February 23 Product Reviews Update

The February 23 Product Reviews Update aims to better reward high-quality reviews, which are content that provides insightful analysis and original research and is written by specialists or enthusiasts who know the topic well. This page explains more about how the reviews system works, and what you can do to assess and improve your content.

How the reviews system works

The reviews system works to ensure that people see reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarises a bunch of products, services, or other things.

The reviews system is designed to evaluate articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content written with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis. It does not evaluate third-party reviews, such as those posted by users in the reviews section of a product or services page.

Reviews can be about a single thing, or head-to-head comparisons, or ranked lists of recommendations. They can be about any topic. There can be reviews of products such as laptops or winter jackets, pieces of media such as movies or video games, or services and businesses such as restaurants or fashion brands.

The reviews system primarily evaluates review content on a page-level basis. However, for sites that have a substantial amount of review content, any content within a site might be evaluated by the system. If you don’t have a lot of reviews, a site-wide evaluation is not likely to happen.

What does this mean for my site?

Periodically, Google improves how the reviews system works. When they do this in a notable way, they share this as a “reviews update” on their Google Search Status Dashboard.

Assuming improvements have been made, content that was impacted by a reviews update might not recover until the next update is released. However, note that the 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.


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