Product Algorithm Update March 2022: What You Need to Know
Every few months, Google makes algorithm updates to keep the SERP fresh with relevant results. These algorithm updates can be small and unnoticeable, or they can be extensive and change everything.
One of the latter was the case with Google's product algorithm update in March 2022. This update shook the SEO world and changed how products are ranked on the SERP.
Read on to learn more about:
- An overview of Google's Product Algorithm Update March 2022
- Why Google made this change
- What it means to your business
If you have been affected by the Google’s Page Experience Update February 2022 we have an article with tips to recover traffic.
Product Algorithm Update March 2022 Quick Facts
The Product Algorithm Update March 2022 is the third update released by Google. Previous versions were launched on April 8, 2021, then on December 1.
Here are important things you should know about this update:
- Name: Google March 2022 Product Reviews Update
- Launched: March 23, 2022 (around 12:00pm ET)
- Rollout: It may take about three weeks to fully rollout
- Completed: The update finished rolling out on April 11, 2022 – 19 days later
- Targets: It looks at product review content.
- Penalty: It’s not a penalty but rather promotes or rewards "insightful analysis and original research."
- Not a core update: Many think this is a core update, but it is not.
- English Language but will expand: Right now, this is only looking at English-language content. But most likely will expand soon to other languages because this is a global launch.
- Impact: Google didn’t say what percentage of searches or queries were impacted by this update.
- Discover: Google previously said that this update could impact your performance in Google Discover.
- Recover: If this update hits you, look at your content. Check if you can do better based on Google’s advice.
- Refreshes: Google will do periodic refreshes on this algorithm. But they may not communicate those updates in the future. This might be the first refresh Google has done. Also, it is the first refresh that Google communicated about.
The Reasoning Behind the Update
The update is based on feedback from users, who said they wanted more relevant and helpful results when searching for products. They also want sound purchasing advice on the search results.
Google says that the update will make it easier for users to find the products they're looking for and that the results will be more accurate and relevant.
The update will also affect the way product ads are displayed. Google says that the update will "improve the visibility of product ads, making it easier for users to find the products they're interested in."
Google has posted the graphic below indicating that this update will also impact product review lists:
Moreover, Google shared these FAQs with the update:
Changes You Need to Know
In addition to their advice on how to combat the negative impacts of this product reviews update, Google also provided two new best practices that may be helpful for your company.
- Provide more multimedia around each review, such as audio and visuals, to support your expertise and strengthen your review’s authenticity
- Add links to multiple sellers so readers will have various merchant options
Moreover, Google shared these criteria for what matters with this recent product reviews update:
- Add helpful in-depth product details
- Reviews or feedback from actual product users showing how the product looks like and how it should be used
- Include other pertinent information besides what the manufacturers provided, such as citing pertinent results
- Explain what sets the product from its competitors
Why Should You Care
Are the product review updates relevant to you?
If your business sells products online, then this algorithm update likely had a significant impact on your traffic and sales.
Consider checking your Google organic traffic rankings to determine if you’re impacted. Use our app’s Update Impact Report feature to determine which of your pages have been affected. Did it stay the same, decline, or improve? You may also use this feature to figure out which queries you get less or more after the update has been rolled out.
Google is constantly striving to ensure that the internet stays a place where people can trust what they find. With this third release, Google has taken an important step in making sure quality product reviews are identified and highlighted on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The new Google product reviews update will promote more creative and engaging content in search rankings.
It's true that Google does not punish lower-quality product reviews with thin content. But if you find your rankings demoted because other sites are promoted over yours and provide helpful, in-depth details about the products being reviewed - this will feel like a penalty.
Google aims to reward sites with the most insightful, high-quality product reviews by ranking them higher than pages with thin content.
Long-term, you'll want more detail and effort put into your product reviews. Detail and care will go much further with comparison reviews than simply summarizing what the product offers and how it’s used. Create reviews that are unique and comprehensive, so they stand out from the competition on the web.
If you previously ranked well for certain keywords but suddenly found yourself off the first page of results after this product review update, don't panic! There are ways to improve your ranking. Start by scheduling a demo of our SEO APP or booking a call with Gert to try the new SEO app.