of best practices. Site owners should
- Add visual, audio, or other links showing direct experience with the product, which further supports the authenticity of the review and expertise using the product
- Include links to multiple sellers of the product to give readers an option of where to purchase it
While the first makes sense, those who sell a product or service will probably not care to link to competitors unless they can make a clear case why they are a better option and resource for that product.
How Does a Reviewer Show Expert Knowledge?
What are things that Google may consider “expert knowledge” when it comes to a review? Some recent suggestions between Google and digital marketing professionals include
- The reviewer expresses their expert knowledge about the product, if appropriate
- Physically show the product and how it works
- Express knowledge about the product that isn’t readily available by the manufacturer
- Provide quantitative evidence of how a product’s performance compares with similar products
- Explain what sets the product apart from the competition
- Describe the history of the product and how it has evolved into its current form
- Describe other factors that may help other users decide to choose that product
While these current updates are specifically aimed at product review sites, they further support the fact that Google values original, expert content, and user reviews can be an integral part of this. Further optimizing a site with video, audio, and other important review links helps websites rank better overall and keeps consistent with how Google rewards a site based on consistent, original, and expert content.
Getting the Skilled and Concise SEO You Need in Today’s Marketplace
At Fuel Web Marketing, we continue to use and update our strategies to reflect Google best practices to support the best possible rankings for our clients. We do this by analyzing and improving quality, expert content (including essential user reviews!) so you can stand out from your competition.
Professional, high-quality search engine optimization is critical in today’s digital world. Don’t leave your website rankings to chance. Contact us today to learn how we can improve your website reach so you can do what you do best.