Writing product reviews have been a staple of bloggers since almost the beginning.  It is a great resource for readers and a good way to introduce affiliate products so you can make money blogging.

But in recent times, Google has become a little sterner about them.  That’s because there’s a lot of poor quality stuff out there that doesn’t really help people and is just there to sell stuff.  

So how do you write a product review that Google will love?  Here are some of the latest tips.

The 2021 change

While the 2021 change wasn’t a full algorithm change for Google, it was definitely a reassessment of all things product review.  There’s no worries about getting a penalty if you have the old style of product review but you might see a ranking drop.  And new content in that style will find it harder to rank.

But what’s the old style?  We’ve all seen them and maybe been guilty of writing them ourselves!  Things like:

  • Just restating the basic product details from somewhere like Amazon
  • Not doing much research into the actual reviews from people to see what they liked or didn’t like about a product
  • Not checking in a little more depth about the product and just assuming the manufacturer info is sufficient

These are what Google is now calling ‘thin reviews’ – there’s some info there but not a lot and not much more than the basic sales page offers.  They want to inspire us to create something more.

What should reviews include now?

But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to abandon reviews as a blog post type – you just need to put a little planning and a little more writing into them.  Let’s look at a few things we can add to reviews to make them better quality and not ‘thin’ in Google’s eyes (and probably in the reader’s eyes too).

Go beyond just product specs

Product specs and manufacturer’s information are an important part of reviews and you definitely need to include this information but you don’t want to stop there.  For example, don’t just talk about the dimensions, give an example of a similar size object to help someone visualise what it would look like.

Try different keyword approaches

Keywords for product reviews will typically be the basic things like the name of the product or the type of product.  But consider focusing on different keywords and help stand out from the main product listing or other reviews.

Take your own photos if you can

If you own the product or even know someone that does, try to take some of your own photos.  These don’t need to be professional standard but can help make your review unique and you could even rank for the image in search.  Plus it makes the review more trustworthy.

Don’t use sales language, talk to a friend

Product sales pages tend to be a bit, well, salesy because that’s their job!  But when you are writing a product review for your blog, try to do it more like you are writing to a friend or colleague and telling them about something you’ve spotted or bought and are impressed with.

Use customer reviews to paint a better picture

Whether you own the product or not, you can use customer reviews to get a fuller picture of the product and incorporate these things into your copy.  For example, if three customers all said something was a little smaller than the dimensions, say this in the review.  Or if a few reviewers said the colour was brighter than pictured, let people know that customers have said this.

Just don’t include the reviews word for word or use any information about the reviewer!

Don’t be afraid to mention other products

You can also mention other products that are similar to the one you are discussing to help showcase it and what it does.  Even if you decide you like the alternative product better in some respects – this shows a realistic review.

Should you update old reviews?

If you have reviews on your blog that are now maybe a little on the thin side, then it is a good idea to do some updating with some of these new ideas.  Let’s face it, even if they are getting traffic now, there’s a good chance this will die off under the new standards so you might as well get ahead.

Things to watch out for and remove or update include:

  • Product information copied directly from the sales page
  • Facts that seem a little overstated or spammy
  • Lack of information apart from those basic facts
  • Salesy language versus conversational

If you haven’t done keyword research on the post for a while, think about going back over to Google and doing some searches.  What questions are people asking about the product that you could add to the review?  What new information is available about it that wasn’t around when you first wrote the blog post?

Creating effective product reviews

Product reviews are still super important for both readers and for Google.  Making sure they are high quality with a variety of information in them is an important step forward and will ensure that you can rank your content going forward.