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.
|Domain||Visibillity Index 20.09.2022||Visibillity Index 25.09.2022||Percentage change||Notes|
|oxfordreference.com||5.5289||2.6287||-52.46%||Started before PRU|
|kompoz2.com||2.7854||1.434||-48.52%||Core + PRU hit|
|metro.co.uk||40.3306||21.409||-46.92%||Major VI loss|
|hindawi.com||2.6838||1.4368||-46.46%||Started before PRU|
|tvtropes.org||72.5206||39.2129||-45.93%||Major VI loss|
|yourdictionary.com||104.235||57.5778||-44.76%||Major VI loss|
|tenor.com||23.1301||13.8075||-40.31%||Major VI loss|
The top 20 losing domains by absolute visibility. Reference, UGC, news and review sites are included.
|Domain||Visibillity Index 20.09.2022||Visibillity Index 25.09.2022||Change||Notes|
|linkedin.com||252.99||229.96||-23.03||Also hit by Core Update|
|techradar.com||71.09||56.33||-14.76||Tech news and reviews|
|gumtree.com||57.22||43.02||-14.20||Also hit by Core Update|
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.
|Domain||2022-09-25||2022-09-20||Change VI||Change %|
This post will be updated regularly throughout the period of the update.