On April 12th, 2023, Google released the April 2023 reviews update. We have seen Google release product reviews, including the most recent February 2023 product reviews update. However, this update is different from the rest. 

This update goes further by evaluating ALL reviews about products, services, and things.

These types of reviews can cover any topic that is able to be reviewed including:

  • Services and businesses.
  • Destinations.
  • Media (e.g., games, movies).

Language Changes

What’s also important to note is with this update expansion, Google is also changing the name of its “product reviews system” to “reviews system”. This also included changes to the language in multiple areas of its instructions around product reviews to now apply to all types of reviews.

Along with their announcement about the update, Google also showcased their article on How to write high quality reviews. They have changed their wording and focus in the article to not just focus on “product reviews” but all types of “reviews” as a whole. 

Marie Haynes highlights and shares the changes of this wording here:

Some more examples of these wording changes include changing the word “shoppers” to “people” or even the word “product” becoming “thing” or “something”. While these may not seem like huge changes, it’s impact is larger in the sense that it widens its implications to a larger scale.

Writing High-Quality Reviews

Google shares in their reviews system update about reviews saying:

“The reviews system works to ensure that people see reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products, services or other things.

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 services page.

Reviews can be about a single thing, or head-to-head comparisons, or ranked-lists of recommendations. Reviews can be about any topic. There can be reviews of products such as laptops or winter jackets, pieces of media such as movies or video games, or services and businesses such as restaurants or fashion brands.”

Here are some ways in which Google recommends how to create high quality reviews:

  • Evaluate from a user’s perspective.
  • Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about what you are reviewing—show you are an expert.
  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with what you are reviewing, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Share quantitative measurements about how something measures up in various categories of performance.
  • Explain what sets something apart from its competitors.
  • Cover comparable things to consider, or explain which might be best for certain uses or circumstances.
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of something, based on your own original research.
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision.
  • Focus on the most important decision-making factors, based on your experience or expertise (for example, a car review might determine that fuel economy and safety are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas).
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.
  • Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
  • Consider including links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.
  • When recommending something as the best overall or the best for a certain purpose, include why you consider it the best, with first-hand supporting evidence.
  • Ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single reviews.

Google said this system and update will apply to these languages: 

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

Ansley is the former Content Marketing Manager at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.