Like previous review algorithm changes implemented by Google over the past three years, the purpose of the update was to reward quality content that fosters comprehensive research and detailed knowledge about the chosen products or services. Compared to other such updates rolled out in the past, the one released in November took quite a long time to implement fully. Moreover, as it coincided with a core update released simultaneously, the volatility impacts are more challenging to interpret.
With all that said, we can confirm unusual volatility spikes that occurred on the 12th of November and less pronounced ones on the 19th and 25th of the same month, which were probably caused by the reviews update, as a majority of the affected sites we’re actively promoting product or services reviews or comparisons. Google has confirmed that the update may affect sites’ performance in Google Discover and will impact eleven languages, including English, Spanish, and German.
The update was announced by Google on November 8th and was billed as the last such algorithm change to be announced in a separate post. Why? The cause is that from now on, review updates will be implemented regularly, and algorithm changes will be continuous. What does this mean for websites in the long run? It’s hard to say, but if the Panda algorithm update is any indication, then the SERP performance of some sites will be severely affected. The reviews system is a machine learning model that works similarly to the helpful content one, which means it will consider your site’s content before ranking your pages.
Are you a website owner whose focus is product or service reviews? Then, for you, the review update will have a site-wide effect. Do you have a blog section where you do product reviews, but this is not the focus of your activity? Then, the review update will apply on the page level. It must be said that this is the third review update released by Google in 2023; the previous ones were released in February and April, respectively, and the next ones will be launched at an ongoing pace.
The SEO changes brought about by the November ranking algorithm update are rather tricky to interpret as they occurred concurrently with the rolling out of a core update. However, some spikes in volatility can be observed, which, at first glance, have mainly affected sites focusing on product or service reviews. In SEMrush, a volatility score of 8+ could be noticed on November 12th and December 2nd, while in SERPmetrics, a score of 750+ was recorded on December 6th.
Like the HCU(X) update of September 2023, the immediate impact for specific sites was abrupt, with consistent losses in SERP visibility. Some sites have stabilized in the few days since the update was finalized, but the drops have remained constant for many. The November reviews update is designed to promote sites focusing on qualified individuals’ in-depth reviews. The fact that there is a significant drop in trending visibility for hundreds of domains indicates the need for such an algorithm change. However, for many, it’s not a pretty picture.
The November update represents a transition to real-time algorithm adjustments, a process whose ramifications can be substantial for the SEO world. Continuing the process that started with the April review update, the November algorithm change is not just for sites that focus on product reviews but for all domains that offer general assessments on topics of public interest. As with the previous updates, the focus is on quality over quantity and on promoting fresh and insightful content that reflects detailed knowledge about the product or service being reviewed.
The November 2023 reviews update has been deployed to boost websites that deliver comprehensive and well-researched reviews about products or services relevant to trending industries. Therefore, to improve the SEO performance of your website after the latest algorithm change, you need to follow the fourteen practices recommended by Google for creating high-quality reviews.
For starters, your reviews should be created considering the audience’s perspective, demonstrating that you have the necessary experience and expertise to provide a viewpoint on the product or service. Then, giving evidence for your opinions through visual or audio cues will be essential. It will be vital for the review to contain quantifiable results that can be reproduced and to present objective reasons why the service or product stands out from the competition.
Also, a good idea is to present the evolution of the reviewed item and provide multiple links to resellers of that item. At GAMIT, we have the experience to implement these principles for your reviews, and we can create a long-term strategy that contributes to your company’s financial success. From content creation to technical optimization techniques, our experts have the experience to handle your case, and we can minimize the harmful effects of algorithm updates on your services.
As a co-founder and managing director of GAMIT I am the first contact of our clients. My job includes setting project objectives and offering SEO consulting advice to customers. My professional background and experience working in the SEO industry are essential in developing efficient SEO strategies and designing innovative techniques.