As expected, Google’s November 2023 reviews update has started rolling out this week. It began on November 8, 2023, at around 12 pm ET. This update marks a change in Google’s approach to reviews updates, as it has become a regular part of their ongoing improvements, unlike previous reviews updates.
Google shared information about this update on its search status dashboard, stating, “Released the November 2023 reviews update. Learn more about how to write high-quality reviews. Going forward, as the reviews system is now being improved at a regular and ongoing pace, we will no longer be posting about future updates on the status dashboard.”
Here is the tweet:
Last week, Google informed us that this specific update signifies a shift, and they won’t provide periodic notifications for improvements to their reviews system since these enhancements will occur regularly.
As a quick reminder, the previous reviews update was significant in that it didn’t just impact product reviews but also influenced products, services, and other areas more broadly.
Google April 2023 Reviews Update Quick Facts
Here are the most important facts that we know right now in short form:
- Name: Google November 2023 Reviews Update
- Launched: November 8, 2023 at around 12 pm ET
- Rollout: It will take about 7 to 15 days to roll out
- Targets: It looks at all review content, including products, services, destinations, games, movies, or other topics
- 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.
- Several languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish.
- 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 said this update is now regular and they won’t confirm future refreshes or updates.
Google has also made some changes to its reviews system documentation page for this update. These changes include:
- Adding the statement: “The reviews system is improved at a regular and ongoing pace.”
- Removing the words “and updates to it” from the line that used to say, “What does this system and updates to it mean for my site?”
- Eliminating the line that previously read: “Periodically, we improve how the reviews system works. When we do this in a notable way, we share this as a ‘reviews update’ on our Google Search Status Dashboard.”
- Updating this line: “Content impacted by the reviews system may recover over time if you’ve made improvements to your content. However, note that our automated assessment of review content is only one of many factors used in ranking content, so changes can happen at any time for various reasons.”
Google’s Review Update Advice
Google has updated its guidance on creating review content that Google Search values. You can review this advice here. According to Google, publishing high-quality reviews can assist people in gaining insights into various topics they are interested in, including products, services, destinations, games, movies, and more. Here are Google’s current best practices for creating valuable review content:
- View It From the User’s Perspective: Approach your review as if you are the reader seeking information.
- Demonstrate Expertise: Show that you are knowledgeable about the subject you are reviewing, establishing your expertise.
- Provide Evidence: Back up your expertise by sharing visuals, audio, or relevant links that reflect your personal experience with the subject of your review, enhancing its authenticity.
- Use Quantitative Measures: Offer numerical measurements to assess the subject’s performance across different categories.
- Highlight Distinctions: Explain what makes the subject unique compared to its competitors.
- Cover Alternatives: Discuss similar options and specify which might be the best choice for particular purposes or circumstances.
- Discuss Pros and Cons: Share insights based on your original research regarding the subject’s advantages and disadvantages.
- Trace Product Evolution: Describe how the product has evolved from previous versions or releases, highlighting improvements, issue resolutions, or any information useful for potential buyers.
- Focus on Key Factors: Concentrate on the most critical decision-making elements based on your expertise or experience. For instance, a car review might emphasize fuel economy and safety as vital factors.
- Examine Design Choices: Explore how the product’s design choices impact users, providing insights beyond what the manufacturer claims.
- Include Useful Links: Add links to other helpful resources, either from your own content or external sources, to assist readers in making informed decisions.
- Offer Purchase Options: If applicable, provide links to multiple sellers to give readers the flexibility to choose their preferred merchant.
- Explain Why It’s the Best: When recommending something as the best overall or for a specific purpose, clarify why you consider it the best, supported by firsthand evidence.
- Comprehensive Ranked Lists: Ensure that your ranked lists contain enough valuable content to stand alone, even if you decide to create separate in-depth single reviews.
Google’s advice aims to help content creators generate informative and trusted review content that benefits both users and search results.
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