What is Google’s Passage Indexing Update?
Back in October, Google announced the new Passage Indexing Update which is set to rollout in the beginning of 2021. This new ranking update is meant to give Google a way to find the passage of content that will serve as the best answer to specific search queries. Instead of viewing the page as a whole when determining which results to serve up, Google will soon be able to find a specific section of content that is most relevant to the search term. This will then be provided as the top result, pulling the content directly into the Google Search Engine Result Page.
Ranking Content VS Indexing Content
An additional aspect to note about this Google update is that these content passages are being considered for ranking, but there is no change to how they will be indexed.
To explain the difference here, when a website is indexed by Google this means that the website is crawled by Google and stored in Google’s Search Index. As Google explains, the search index is “just like a library” of website information.
Raking the website content is when Google determines how relevant the content is to the search terms, previous site visits, and other factors including any sources linking to that page. Google then ranks the most relevant information first. Google’s passage update does not affect the way Google indexes a website. It just affects the way Google ranks the content on your website.
What This Means For Your Website Content
If your content is well organized on the page, with clear headings and sections then you don’t need to do anything. This method currently allows Google’s crawlers to read your content easily. The Passage Indexing Update, which to be clear is a ranking update despite the name, is meant to allow pieces of content to better rank within search.
It’s possible that less organized content will have a better chance to surface to the top, but since Google is vague on ranking factors to begin with, I wouldn’t take any chances. Since there will be just as much of a focus on organized content, there is no reason to believe that creating a page with a less organized structure will benefit from this update. The main focus of adding content to your website should always be to inform your customers/site visitors about your business, products, and/or services.
Additionally, your content should answer any common questions related to your business. The main goal of Google is to provide the best information, resource, or service to the user. Therefore, it is always most important to write the most clear and accurate content for the topic your website is focused around.
You can check back here for more updates regarding this Google change as we’ll add more information about the Passage Indexing Update as it becomes available. Learn more about how PCG can help manage your digital marketing strategy by contacting us!