Product Reviews Update: Is It Limited to the English Language?
In one of Google’s SEO news and updates, they announced that their Product Reviews update would roll out to the English language. However, the search engine company did not mention launching the SEO update in other languages, so Google’s John Mueller shed light on the matter.
Google Launches Product Reviews Update
In 2021, Google published a Twitter post on 1 December to announce that it would roll out the Product Review update and focus on English language web pages. The update aims to improve the quality of the reviews that Google shows in the search results, specifically targeting review sites.
One SEO tweeted the types of websites that this update would be targeting. They said it would be mainly relevant to websites that create articles with reviews about products and services, possibly content with titles like “best TVs under £150”. The goal is to show users more helpful reviews.
Google also created a blog post to guide SEOs on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that the search engine’s algorithm would consider. The first best practice requires evidence that a product was used and reviewed. Meanwhile, the second practice required links directing to more than one page that a customer could buy the product or service.
The search engine company stated that it would roll out to English language websites. However, it didn’t mention if it would include other languages, nor did it specify if it was only limited to English.
Mueller on Product Review Update Targeting More Languages
A person asked Mueller about the matter, thinking that the product review update was only limited to English web pages. However, they noticed search volatility and movement in the German language these past few weeks, which seemed related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review update. They asked Mueller if the update affects other websites as well.
Mueller admitted that he does not know specifically, but he assumes that the update is global and across all languages. He said he did not know what exactly was included in Google’s blog post. However, the search engine company usually pushes the engineering team to decide the specifics of the update so they can properly document it in their announcements. But he does not know if that happened with this specific update.
But from Mueller’s perspective, this update could roll out in multiple languages instead of being limited to English. And even if it was only launched in English, he assumes that it is a relevant update globally and that Google would find a way to roll it out to other languages in the future. Therefore, it is not surprising to see changes in German or other languages.
Product Reviews May Affect Other Languages
Although Google’s announcement on Twitter specified that the product reviews update has only been rolled out to the English language, the official blog post did not claim such limitations. Mueller gave insights on the product reviews update, saying that the search engine company could launch it in multiple languages in the future.
The SEO community may wonder if Google’s announcement on Twitter meant that they would be launching the update to English web pages first and subsequently to other languages. But as of now, it is unclear whether or not the update was launched to more languages unless Google clarifies it.
Google’s Blog Post About the Product Reviews Update
Google’s first announcement about the product reviews update was in April of 2021. The update, which was made to promote high-quality product reviews, started rolling out on 1 December. The search engine company said it might change how a website’s product reviews rank in the search results. If a site owner changes their content, they may observe improvements during Google’s latest release.
SEOs must remember that product reviews are only one of the many factors that Google uses to rank content. Therefore, changes might happen at any time due to various reasons.
Google also said that several users gave them feedback about what they think are useful and trustworthy product reviews. The user feedback motivated the search engine company to create additional product review guidance. According to what the users say, they trust reviews with proof that the products are being used and tested. They also want more options when buying a product.
Based on the user feedback, Google introduced the two best practices, which will take effect in the future update. Google’s blog post described these practices in more detail:
- SEOs must give evidence like audio, visuals, and links for product reviews. Doing so will reinforce the review’s authenticity and the publisher’s expertise.
- Include links to several sellers to give the users more options to purchase from their preferred store.
Google also made a single documentation page containing these two best practices, along with the best practices that they launched in April of 2021.
Google provided the following tips that SEOs can try:
- Re-assess the product from the customer’s point of view
- Demonstrate knowledge and expertise in the products reviewed
- Explain how the product is unique from competitors
- Discuss comparable products and give advice on which item is the best buy for certain circumstances
- Cover pros and cons of the product based on original research
- Include information about how the product evolved from previous releases and models and write about issues and improvements to help users make a purchase decision
- Determine significant decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the item performs in those areas. For instance, car reviews may include categories like safety, economy, and handling, which are key decision-making factors when buying a car.
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