Google Clarifies Product Review Best Practices

Google updated the documentation on how to write product reviews to add examples of kinds of product reviewers and to tighten 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.

Product Review Best Practices For Writing

Google’s Search Central documentation on how to write product reviews is meant to provide product review publishers and merchants with guidance on what constitutes high quality product reviews.

The purpose of the documentation is to list specific best practices for product reviews so that those pages have a better chance of being seen by consumers in Google Search.

Examples of Product Reviewers

The change made to the documentation makes it clearer what kinds of publishers the best practices are meant for.

Google Lists Three Examples

The documentation lists three examples of the kinds of product review publishers.

The addition to the page does not say that this is a limitation on who the best practices are limited to.

See also  Google Allows Custom Dimensions In GA4 Reports

It’s just three examples of product review publishers.

These are the three examples:

“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.”

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

Product Review Pages

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.

List of Changes Made to the Product Review Best Practices

1. Removed the word “reviews” and added “product review pages”

Before:

“Publishing high quality product reviews on your ecommerce or product review site…”

After:

“Publishing high quality product review pages on your ecommerce or product review site…”

2. Removed 20 words. Everything after the words “for example” was removed.

Before:

“For example, reviews can guide shoppers between competing products, helping shoppers pick the best make or model for their needs and budget.”

After:

“For example, you could create a product review page as:

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.”

3. The word “reviews” was removed and updated to “review pages.”

Before:

“To help shoppers discover your product reviews in Google Search and on other Google surfaces, follow these best practices:”

After:

“To help shoppers discover your product review pages in Google Search and on other Google surfaces, follow these best practices:”

Who the Best Practices Are For is Clearer

The update to the product review best practices clarifies that the documentation is meant for product review pages, which excludes user generated product reviews.

See also  Global vs. Local Websites: Which Is Right For You?

This is further clarified by the examples of who is writing the product reviews: merchant staff, a blogger or a writer at a news or other form of publishing entity.

So while it may seem like a relatively minor change it actually clarifies who the best practices documentation is meant for.


Citations

Compare between original version and the updated documentation:

Original webpage on the Archive.org Wayback Machine

Updated and current webpage

Featured image by Shutterstock/Just dance