April was a quieter month in the SEO world. Of course, there’s always news and things to take into account to make sure your website stays up to date with the best opportunities to rank. Take a look at our roundup of the latest SEO Updates for April 2023.
Product Reviews Update
Let’s start out with the latest Google April 2023 Reviews Update released on April 12th. This one shook up a lot of the search results across the board as Google continues to focus on a good online experience for every user. Previously, Google called these “Product” Reviews Updates. But this latest one removes the word product. Google saying this now “covers reviews about products, services, and things, with a link about how to write high-quality reviews on your website.”
Released the April 2023 reviews update, which now covers reviews about products, services, and things. Learn more about how to write high quality reviews:https://t.co/tdM0JhyyTG
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) April 12, 2023
If you think about it, this means it can impact reviews on products, businesses in general, destinations, movies, music, and basically anything you can have an opinion about. It’s a little overwhelming when you think about it. But also the potential can be exciting! At the center of these reviews, you still need to have good content that is actually helpful. Petty reviews that don’t actually help the end user won’t get a page ranked high. Always practice good grammar, easy-to-read sentences, and content that provides value to a reader.
Google’s documentation around the reviews system says, “The reviews system is designed to evaluate articles, blog posts, pages or similar first-party standalone content written with the purpose of providing a recommendation, giving an opinion, or providing analysis. It does not evaluate third-party reviews, such as those posted by users in the reviews section of a product or service page.” It also further explains that the system evaluates content on a page-level basis and not at a site-level as a whole for those sites dedicated to this type of content.
This Reviews update applies to content written in the following global languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Updated Ranking Systems
Remember a few years ago when the Google Page Experience Update came out and stressed a lot of people out? One of those updates that Google announced a year in advance so we could all prep for it. Well, an interesting turn in April, Google announced the retirement of the following ranking systems:
- Page experience
- Page speed
- Secure sites
Google added in a blog on their Search Central website, “What does this mean for the ‘page experience update?’ The page experience update was a concept to describe a set of key page experiences for site owners to focus on. In particular, it introduced Core Web Vitals as a new signal that our core ranking systems considered, along with other page experience signals such as HTTPS that they’d already been considering. It was not a separate ranking system, and it did not combine all these signals into one single page experience signal.”
John Mueller also said the change was in part because “we’ve seen people hyper-focused on these numbers, that’s not a good use of time & energy.” He encouraged SEOs and webmasters to think more holistically.
Not saying that all these elements are not important in SEO efforts. But these signals alone will no longer be individual ranking factors.
Google UA Data Availability
We’ve talked about this a few times in the past monthly SEO updates. But Google Analytics 4 is coming. Many feared what would happen to all their data for the July 1st deadline. But while that date to be up and running on GA4 is coming quickly, and Google UA data will stop being collected on July 1st of this year, historical Google UA data will continue to be available for a year until July 1, 2024. Essentially all UA access will change to viewer only instead of editor access while you export your data.
Apple Business Connect
Lastly, in some non-Google news. For a long time, Apple Maps was kind of a joke. Directions to a business a few miles away could have taken you on a 45-minute detour across town. However, Apple has made a ton of progress, updated its interface, made it very easy for walking in directions in big cities, and integrated features across its platforms. And with all these new features, it’s time for local businesses to take note of the new ways to get found online with a tool that is getting more sophisticated each day.
Apple calls it Apple Business Connect. It’s a free tool that allows each business to customize how their information appears across all Apple apps and services. It’s similar to Google’s Business Profile but with a few more features. It connects everything from Apple maps, business information, and how much a user has in their Apple Pay -– making for a seamless experience for Apple users.
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Services says “Apple Business Connect gives every business owner the tools they need to connect with customers more directly and take more control over the way billions of people see and engage with their products and services each day.”
Businesses can do everything from updating photos, and logos, inviting customers to order food or make a reservation, special promotions, and much more right from the app or interface. Business owners can use their existing Apple ID or create a new one.