English Only Product Review Update in Germany Hurting More Affiliates


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by Clint Butler, Digitaleer

(SEO This Week) – In February of 2020 Google published guidelines on their developer blog about the content quality, they expected to see in product reviews. The information included tips for both primary sellers and affiliates which included limited guidance on product descriptions and the application of structured data to clarify the product being reviewed.

This fell on the heels of an announcement that Google was creating a new featured snippet that would essentially sort “best of” reviews and create a list on the search results that would link directly to product sellers. i.e. eliminate affiliates.

Here is what that featured snippet looks like:

And here is another version:

Both of those snippets are created by analyzing review sites and then making a list based on the popularity of particular products on those sites. The more often a product is reviewed on sites Google determines to meet the product review guidelines, the more likely that product is to make the list.

But here is the rub:

As you can see, the highest possible CTR is going to come from the images. A buyer sees the image and they are more likely to click on that image thinking they will be taken to the page that provides the information found in the snippet. i.e. if when a user clicks on the Nikon Coolpix B500 image they would reasonably expect that they will be taking to the ePHOTOzine website to read more about that specific model. However, that isn’t the case.

Those links go to a Google search result for that specific camera, and the links on that page are going directly to sellers, Amazon was a highlight in this particular case.

So, if ePHOTOzine was an information site conducting a product review in the hopes of getting an affiliate commission, they won’t get it, because Google has already sent the user to another site.

The same thing happens with the Popular Products version of the snippet, however, that snippet doesn’t use other people’s content to source fill in more data, they just use the product image. In this instance, no affiliates are harmed in the implementation.

December Product Review Update Rolling Into Germany

In the December 24th Google SEO Office hours, a viewer from Germany asked John Mueller if Google has begun rolling out the product review update in Germany.

He asked this question because he noticed changes in the search results for product review searches in his home country.

John stated that “from my point of view, it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to just English.” as the announcement post implied.

John went on to say that “I’m not particularly surprised that you see the changes in Germany, but I also don’t know that we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

John provided some insight into the thought process behind the update launches by explaining that Google will implement changes in one language, work out the bugs, then apply them to the rest.

Though in a tweet he did say that regardless of the country originally chosen for the update, the rules for that update apply equally in any language.

Clint Butler
Clint Butlerhttps://www.seothisweek.com
With more than 15+ years’ of Agency Owner experience working as an advanced SEO, I help companies scale their business with the best content strategies and digital marketing campaigns.


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