What to Know About the December 2021 Product Review Update

On November 17, a day before Black Friday, Google shocked everyone with the announcement of a broad core update on product reviews. And then, on December 1, Google announced another update on the algorithm that made an impact on a lot of sites. This was labeled the December 2021 product reviews update.

Before Christmas Day, Google has announced that the update had been fully rolled out. The update lasted 20 days from the moment it was announced – from December 1st until December 21. This was the second major product reviews update that followed the one on April 2021.

What Happened and What Changed

online product review

Data showed that the December update is bigger than the initial April product reviews update. In the past few weeks since the roll out, tracking tools were off the charts. The chatter about the update isn’t as crazy, but the volatility remained the same and continued all throughout the roll out. 

The December 2021 product reviews aimed to sift high-level product review content and reward them above those with ‘thinner’ content. Google wants to stray away from thin product reviews that only lists out a bunch of products, or product reviews that merely follows a template. Google aims to promote product review content that provides helpful information to its users.

The Effect of the Update

Google Product Review Update

The SEO community reacted to the December 2021 product reviews update. Some sites were also hit by the update, which indicate a need for better and more effective search engine optimisation services.  

If you were hit by the update, then the changes and effects were most likely massive. If you are hit by the initial April 2021 product reviews update and made improvements to your site, you’ll find little impact on this rollout.

What to Do If You Were Hit by the Latest Update

Google Product Review

If you were negatively impacted by the December 2021 product reviews update, Google gave out advice and best practices to work around the update. According to users, they trust product reviews more with evidence that the products were being tried and tested. When it comes to purchasing products, users prefer having more options. These are two important factors you need to consider.

Google advised sites to provide multimedia content like photos, videos, audio, or links to other firsthand experiences from customers to solidify your claim and review of the product. These also help in making the reviews more authentic.

The second advice is to provide more links to other sellers of the product. This will give users more options of the product, as well as the freedom to choose the seller on their own.

Google also reiterated that the December 2021 product reviews update is not a ‘penalty’. They rolled out the update to reward websites with content and insightful product reviews. The product review content that fits the criteria will rank higher in the search results, according to Google.

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