On April 12, 2023, Google rolled out an update to its search algorithm dubbed the April 2023 Reviews Update.
Though it is not a core update, it is expected to have a significant impact as it promotes “insightful analysis and original research” and will thus reward websites that meet these criteria.
Here’s what you need to know about these recent changes.
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The Reviews Update at a Glance
|Name||April 2023 Reviews Update|
|Launch Date||April 12, 2023|
|Rollout Timeline||13 days, completed on April 25, 2023|
|Targets||All review content, including products, businesses and services, destinations, media, etc|
|Purpose||To promote or reward insightful analysis and original research, not to penalize websites|
|Languages Affected||English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish|
Google’s algorithm change expands upon its previous product review updates to include all reviewable topics such as businesses, destinations, games, movies, and more.
As part of this update, the search engine has changed the name of its “product reviews system” to simply “reviews system” and has updated its guidance documentation accordingly.
Will Your Website Be Affected?
The impact of the April 2023 Google Reviews Update is significant for many types of websites, as the change in guidance from “product reviews” to “reviews” applies to a wide range of content.
For one, Google has edited its guidance on how to write high-quality reviews to apply more generic language, such as changing “shoppers” to “people” and “product” to “thing” or “something.”
Although these changes may seem like minor grammatical tweaks, they have a broad scope. The algorithm’s review system now evaluates everything written to provide recommendations, opinions, or analyses — whether that be articles, blog posts, pages, or standalone content.
It’s also important to note that reviews can be about a single thing, head-to-head comparisons, or ranked lists of recommendations, and can be about any topic, including products, media, services, and businesses.
While it is not a penalty update, the changes can still impact a website’s performance in Google Search and Google Discover. High-quality, informative reviews that offer unique insights will likely see a boost in their traffic, while those with low-quality or spammy reviews may see a drop in their SEO rankings.
How To Respond to the April 2023 Google Reviews Update
As usual with Google updates, these changes aim to improve the quality and relevance of search results.
Here’s how to ensure your website succeeds under the new update if you publish any of the aforementioned types of content.
- Review Your Website’s Content
This update emphasizes the importance of demonstrating experience. Look for areas in your existing content that can be improved based on Google’s advice, such as adding more detail, being more specific, or including original research.
- Monitor Your Website’s Performance
A drop in website traffic may be a sign that your reviews are not meeting Google’s new standards. Make adjustments as needed and continue to track your progress over time.
- Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Provide in-depth and insightful information, rather than shallow or duplicate content. Your reviews should be helpful, well-written, and provide value to your audience.
Let Coalition Technologies Help
Google updates can be extremely confusing, but SEO specialists like Coalition Technologies can help you navigate the algorithm changes and optimize your content to meet the latest standards.
Contact us today to see how our long-term or monthly SEO services preserve rankings for websites after an update like this is implemented.