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Here’s the deal: Product review sites’ Google visibility in 2023

Product reviews have become an integral and lucrative content offering for many news publishers. What was once content that was posted on niche sites with an e-commerce focus or appeared on major news publisher sites only during the holiday season now exists as year-round dedicated websites, such as Wirecutter from The New York Times.

Trisolute used the News Dashboard to analyze the 2023 Google visibility performance of several product review sites: Wirecutter, CNN Underscored, USA Today Reviewed, NBC News Select, New York Magazine’s The Strategist, and Consumer Reports. We reviewed data from Google News, and overall mobile and desktop SERP visibility on Google and found some interesting data points, which we are sharing below.

Google News

  • The Google News visibility graph for 2023 demonstrates how much product reviews are impacted by the time of year. For example, the bulk of Google News visibility rankings for the major product review publishers we analyzed in 2023 were earned in November and December. This is not surprising as it aligns with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season. 
  • There was also a smaller spike for Wirecutter on Google News in July 2023. This coincides with Amazon Prime Day 2023, which took place July 11-12. The Best Early Prime Day Deals of 2023 (So Far) was Wirecutter’s top performing story in July 2023. Related Prime Day coverage in the form of other sales events also performed well for Wirecutter. Its #2 story in Google News visibility in July 2023 was about Best Buy’s Black Friday in July” sales event.
  • Much like we found in our 2022 holiday content analysis, Cyber Monday outperformed Black Friday for CNN Underscored, Wirecutter, NBC News Select, and Consumer Reports on Google News. For USA Today Reviewed and New York Magazine’s The Strategist, Black Friday performed best on Google News.
  • Top performing brands in Google News visibility in 2023 included Amazon, Apple, and Best Buy. The top products included laptop computers, smartphones, robot vacuums, and technology gadgets.
Google News graph

Product review site visibility on Google News in 2023.

Mobile Visibility Overall

  • On the mobile SERP, the graph looked similar to Google News with a few differences in timing. For example, Wirecutter saw a spike in overall mobile visibility rankings in February due to a Wirecutter article on Presidents’ Day Sales. There was also a greater bump in mobility visibility rankings across the publisher set in this analysis in July 2023, due to Prime Day. In August 2023, CNN Underscored saw an early bump for Labor Day deals. In October 2023, Wirecutter and NBC News Select saw a mobile visibility boost for October Prime Day content.
  • Black Friday outperformed Cyber Monday in overall mobile SERP visibility rankings for CNN Underscored, NBC News Select, and USA Today Reviewed. Cyber Monday performed the best for Wirecutter.
  • In addition to Amazon, Walmart ranked well for sales content in overall mobile SERP visibility in 2023. Apple, Samsung, and Nintendo Switch were among the top-performing brands in mobile visibility in 2023. Smartphone deals were a top performer in overall mobile visibility.


mobile SERP graph

Product review sites’ mobile SERP visibility on Google in 2023.

Desktop Visibility Overall

  • In February 2023, CNN Underscored received a spike in desktop SERP visibility due to its Presidents’ Day sales coverage. CNN Underscored and Wirecutter both saw desktop visibility spikes for Memorial Day deals in May 2023 and Amazon Prime Day in July 2023.
  • Black Friday outperformed Cyber Monday content across all publishers included in this analysis in overall desktop SERP visibility.
  • The top stores in overall desktop SERP visibility in 2023 included Amazon, Wayfair, Best Buy, and Walmart. The top brands included Apple, Samsung, and Nintendo Switch. Much like on mobile, smartphone reviews performed well in desktop visibility in 2023.
  • Compared to mobile, the desktop SERP visibility spikes were similar throughout 2023, but there were far more desktop visibility rankings (1.35M) compared to mobile (600,752) at the article level.
desktop SERP visibility graph

Product review sites’ desktop SERP visibility on Google in 2023.

News Publisher Takeaways

  • While product review sites definitely see a major spike during the winter holiday season, publishers should pay close attention to major retailer sales (Amazon, Best Buy, etc.) that take place throughout the year, for additional search visibility ranking opportunities.
  • Don’t overlook Cyber Monday deals, as that day’s content often outperforms Black Friday when it comes to search visibility.
  • Desktop SERP rankings outperformed mobile in 2023 when it came to product reviews and sales content, so don’t overlook your desktop SEO strategy when it comes to this type of content.
  • Pay attention to the trending brands around a particular sale or shopping season. While brands like Apple are essentially evergreen when it comes to popularity, pay close attention to hot tech gadgets or toys as specific high-profile brands tend to overperform in search.
  • In 2023, there was a distinct difference in visibility rankings for product review sites when it came to mobile and desktop platforms. Publishers managing product review sites should keep this in mind when developing content search strategies, noting unique opportunities within each platform.


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