September 2022 Product Reviews Update – Data and Trends

With the knowledge that there are potentially two Google updates overlapping in english-language search results as we write, we take a look at the effects of the September 2022 Product Reviews Update. There are patterns emerging that help us identify affected domains. Analysis and examples below will help you asses your own domain.

First, a summary of the key findings. This article will be updated as the update progresses.

  • Google announced a further Product Review Update on the 20th Sept
  • Google’s Search ranking updates page has been updated
  • The update only affects English language search
  • The Core Update of Sept 12th has not completed rolling out
  • We see immediate trends and developments in domains showing from the 21st September
  • It will take two weeks for the update to be fully rolled out
  • A new SISTRIX chart pin has been added to help identify changes

To check the effects of the update for any domain, log in to SISTRIX now or create a free test account. If you would like to be notified of future algorithm updates by email, sign up for our newsletter.

How to tell if a domain has been affected by the Product Reviews Update

Again, please keep in mind that the Core Update may still have been effecting domains during this period but some domains, related to ‘reviews’ are showing a common fingerprint on their Visibility Index development charts.

These four sites show the same graph development and are all related to pop-media and arguably opinion sites. Are the Top 10 Jamiroquai Songs, really the top 10, or is that just an opinion, or a personal review? Ronit Roy Is Disappointed but is that your news, Filmibeat, or an opinion, a review, of the original news?

The effects are clear to see across UK and USA:

Data from other countries is showing us that English language content is being affected in countries where the primary language is not English.

Tvtropes (tvtropes.org) has been affected in many countries and in the UK, it now longer appears in the top 100 domains. The VI Rank has dropped to 146 and the domain has lost 49% of visibility since the previous Monday (12th Sept.)

Losing domains during the Sept 2022 Product Reviews Update

As with the Helpful Content update it’s difficult to identify any clear winners. Gains appear to have been distributed throughout the SERPs indicating, again, an update targeted at reducing the visibility of domains rather than promoting high quality content. That may change as the update continues.

Here are the top 20 losing domains so far, by percentage.

Losing domains by percentage SISTRIX VI. 20th Sept - 25th Sept
DomainVisibillity Index 20.09.2022Visibillity Index 25.09.2022Percentage changeNotes
thebalancecareers.com10.83361.093-89.91%Domain move
justjared.com2.2371.0122-54.75%
rome2rio.com2.85261.3394-53.05%
oxfordreference.com5.52892.6287-52.46%Started before PRU
shabdkosh.com3.67671.7963-51.14%Translations
kompoz2.com2.78541.434-48.52%Core + PRU hit
metro.co.uk40.330621.409-46.92%Major VI loss
thedigitalfix.com1.93531.0307-46.74%
hindawi.com2.68381.4368-46.46%Started before PRU
tvtropes.org72.520639.2129-45.93%Major VI loss
filmibeat.com1.92431.0608-44.87%
yourdictionary.com104.23557.5778-44.76%Major VI loss
motorbiscuit.com1.8671.0418-44.20%
looper.com8.75194.9945-42.93%
broadwayworld.com3.75132.1473-42.76%
ladbible.com3.53852.0291-42.66%
giantfreakinrobot.com2.39521.3747-42.61%
scienceabc.com2.59241.5208-41.34%
tenor.com23.130113.8075-40.31%Major VI loss
differencebetween.net4.01822.4052-40.14%

The top 20 losing domains by absolute visibility. Reference, UGC, news and review sites are included.

Losing domains by absolute SISTRIX VI. 20th Sept - 25th Sept
DomainVisibillity Index 20.09.2022Visibillity Index 25.09.2022ChangeNotes
merriam-webster.com889.10815.71-73.39Reference
fandom.com746.77674.53-72.23UGC
thefreedictionary.com251.63193.57-58.06Reference
yourdictionary.com104.2457.58-46.66
genius.com283.06248.56-34.50Pop Culture
tvtropes.org72.5239.21-33.31Pop Culture
investopedia.com240.98216.61-24.37Other causes?
dailymail.co.uk76.0052.13-23.87News media
linkedin.com252.99229.96-23.03Also hit by Core Update
webmd.com298.83277.50-21.33
britannica.com721.67700.40-21.27Reference
metro.co.uk40.3321.41-18.92News Media
mirror.co.uk63.6844.89-18.79News Media
techradar.com71.0956.33-14.76Tech news and reviews
gumtree.com57.2243.02-14.20Also hit by Core Update
medicalnewstoday.com178.45164.96-13.49
independent.co.uk140.53127.41-13.12News Media
definitions.net50.9940.57-10.42Reference
thebalancecareers.com10.831.09-9.74Domain move
tenor.com23.1313.81-9.32GIFs

News media in UK search. Significant losses for some domains

Focusing on news media domains here are a selection of domains, in a sortable table, that have had significant VI gains or losses.

Selected news media domains in UK search. 20th Sept - 25th Sept
Domain2022-09-252022-09-20Change VIChange %
dailymail.co.uk51.1976.00-24.81-32.6%
metro.co.uk19.7140.33-20.62-51.1%
mirror.co.uk44.4663.68-19.22-30.2%
independent.co.uk126.06140.53-14.47-10.3%
cnn.com26.5035.93-9.43-26.3%
express.co.uk16.4721.64-5.18-23.9%
inews.co.uk8.5812.22-3.63-29.7%
bloomberg.com31.5334.84-3.31-9.5%
dailyrecord.co.uk7.609.63-2.04-21.1%
dailystar.co.uk5.137.08-1.95-27.5%
hellomagazine.com26.0027.53-1.54-5.6%
cnbc.com19.4120.59-1.18-5.7%
manchestereveningnews.co.uk9.318.061.2515.5%
standard.co.uk32.1330.611.525.0%
forbes.com96.6095.031.581.7%
telegraph.co.uk53.4351.781.663.2%
nytimes.com78.9077.191.712.2%
news.sky.com35.4933.621.875.6%
bbc.com66.0864.201.882.9%
walesonline.co.uk7.875.602.2740.5%
finance.yahoo.com61.4058.972.424.1%
thesun.co.uk54.9449.245.7111.6%
theguardian.com267.79257.5510.244.0%

This post will be updated regularly throughout the period of the update.

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