Shift Your Focus to ‘Experience’ with Google April 2023 Review Update

Published Date: April 13, 2023
Shift Your Focus to ‘Experience’ with Google April 2023 Review Update

Google has recently introduced the Google April 2023 Product ReviewUpdate, making significant changes to the search engine’s reviews system.

This update, accompanied by its new Google Search Central documentation, will provide guidance on the type of content that Google’s Reviews System Algorithm may be looking for. You can think of this update as a change to one algorithm among several that are collectively known as Google’s Algorithm.

Focusing on Experience with Reviews

Google’s latest Reviews update places a strong emphasis on the Double-E-EA-T content quality paradigm, which was formally introduced by Google in December 2022. This new level of content quality, known as Double-E-EA-T, supersedes the previously established E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) standard.

Google Latest review Update

The extra “E” in Double-E-EA-T stands for Experience, which is considered as evidence of content quality by Google’s Review System. There have been reports of reviewers adding phrases such as “my hands-on analysis” or “in my experience” to their reviews, resulting in improved search engine rankings for the product review webpages.

Whether or not those reports are accurate or coincidental, it is evident from the new documentation that the threshold for demonstrating experience is significantly higher than mere textual claims.

Google’s latest documentation urges publishers to provide concrete evidence of experience.

Signals of Product Reviews Experience

The new documentation provides a list of signals that demonstrate product review experience, including visual evidence, audio, links to evidence of experience, and quantitative measurements. These signals are indicative of the fact that the product has been handled, tested, used, and measured.

  • Visual Evidence: It entails taking original photographs of the reviewed product, rather than relying on stock photographs.
  • Quantitative Measurement: It refers to measuring the quantity of a product’s performance, which is always a wise decision.
  • Audio or Visual Experience: Although Google did not offer specific examples of audio or visual experience, it can be reasonably assumed that they refer to appropriate contexts. While not applicable to all reviews, visual and audio experience may be significant for certain products, such as showcasing how quiet or noisy a product can be.

Languages to be Impacted by the Product Reviews System

The latest Reviews System update is likely to affect the following languages:

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Google’s Product Reviews System

With the new update, the standard for product reviews has been elevated. It is possible for low-quality reviews to still rank in the absence of higher-quality ones. However, this does not necessarily indicate that the Reviews System is ineffective. Rather, it could be a reflection of the overall quality of product reviews.

If you notice that your competitors are ranking with fake signals of experience by incorporating phrases related to experience, it could be advantageous to go above and beyond by presenting actual evidence of experiences, such as original photos and quantitative measurements (when relevant).

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