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Google adds more example categories of sites that may be impacted by the product reviews update

Google has added three new examples to the top of the “how to write product reviews” help document, clarifying more types of sites that may be impacted by the product reviews algorithm updates.

Three examples. Google added these three examples to this help document:

  • An expert staff member of a merchant that guides shoppers between competing products.
  • A blogger that provides independent opinions of products.
  • An editorial staff member at a news or other publishing site.

Confusion. Historically, there has been a lot of confusion about the types of sites that may be impacted by the product reviews algorithm updates. This algorithm was designed to look at sites that offer product reviews, not necessarily e-commerce sites that have reviews on the product listing pages.

These examples provide additional guidance on what types of sites may be impacted by this set of algorithm updates.

In short, it is about content where someone is doing a review of a product, either as a comparison or a deeper dive into a specific product. This can include merchant sites, shopper guides, bloggers that share their opinion, news or publishing sites doing reviews, and more.

As Alan Kent of Google recently said on Twitter “a merchant’s product page with user reviews is not considered a “product review page” in this context.”

Identify product reviews. Google also recently clarified that structured data may help Google identify product review-type content, but it is one of many ways Google identifies such content. Danny Sullivan wrote, “as for structured data, it might help us better identify if something is a product review, but we do not solely depend on it.”

Why we care. Hopefully, these clarifications and examples from Google will help you identify if your site was hit by a Google product reviews update over maybe another type of Google algorithmic update. Continued clarification from Google is useful and helpful for SEOs, publishers and site owners.


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About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.



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