Google is once again changing the way they do things. Whether it’s regular updates that throw SEO content into disarray to disrupting web traffic, figuring out how Google's algorithm works is a science in and of itself.
Enter Google passage indexing, a new algorithm aiming to change the way web pages rank.
What does this new ranking algorithm mean for SEO? Will there be a significant global change? Will the change impact your web pages? Let's dive in and see how Google is going to change the formula.
What is Passage Indexing?
Passage ranking and indexing is the new ranking algorithm from Google.
In short, passage indexing is Google's newest adjustment in the search engine that emphasizes certain parts of web pages. More specifically, Google effectively divvies up parts of your web page passages, regardless of the overall article's topic.
If you were writing about veterinarians on the west coast, you could create a long-form blog post filled with relevant keywords. You could also create a subsection regarding San Francisco medical services.
Sure, your page on San Francisco-based medical information may not garner the same number of clicks, but Google will still rank the page independently.
Martin Splitt on Google Rankings
Martin Splitt from Google sees passage indexing as something else: passage ranking.
In a round table interview with the Search Engine Journal, 'Google Passages – What They Are & What They Are Not,' Martin Splitt explains that he isn't thrilled with the term 'passage indexing.' It's more akin to a comprehensive ranking system than indexing.
What About SEO Traffic?
Martin Splitt explains that you don't need to do anything different to your web pages, like making significant changes. "It's just [Google] getting better at more granular understanding the content of the page, and being able to score different parts of the page independently."
What does this mean for SEO content? A few things.
SEO services should concentrate more on longer articles and content. It stands to reason that longer posts will contain more keywords, leading to more page traffic.
This also means that you should start investing in SEO services that focus on more long-form content.
Do I Need to Optimize My Web Page for Better Google Passage Indexing?
No. Splitt emphasizes that passage indexing (or ranking) and web page optimization don't mix. "There will probably be some people who will try to capitalize on this, but I wouldn't fall for it."
In short, you don't optimize for passage indexing.
Wrapping Up Passage Indexing
Passage ranking and indexing is going to change a few key aspects of SEO and featured snippets.
Martin Splitt of Google should be a great guide here: it's a ranking system Google will utilize to understand web pages and content better. It will also affect around 7% of search results. That and e-commerce sites shouldn't see any changes with the newer push for indexed pages.
Depending on your SEO services, your content could take a hit or perform better, depending on the few bits of criteria.