Were You Affected By The March 2022 Product Review Update?
Google’s Alan Kent has finally confirmed that the March 2022 product reviews update has been rolled out. The fallout from which is evident in various affiliate marketing and business
While many businesses have been adversely affected, others have seen an improvement in rankings. But why?
The March 2022 update started on March 23rd and finished after 19 days. The update started rolling out at noon ET, the full brunt of which was felt by many websites by April 11th.
However, contrary to what many people have been saying on various forums and even Redditt, the update isn’t as significant as perhaps, the December 2021 update. The bad news is that the update is directly targeted at websites offering product review-type content. Most websites with this type of content saw their rankings nosedive.
Some review website owners reported an improvement in rankings, but why? What if you can make the changes to your website to improve rankings? For starters, you will want to put a lot more effort into your review content. It will need to be unique, have lots of amazing pictures of the product, and from what we gather, offer new information that’s not available on every other competing website.
What Does The SEO Community Think Of The March 2022 Product Reviews Update?
The SEO community was slow to respond to the update; some website owners saw volatility earlier than others, but most reported volatility by March 31st. The vast majority of review websites that felt the update’s impact did so significantly. Some webmasters, or should we call them affiliate marketers, saw their ranking plunge from the first page to the second or even the fourth page overnight.
The question many webmasters are asking is what can be done if they were hit? Is there a way to improve rankings after being hit by the update?
It’s too early to answer most of the questions that website owners are asking, so we’ll talk about what Google has recommended that people do if their rankings tank.
How To Make Things Better?
If the update has negatively hit you, there are two new best practices that the search giant recommends.
The first is to provide more multimedia around your product reviews, resulting in more photos and videos of the product being reviewed. This is because Google wants to know if you actually purchased or used the product to draft the review or if this is just rehashed content.
The second recommendation is to provide links to multiple product sellers instead of one. That means those who are Amazon affiliates peddling products like strollers or even cameras need to provide links to sellers who aren’t just on Amazon! In its infinite wisdom, Google wants affiliate marketers to give readers multiple purchase options so that they can buy from the merchant of their choice.
In addition, to the above, Google added the following criteria of what its algorithm thinks will matter in the update:
- Reviews should include insightful details about the product. For instance, drawbacks, benefits, comparisons to similar products, and specifics that only a user will know.
- Google also recommends talking about what the product is like physically and how it can be used.
- Reviewers are advised to ensure that the review includes unique information beyond what the manufacturer offers. For instance, information about the audio, visuals, and other experiences provided by the product. Does it look good in the hand? Does it feel smooth or tactile etc.?
- Compare it to similar products on the market. One-to-one comparisons are helpful because it helps potential buyers decide between two often identical products.
Google’s Recommendation for “Best” Product Reviews
Google merely states the obvious here, i.e., if you are recommending a product as the “Best,” talk about why it is the best for a particular purpose. Highlight what sets the product apart from all the others on the market, by outlining first-hand evidence of your experience using it.
If you create reviews that cover multiple products, it would also be a good idea to write high-quality reviews about individual products. Then rank those products. However, there needs to be enough helpful content so that each review can stand on its own.
Google’s ongoing effort is to provide users with the most relevant information. Whether it’s product reviews or perhaps finding a plumber near where their live, every algorithm update is about relevance. As someone who owns and runs a “Best” type review website, this will mean focusing on providing readers with valuable and unique information.
Google isn’t directly punishing product reviews that have low-quality content or that are light on content and that surmise a list of products. However, if you have such pages they will not rank anymore, or at least not as well as they once did.
While it may feel like a penalty, Google emphasised that it isn’t. The big G’s algorithm update is rewarding high-quality review content based on what we have seen. It also means that the update only impacts review-type content and not others.
So, if your website has seen its traffic size shrink, here are a few actionable steps:
-Redo your reviews to add more videos and product pictures
-Ensure that your reviews include unique information about the product, aka your personal experience
-Compare the product with others and explain why you think it’s the best
-Ensure that your review isn’t light on content. It should list every feature, and then explain it in detail