Like with any year, through 2023, Google has been publishing algorithm updates for how their system understands and ranks content throughout the search engine. During the year, Google has been consistently updating its review systems. There has been another update to the review systems in December. Google has explained that its goal with these updates is to rank people-first content and has provided guidelines on how content can appeal to these algorithmic changes. So what does this mean for local business owners? In this article, we will discuss review content, the algorithm changes, and how to garner the right types of reviews on Google.
What Does Google Mean By People-First Content?
Some of the biggest changes to Google’s algorithm in recent years center on trying to make the platform more user-friendly. For example, the helpful content algorithm focuses on ranking content higher if it is deemed to be helpful to a user. Google’s recent changes are about identifying key factors that make content on the internet more beneficial to users. Easily stated, quality is much more important than quantity. To that end, Google has started making changes to how the algorithm looks at reviews written by customers. The rollout of the review system improvements was finalized on December 7th, 2023. Google aims to rank “high-quality reviews” above other review content.
What Is A High-Quality Review in Google’s Eyes?
A high-quality review according to Google is a review that provides great value to the reader in the decision-making process. There are a few ways to see this. First and foremost is relevancy. Google is looking for review content that demonstrates that the reviewer is familiar with the product or service they are reviewing and that their review is providing valuable information to a potential buyer. Reviews that do the following would be considered higher quality:
- Reviews written from the perspective of someone who experienced a service or bought a product
- Reviews that cover comparable things to consider
- Reviews that clearly define the benefits or weaknesses of a service/product
- Reviews that focus on decision-making factors
A review is more than 1 or 5 stars. A review is an opportunity to persuade other potential customers towards or away from a business. As such, Google intends to rank the more valuable reviews above others in search results.
How Do I Get High-Quality Reviews?
The age-old question for any business is how to get good reviews. It is important to note that to a business owner, a high-quality review is a review that is favorable towards them. To Google, a high-quality review can be positive or negative. The important thing is that it is persuasive and relevant. To that end, it is important to consider ways to leverage previous customers’ and clients’ experiences with your brand. Inviting people to not only review you but also provide information about why they liked your service is a great way to get started.
Digital Reputation Management Services
Here at Boston Web Marketing, we help small and large businesses with their online presence. From SEO to social media, we want to make sure you aren’t just found on Google but found by the right people and that those people immediately trust your brand. To that end, we often work with our clients to help them get the right kinds of reviews online. For more information about how we can help you and your business, please give us a call or contact us.