Google announced its sixth product review system update on February 21, 2023. This update is known as the February 2023 product reviews update and was completed on March 7, 2023.
The update applies to English sites and global languages like Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Google launched the update to reward sites that offer original and insightful product review content.
Google’s Official Announcement
Google announced this new update via Twitter and what to expect in its official blog post.
Today we released the February 2023 product reviews update, which applies to these languages globally: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish. It'll take ~2 weeks to fully roll out. More here: https://t.co/YpNnK97G3O
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 21, 2023
What Are People Saying?
Several SEO experts have tweeted about the update, sharing their thoughts and insights on the new product reviews update. One of the most notable SEO experts, Barry Schwartz, turned to Twitter to offer his insights on the update.
Here is a comparison of the before and after of the official Google product reviews update documentation – more at https://t.co/hhjWhTCD9Q pic.twitter.com/FgAHtYtfbs
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) February 22, 2023
David Papp, another SEO expert, also shared his thoughts on the update.
Google February 2023 product reviews update more volatile than previous updates, say data providers https://t.co/VUrBntV4DP pic.twitter.com/zcIUn3IYNT
— David Papp (@DavidPapp) March 9, 2023
Glenn Gabe also shared his thoughts, reporting some fluctuation in searches for various product review websites.
Here we go. I'm seeing more volatility today based on the February Product Reviews Update. Here are some exs of surges & drops so far. The two below include a large health & medical site & a food/recipe site. These are both for US/English. I'll be checking other languages soon: pic.twitter.com/PCZYdlSPjc
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) February 23, 2023
What’s Next – Dealing With This Update
According to Google, the goal of the update is to reward product review content that is based on original research and provides insightful analysis rather than thin content that summarizes a bunch of products.
This means that if you publish product review content on your website and discover that your rankings have dropped, it is possible that other content was promoted because it was more insightful than yours.
To avoid being affected by the update, make sure to write product reviews that are insightful and express expert knowledge about the products you’re reviewing.
You can use Rank Math Analytics to see which pages have been affected. You can then update your content to align with Google’s product review guidelines and use Rank Math’s Product Schema to display important information about your product reviews as rich snippets on the search results page.
Watch our video below to learn how to recover your website from the update.