Google’s Upcoming Reviews System Update: A Game Changer for SEO

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The Enigmatic Google Reviews System: A Peek Behind the Curtain

Google has recently released a fresh Q&A regarding core updates, and within this treasure trove of information lies a pivotal revelation – a forthcoming reviews update. This update signifies the end of an era and heralds the dawn of a new era for review updates.

The Enigmatic Google Reviews System Google’s Reviews System has always been somewhat enigmatic, shrouded in mystery. While there isn’t an abundance of information available about it, the nomenclature suggests that it operates on a machine learning model with a classifier process, akin to the Helpful Content System.

The Reviews System documentation doesn’t divulge much about signals or its role in the ranking process. In fact, it doesn’t explicitly mention generating a signal. Nonetheless, here’s what we do know about the Reviews System:

“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.”

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that if a website’s content primarily consists of reviews, the system will assess all of it. However, if reviews aren’t the main focus, the evaluation will be at the page level rather than site-wide.

Anticipating the Reviews System Update Nestled inconspicuously within Google’s latest search update Q&A is a revelation: a reviews update is slated to launch within the coming week. The announcement is succinct but impactful:

“We expect an update to our reviews system to start rolling out next week.”

This means November is set to deliver a double punch of updates, starting with the ongoing rollout of the November Core Algorithm Update and followed closely by the Reviews Update.

More Developments for Review Sites Another noteworthy development is that after the imminent Reviews System update, Google intends to transition to regular releases of updates and enhancements for the system. Though the announcement refrains from explicitly labeling this transition as a “rolling update,” it certainly hints at that direction. A rolling update involves incremental, routine improvements or changes to a system.

Here’s what Google had to say about the new Reviews System:

“We expect an update to our reviews system to start rolling out next week.

That will also mark a point when we’ll no longer be giving periodic notifications of improvements to our reviews system, because they will be happening at a regular and ongoing pace.

We’ll be updating our page about the system to reflect this; we’ll also update that page if the system evolves in some notable way, such as covering more languages.

Those who engage in reviews should read our guidance and stay focused on that over time.”

What Lies Ahead with the New Reviews System? While some might view this impending change with trepidation, there’s reason to believe it could be a positive shift. Historically, Google’s Reviews System updates have often wreaked havoc on affected websites. The challenge lay in rankings remaining stagnant until the next system update arrived.

In essence, even if publishers addressed the issues leading to lower rankings, they had to endure the wait until the Reviews System was next updated. This often resulted in diminished search traffic for weeks or even months.

The new system, however, is poised to adopt a more frequent update schedule. In the realm of SEO, major changes often trigger alarmist reactions, with fears of increased complexity.

Drawing parallels from the past, consider the Penguin Update, an algorithm centered on links that sent shockwaves through the search industry. Its impact spanned from small businesses to large enterprises, sparing no one.

Initially, the Penguin Update would roll out once or twice a year, inflicting prolonged periods of plummeting search traffic on affected publishers. However, at a certain juncture, Google revamped the Penguin algorithm, announcing it would become a rolling update, resulting in real-time ranking changes.

This shift in the Reviews System update can thus be interpreted as a positive development for SEO practitioners and publishers. With the system evolving at a regular cadence, it may expedite recoveries and offer a glimmer of hope for swifter rebounds.

Of course, further clarification on this matter is warranted.