01 Jan 1970 Content Marketing
Every day people search a million things on Google Search Engine to get the desired information on their devices. No matter the nature of information (if it’s available for public use) you can access it through Google’s passage ranking. Sometimes, you just search about simple things like cats, food, or movies, and sometimes you search for a specific query. For a query such as “the taste of the ink”, you need to go through the entire web page to find it out. We don’t want that or do we? We want faster results for our queries and we definitely don’t want to read the entire web page. Over the years, Google has kept on improving the search results for the users. They brought several changes to the Google Algorithm to better suit the needs of the people. On Feb 10, 2021, they introduced passage ranking previously known as passage indexing. Google can now rank the relevant passages within the web pages on the Google Search Results. Meaning, users can get information much quicker.
The first thing you should know about passage ranking is that it’s not a Google Algorithm update. It is more of an automated system designed to improve the search results for the users. And the main job of this feature is to pull out the passage on the web pages containing the most relevant information.
For example – there is an article or blog about “Search Engine Optimization” and it contains several topics on SEO. Now when you search for specific information on online traffic, Google will automatically pull out the relevant passage from the webpage. With this update, it will be much easier to get the information you need.
Even if your web page is not ranking on Google Search Results, the passage inside it can. With Google’s passage ranking system, paragraphs from the web pages can rank independently.
You might have noticed we have used the terms “Passage ranking” and “Passage Indexing”. Are these two terms the same or are they are different somehow? It’s the latter. Both these terms are very different from each other. When Google announced this update, they introduced it as “Passage Indexing” but there was a catch in that. This feature is not about indexing the passages independently, but ranking them separately. Realizing this, Google renamed this update with a new name “Passage Ranking”.
In short, the indexing system hasn’t changed; it is as it was before. Google just improved the search system with more insightful results in the form of passages by highlighting them. Simply, it is a change in the ranking system and it will only determine how Google ranks. With this update, Google is able to pick out a certain part of the page and rank them individually. This way, the picked-up section will pop up on the search results even though other parts of the page are not relevant to the query.
Wait a minute!
Google already has a similar concept active for users, and that is “Featured Snippets”. So, how are Snippets different from passage ranking? If they already have something so effective, then why did they introduce passage ranking? To understand this, we have to understand what these two concepts are and what they do exactly.
Featured Snippets are designed to provide answers to the queries put up by the users. Snippets answers query directly to the users without them visiting the link. For example – you searched “What is the currency of the USA?” in the search bar. As soon as you hit the search button, the featured snippet will show the result on top of the search results.
On the other hand, passage ranking takes a certain section of the page to display the result. They both are similar yet different at the same time.
Google confirmed that this feature will affect approximately 7% of the total search queries once it launches globally. For now, it’s active in the USA for all the searches in the English Language. It will certainly change a few things for digital and content marketing experts as they’ll have to rethink their strategies in accordance with this update.
We have come up with a few things that you can implement in your next strategy –
Whether you are a Digital Marketer, blogger, or a small business owner, there is no need to panic. It’s just a small tweak from Google to serve the users better, which is normal. Change is natural and the sooner you adapt, the better your success rate will be. Just rethink and revisit your previous strategies and make some changes according to the current update.