Google has declared the commencement of the November 2023 reviews update today. This update signifies a shift in how Google approaches review-oriented content in the future.
Per Google’s statement, the reviews ranking system will now appraise articles, blog entries, and other analytical content. It will not scrutinize user-generated evaluations on product or service web pages.
How will it impact your website?
For websites predominantly featuring reviews, the evaluation will encompass all such content. Assessments will be done per page rather than site-wide. It will be done mainly for sites with other focuses than reviews.
The reviews update, launching today, aligns with Google’s latest core search algorithm update, which is also in progress. Due to the combined impact, this could lead to fluctuations in search traffic and rankings on many websites in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, Google has mentioned that these review system changes will happen continuously. This means Google won’t send notifications about review system updates while they are ongoing.
What you should know about the November 2023 Reviews Update?
For websites dedicated to reviews, this adjustment may offer some advantages.
Historically, when Google’s review system had adverse effects on websites, they had to wait months until the next update for potential improvements, even if they promptly addressed the issues.
Recoveries can be expedited in light of this transition towards regular and incremental modifications. Nevertheless, the ongoing scrutiny and assessment of review-centric content pose novel challenges for publishers. Google advises that websites featuring reviews meticulously conform to their exacting quality standards and accord prominence to their guidance.
Key Information at a Glance
Timing: The November 2023 Google Reviews update begins on November 8.
Scope: It will impact reviews-based content in English, potentially expanding to other languages.
Google’s advice: Google suggests that high-quality reviews should be original, transparent, current, and informative. It will cover the pros and cons.
Impact: Websites relying on reviews for traffic might experience fluctuations in rankings. It depends on how well their content aligns with Google’s evolving reviews system.
Response: Follow Google’s quality rater guidelines to audit your review content. Focus on enhancing thin or low-value reviews.
Pivot: If your site is losing ground, consider using Google Ads to recover lost traffic while working on improving your review content.