Websites that share in-depth product reviews created by experts or enthusiasts will be better recognized and rewarded after the February 2023 product review update.
Google Search updates its system for product reviews regularly. By doing this, the searchers are guaranteed to receive reviews that share extensive research rather than scant content that simply summarizes product features.
Google tweeted about the release of the Product Review Update on February 21, 2023:
Today we released the February 2023 product reviews update, which applies to these languages globally: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish. It'll take ~2 weeks to fully roll out. More here: https://t.co/YpNnK97G3O
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) February 21, 2023
Today we released the February 2023 product reviews update, which applies to these languages globally: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish. It’ll take ~2 weeks to fully roll out.
Google search’s product reviews update
Instead of thin content that simply lists a lot of products, the product reviews system makes sure that people see product reviews that share in-depth research.
The system for evaluating product reviews primarily assesses content at the page level. Any content on a site, however, might be subject to the update if it contains a significant amount of product review content. A site-wide evaluation is unlikely to take place if you don’t have many product reviews (a significant not-single-digit-percentage part of your entire site is made up of them).
The following languages are currently covered by this system: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Technically speaking, this update should only have an effect on content that reviews products, not other kinds of content. Regarding this update, Google stated that “the overall focus is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.”
What does Google say in this product review update?
According to Google, its Product Reviews System is on a mission to improve the calibre of product reviews by surfacing more sincere, thoroughly thought-out, and perceptive reviews.
To guarantee that users only see the best review content on search engine result pages, Google promises to routinely update its product review system (SERPs). Websites writing poor reviews may see a drop in their rankings when the update goes live in the next two weeks.
When will this Product Reviews System Update Rollout?
Google stated that the rollout would take roughly two weeks to complete, making the completion date March 7, 2023.
What does this product review update mean for your website?
When choosing which product to buy, consumers can benefit greatly from product reviews. Focus on the quality and originality of your reviews rather than their length when writing them, and use as many of the aforementioned best practices as you can. This will give customers who read your reviews the most value.
To prevent your site from being negatively impacted by these updates, you should adhere to Google’s recommendations for producing high-quality product reviews. If you make any changes following the product review updates, it’s possible that the impacted content won’t be fixed until the following update.
Google Search’s guidance about AI-generated content
One of the more contentious aspects of how AI will change the game shortly is AI-generated content. Google is now directly addressing the issue and stating that AI-generated content is not against Search guidelines.
Google clarifies its position on AI-generated content and how Search views it in a new post to the Google Search Central blog.
It claims that AI-generated content is not expressly prohibited by Google Search guidelines. Google, however, will favour “high-quality content, regardless of how it is produced.” Based on “expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness,” or “E-E-A-T,” the company defines “high-quality content.”
Google has made some of the following statements:
“When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation- including AI – to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies. This said it’s important to recognize that not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spam. Automation has long been used to generate helpful content, such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts. AI can power new levels of expression and creativity, and serve as a critical tool to help people create great content for the web.”
“Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies.”
While Google won’t directly penalize AI-generated content, it does state that using AI to produce content with the “primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results” is still against the rules. However, not all automation is regarded as spam, according to Google.
Is AI content prohibited by Google Search policies?
Google’s policies do not prohibit the proper use of AI or automation. Thus, it is not used to create content primarily to manipulate search results, which is prohibited by Google’s spam policies.
Why does Google Search not prohibit content using AI?
Publishing has long relied on automation to generate insightful content. AI can help produce useful content in novel, exciting ways.
What measures will Google Search take to ensure that low-quality AI content doesn’t dominate search results?
The challenge of dealing with low-quality content is nothing new for Google Search. For years, Google has been fighting against low-quality content produced by both humans and machines. Systems are already in place to evaluate how useful content is. Other systems strive to improve first-person news reporting. Their systems are continually getting better.
How will Google respond to AI content that might spread false information or deviate from the consensus on significant issues?
Both contents produced by humans and by artificial intelligence have these problems. Regardless of how content is created, Google’s systems aim to surface high-quality information from reputable sources rather than information that goes against the consensus on crucial issues. Google’s systems give signals of reliability even more weight when it comes to subjects where information quality is crucial, such as health, civic, or financial information.
How can Search tell if artificial intelligence is being abused to saturate results?
SpamBrain is one of many Google algorithms that examine patterns and signals to help us recognize spam content, regardless of how it is created.
Will AI content have a high search ranking?
Using AI doesn’t provide content with any unique benefits. There is only content. It might perform well in Search if it is helpful, original, and satisfies E-E-A-T requirements. It might not if it doesn’t.
Should I generate content using AI?
It might be useful to think about if you see AI as a necessary tool to assist you in producing content that is both original and helpful. No, unless you consider AI to be a cheap and simple way to manipulate search engine results.
Should I give all of my content an author byline?
When readers would reasonably expect accurate author bylines, such as in any content where they might wonder “Who wrote this?” you should think about including them. As a reminder, bylines and author information should be used by publishers who appear in Google News.
Should I disclose AI or automation in my content?
Disclosures about AI or automation are helpful for content where readers might wonder “How was this created?”. When it would be reasonable to expect them, take into account adding them.
Can I claim AI as the content’s author?
Giving AI a byline as an author is probably not the best way to abide by Google’s recommendation to let readers know when AI is involved in the creation of content.