Google Reviews Update: What Businesses Need to Know

How good does it feel when you receive a great Google review from one of your customers? Pretty exhilarating right? And so it should be.  

Google reviews are a fantastic way for individuals to praise your products or services online so that other people can see for themselves the high standard of work you deliver through genuine comments from others. It’s a digital form of word of mouth and can perform wonders for your reputation.  

However, in the latest Google Algorithm Review Update there are factors you need to be aware of. It’s all about users being authentic in what they’re posting, and that isn’t just limited to popping a review on the search engine along with a star rating. This latest update means that Google will look at blog posts, articles, pages or standalone content written by a first party that gives an opinion, recommendation or provides analysis.


What is the Google Review Update? 

So, what exactly does this update entail? It’s not just about the comments visible under a business page on Google anymore. The update considers a multitude of online variables relevant to your business or brand. The underlying technology is designed to recognise and reward originality, expertise, and depth of content. Whether it’s a car enthusiast praising a new model or a travel blogger sharing insights on a sunny destination, every contribution matters. Moreover, the quality of the content plays a significant role. Detailed evaluations supported by reliable sources, multimedia elements such as links, audio, video, or images, elevate the ranking of reviews, emphasising the importance of rich and informative content. 


How does this update impact business owners?

Firstly, third-party reviews hosted on your website won’t be factored into Google’s evaluation process anymore. This means that if you have a review section on your site where users can share their thoughts, those reviews won’t impact your Google ranking under the new guidelines. 

However, unlike some of Google’s other updates, you won’t see an immediate shift in your ranking after the rollout. Changes will only become apparent with the next update cycle if adjustments are made.  

While this may pose a challenge, it also presents an opportunity to focus on generating more authentic reviews and content that align with Google’s standards. 

For potential customers searching for products or services, the update means that businesses receiving more online engagement and visits to their website will rank higher in search results. This update emphasises the ongoing importance of reviews in Google’s assessment process. Websites with review-centric content that resonates with users are more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results.  

As consumers, we tend to trust and gravitate towards these top-ranking pages, as they indicate widespread interest and positive feedback from others. 


How can we improve our Google Reviews?  

It’s time to put all this new knowledge into practice and set a higher standard for content quality. But how can we achieve this? If you are worried about a potential drop in traffic because of this new update, then it’s time to make improvements to your website to meet Google’s guidelines. This can be done by focusing on your search engine optimisation, but also thinking of savvy ways to entice positive coverage of the services or products you provide or supply.  

Offering incentives, such as discounts or complementary experiences, can motivate customers to share their experiences online. For instance, many of us have seen social media posts about coffee chains offering free drinks in exchange for reviews. This strategy leverages word-of-mouth marketing to reach a broader audience and generate buzz around your brand. 

Secondly, actively engage with positive reviews posted about your business. Whether it’s responding directly on the review platform or sharing reviews on social media, engaging with feedback increases visibility and fosters a sense of community around your brand. By amplifying positive experiences, you not only boost your online presence but also attract more potential customers who trust the opinions of others. 


Final Thoughts  

Navigating Google’s evolving updates can be daunting, but staying informed is crucial. Adapting to changes is essential for enhancing your online presence, ensuring long-term success. By remaining flexible and adaptable in the ever-changing digital landscape, businesses can foster authentic online interactions and drive engagement through quality content. This, in turn, leads to increased customer loyalty and attracts new clientele. 

If you need further advice and guidance on how to develop this method in the best possible way, Brace Creative Agency are on hand to help.

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