Google Clarifies Product Review Best Practices

October 10, 2022

Google recently updated its documentation on how to write product reviews, adding examples of different types of product reviewers and tightening the focus of the documentation with more precise wording.

Overall, there were three removals from the original document (out of 21 lines). There were also seven additions to the document, resulting in 24 total lines.

The purpose of the documentation is to provide product review publishers and merchants with guidance on what constitutes high quality product reviews, so that those pages have a better chance of being seen by consumers in Google Search.

The change made to the documentation makes it clearer what kinds of publishers the best practices are meant for. The documentation now lists three examples of the kinds of product review publishers:

  1. Review sites that focus on a single type of product, like laptops or baby strollers
  2. Sites that sell products and also write reviews about them
  3. Sites that write reviews about multiple products from different brands

The second change to the product review best practices is to make it clearer that these best practices refer to product review pages and not just product reviews.

It’s a seemingly minor distinction that actually brings more clarity.

The documentation still retains a passage acknowledging that product review pages can contain affiliate links.

You can read more about the changes here:

Google has released a set of best practices for creating product review pages that will help shoppers discover them on Google Search and other surfaces. These best practices are designed to help merchants create high-quality product review pages on their ecommerce or product review sites.

Some of the key recommendations include:

  • Use an expert staff member or blogger to write reviews, rather than an editorial staff member at a news site. This will help to ensure that the reviews are independent and objective.
  • Make sure that the reviews are well-written and informative, with a focus on helping shoppers make informed purchase decisions.
  • Include rich media (such as images, videos, and user ratings) in the review pages to make them more engaging and informative.
  • Optimize the review pages for search engines by including relevant keywords in the title, meta tags, and body text of the reviews.

You can find more information about these best practices, as well as other tips for optimizing your product review pages, in Google’s help center article on the topic.

Google recently updated their documentation on best practices for product reviews. The update clarifies that the documentation is meant for product review pages written by merchant staff, bloggers, or writers at news or other publishing entities - not for user generated reviews.

This is a relatively minor change, but it's an important clarification nonetheless. The original webpage on the Wayback Machine is linked below, as well as the updated and current webpage.

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