On April 2023, Google announced a new update to its reviews algorithm, which will affect how businesses are ranked on Google search results and Google Business profiles. The update has been coined by the SEO community as the “April 2023 Reviews Update“. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at this update and its implications for Local SEO and Google Business profiles.
Firstly, let’s take a look at what this update is all about. According to Google, the April 2023 Reviews Update is aimed at improving the quality and relevance of reviews for users. As a result, Google has introduced a new algorithm that will take into account the quality and relevance of reviews when ranking businesses on Google search results and Google Business profiles.
To understand how this update will affect SEO, it’s important to understand the role that reviews play in search engine rankings. Reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. They not only provide social proof of a business’s quality but also help Google to understand the relevance and authority of a business in a particular location or industry.
However, not all reviews are created equal. There are a lot of fake reviews and spam reviews that are generated by businesses themselves or by their competitors. These reviews not only mislead consumers but also skew the search engine rankings.
To address this issue, Google has introduced a new algorithm that will identify and weed out fake and spam reviews from the search results. This will ensure that only high-quality and relevant reviews are considered for search engine rankings.
The April 2023 Reviews Update will also reward businesses that have a high number of positive reviews. According to Barry Schwartz, SEO and Google Algorithm expert at Search Engine Land,
“Long term, you are going to want to ensure that you put a lot more detail and effort into your review content. Make it unique so it stands out from the competition on the web.” Businesses with a high number of positive reviews will see an increase in their search engine rankings. This means that businesses need to focus on getting more positive reviews from their customers.
Businesses also need to ensure that their reviews are relevant to their industry or niche. For example, if a business is in the restaurant industry, they need to have reviews that talk about the quality of their food, service, and atmosphere. If a business has reviews that are not relevant to their industry or niche, it will negatively affect their search engine rankings.
In addition to the impact on SEO, the April 2023 Reviews Update will also have an impact on Google Business profiles. Google Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google, including their search engine ranking, reviews, and other important information.
Businesses need to ensure that their Google Business profiles are up to date and accurate. This includes updating their business hours, phone number, and address. It’s also important to respond to reviews promptly and professionally, whether they are positive or negative.
According to Barry Schwartz, businesses that have an active and engaged presence on Google Business will see an increase in their search engine rankings. This means that businesses need to actively manage their Google Business profiles and respond to reviews and customer inquiries.
To sum up, the April 2023 Reviews Update is aimed at improving the quality and relevance of reviews for users. This means that businesses need to focus on getting more positive and relevant reviews from their customers. According to Roger Montti, Google’s new documentation encourages publishers to demonstrate evidence of experience such as Visual evidence, Audio, Links to evidence of experience and Quantitative measurements
They also need to ensure that their Google Business profiles are up to date and accurate, and that they have an active and engaged presence on the platform.
While the April 2023 Reviews Update is a positive step towards improving the quality and relevance of reviews on Google, it’s important to remember that reviews are just one aspect of SEO. Businesses also need to focus on other important factors such as website optimization, content marketing, and link building to improve their search engine rankings.
In conclusion, the April 2023 Reviews Update is an important development for businesses that rely on Google for their online presence. By prioritizing the quality and relevance of reviews, Google is helping to improve the user experience for searchers and providing a more level playing field for businesses. However, businesses must also remember to focus on other critical factors like website optimization, content marketing, and link building to improve their search engine rankings holistically.
As a business owner, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with any algorithm changes that may affect your online presence. This means keeping an eye on industry publications, attending conferences, and consulting with SEO experts when necessary. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to these changes, businesses can maintain a strong online presence and improve their visibility in search engine results pages.