Google finished rolling out their last announced Reviews System update. Future updates to the review system will no longer be announced because the algorithms that power the Reviews System will be updated on a regular and ongoing rate.
Google’s Reviews System is a system used as part of a group of algorithms that together produce search results.
The Reviews System goes into effect when ranking review related content and search queries.
The purpose of the Reviews System is to rank people-first content. Google has published guidelines to help publishers understand what kind of content the Reviews System tries to rank.
It’s important to note that the guidance is not a list of ranking factors but rather general advice on what kinds of content Google is trying to rank so that publishers have a better idea.
Google’s general guidance about the reviews system notes:
“The reviews system aims to better reward high quality reviews, content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.”
Google Reviews System Rollout Finished
The reviews system update was announced on November 8, 2023 and was finished rolling out on December 7, 2023 at 9:21 Pacific Standard Time.
Google updated their Search Status Dashboard with the following notation:
“The rollout was complete as of December 7, 2023.”
That announcement was accompanied by a tweet from Google Search Central account:
“The roll-out of the November reviews update is now complete.”
Reviews Update Finale Preceded By Ranking Drops
Curiously there were multiple reports of ranking drops reported in Facebook SEO groups in the days leading up to the end of the reviews system rollout.
Normally there are ranking drops and increases every single day. However it becomes notable when there’s a surge of reports across multiple Facebook SEO groups, especially the ones that are popular with edgy SEO practices.
Moving Forward What To Expect
Google hasn’t discussed what it means when it says that the reviews system will be improved on an ongoing and regular pace. It could be that it’s a daily process where data from new webpages are ingested and rankings are adjusted. We don’t know and it’s probably not going to help anyone be a better SEO knowing the details.
The best practice is to acquaint oneself with Google’s guidance on the reviews system and self-assess according to those guidelines if one should find their site is possibly affected by the reviews system.
Four Important Google Update Resources
- Google Resources On Updates And Ranking Systems
A Q&A on Google Search updates
- List Of Google’s Ranking Systems
A guide to Google Search ranking systems
- Information About The Reviews System
Google Search’s reviews system and your website
- Guidance On How To Write High Quality Reviews
Write high quality reviews
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