Google has just launched the November 2023 reviews update, signaling a significant change in how it handles review-based content. The update evaluates articles, blog posts, and similar standalone content that provides opinions and analysis. Notably, it excludes third-party reviews found on product or service pages.
What’s the Update?
For websites primarily featuring reviews, the evaluation will occur at the page level rather than site-wide, emphasizing a more granular approach. This update coincides with Google’s latest core search algorithm update, potentially causing search traffic and rankings fluctuations for many sites.
Unlike in the past, where review system improvements were announced periodically, Google now plans to make regular and ongoing changes without notifications. This shift may benefit sites that previously had to wait months for recovery after facing issues with Google’s review system.
For websites with reviews, this update suggests positive changes. While the continuous monitoring poses new challenges, faster rebounds due to regular updates can be advantageous.
Google advises these sites to adhere closely to its quality guidelines, emphasizing original, transparent, current, and informative content that covers both pros and cons.
Key Details at a Glance
Key details about the November 2023 Google Reviews update include:
- Timing: The update starts on November 8 and typically takes 1-2 weeks to complete.
- Scope: Initially affecting English content, Google suggests the update may expand to other languages.
- Google’s guidance: High-quality review content should be original, transparent, current, informative, and cover pros/cons.
- Impact: Websites reliant on reviews may experience volatility in rankings, depending on their alignment with Google’s evolving reviews system.
- Response: Google recommends auditing review content using quality rater guidelines and improving thin or low-value reviews.
- Pivot: For sites facing challenges, the update presents an opportunity to consider Google Ads for regaining lost traffic while simultaneously enhancing review content.
In summary, Google’s latest review update signifies a shift towards continuous evaluation and adjustment for sites offering review-based content. Despite potential short-term disruptions, the prospect of quicker recovery from ranking fluctuations through regular incremental updates is on the horizon.