Google Product Review Update
Many product review sites have seen big changes in rankings since April 8th when this major update rolled out. It’s no surprise either. Many review sites are nothing more than lightly veiled “thin” affiliate sites re-writing reviews published elsewhere. But there are other types of review sites feeling this one too. Have you ever seen a site that utilizes the reviews of its readers to rate a product or service?
Here’s an example – and more importantly a very interesting reply from Google’s John Mueller:
I don’t know your site, it seems to mostly be light-weight reviews / comments from “random” users on the web. Looking at https://t.co/h36Fw6ZIuE the focus there is clearly on reviews from experts. Keeping the quality of a UGC site high is hard, I don’t have a simple solution.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 14, 2021
Ouch, John. That one hurt!
His message is clear though. The user-generated review sites could be at the end of their road. Or at least in the form the site above takes.
Google has made a few comments regarding this product review update as well. For now, this update is US based only, not international. This is expected to change soon though. John Mueller has mentioned that this update will not only demote some sites but also improve other’s rankings. This is all fairly par for the course.
Core Web Vitals Change
In perhaps what may be a bit of good news for some SEOs out there – Google has announced a postponement of the CWVs ranking signal. Originally slated for a May 2021 rollout this has now been changed to a “gradual rollout starting mid-June 2021.” Here’s their blog post on the change, new tools, and reports. https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience
So, if you haven’t taken the time to start addressing your core web vitals, now is the time. If you’re new to the concept or need help testing here is Google’s documentation on using their report within Search Console – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9205520?hl=en
Alternatively, you can use GTMetrix.com to take a quick peak at those vitals as well. If you’re not a fan of Google’s documentation and you need a little more insight on the topic you can check out our blog post here.
Regular Expressions in Search Console Are a Valuable Addition
In particular, eCommerce sites or sites with poor URL structure may find this feature incredibly helpful. In the example below, you’ll see that the ecom site has multiple pages indexed for the same product. Using Regex can help you find opportunities for canonicalizing pages like this.
The new regex feature in GSC is super helpful for sites with poorly optimized URL structures, like the below e-commerce site, which has multiple versions of the same product (different colors) on different URLs.
Makes it much easier to find opportunities for URL consolidation. pic.twitter.com/tfre1EMdif
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) April 16, 2021
Regex can also be used for some pretty interesting keyword research/topic research for new content to publish. We’ll share more on that in a future post.
As always we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below. Or if you’re an active client you can always reach out to your account strategist for more SEO Q&A or planning. We’re here to help your campaigns succeed.