What is Google's Passage Indexing and How Does it Affect SEO?


Have you ever tried searching specific keywords on Google and got the answer at the top of the search result with important terms encouraged by the search engine? It is the work of Google's Passage Indexing, an automated feature that analyzes specific passages across web pages, picks up the most relevant ones, and displays them on the search results.


With the feature, the technology behemoth now understands the relevance of specific passages and presents the most informative and relevant information to its users. It is like finding a needle in a haystack, but the company uses the technology to accomplish the feat efficiently in a fraction of a second. As per Google, it will enhance seven percent of search queries across all languages.


In this scenario, many local businesses are eager to know how the algorithm update affects their SEO. Some are taking the help of professional digital marketing services to get their site indexed in the Google page index.


How does Passage Indexing affect SEO?

Martin Splitt, developer advocate at Google, passage indexing ranks passages based on their relevance to a query. Now, users view the passage on a webpage at the top of the search result. These are some ways it can impact the SEO of a website.


       Long-form content ranks higher: With Google's passage indexing, longer-form content will get a boost and rank higher as they contain specific keywords.

       Long-tail keywords perform better: Long-tail keywords will perform better in passage indexing and will show up in results. Ensure that you include longer keywords and phrases that would help in voice search.

       Relevant content ranks better than keyword-rich content: Google passage index analyzes passages and ranks them as per their relevance. A passage that provides the most relevant answers and content to users' queries will rank higher than the one with the most keywords.

       More focus on users instead of bots and crawlers: With the automated feature, Google wants website owners and content creators to focus more on users instead of creating content for web spiders and crawlers.

       Helps websites that might not be optimized perfectly but have great content: Some websites have great content but lack SEO. Google's passage indexing will still help them in sharing vital information with a larger audience. But websites must have valuable content and good optimization to rank higher.


Things you should know about Google's Passage Indexing

If you are a business or a website owner, you should know the following things about Google’s Passage Indexing.


       The indexing is for entire pages: When asked whether the index is for passages or sections of pages, Google said that it is still indexing complete pages. This means that you have to make sure that the content on your web page's content must be more detailed and relevant than ever before.

       There is a change in ranking and not in indexing: Google has made it clear that there will be a change in ranking but not in indexing. The search engine will not index any specific passages on the web pages, but it will identify the content on the pages and locate the passages.

       It's different from featured snippets: Featured snippets provide instant answers to short queries by determining relevant information on a page. But Google's passage indexing is a completely different system. The search engine dives deep into web pages' content, looks for the most relevant answer to the query, and shows the information on the result page.

       The specific content Google looks at: Previously, Google bots and crawlers would look at headings or page titles to find the results relevant to a search query. The new feature finds one specific section that matches perfectly well with a query even though the entire page is different.


How to Optimize for Google's Passage Indexing

You can optimize your web pages and website for Google's Passage Indexing. Here is how you can go about it.


       Create and update your content: Create long-form content and cover the topic extensively, use long-tail keywords, and answer common and frequently asked questions. Update longer form articles and posts with new links, statistics, and resources.

       Focus on keywords: Use keyword-rich and clear headings for each section to enable Google bots to understand the topics your article or post covers. Do long-tail keyword research and include the most relevant terms in the longer form content.

       Ensure correct passage density: Before optimizing a passage, you need to know the passage density, also known as the passage length. If you create content of a product page containing 1000 words, then the passage segregation should be one to two percent (one to two passages) of the entire content length.

       Make sure the passage word count length is right: While optimizing for passage indexing, you should ensure that the passage length is between 40 words to 60 words. More comprehensive passages have better chances of appearing in the Google search index.

       Look after sections: If your content includes a section that is not relevant to the main topic, write the section as clearly as you can and optimize the most important keywords. The passage containing an H2 tag must have Latent Semantic Indexing keywords (phrases and terms related to or similar to a web page's target keyword). This will enable the search engine to understand the content on a webpage.

       Use Data Highlighter: Data Highlighter is a tool that informs Google about the structured data's pattern on a webpage. When optimizing a specific passage in a webpage, then you have to use the tool to tag the data fields. This will help the bots find and index the relevant passages in your web pages quickly and easily.

       Use valid schema mark-up: Schema mark-up is the language that search engine crawlers use to scan the web pages and understand the content. When you optimize a certain passage, use a valid schema code to enable search engines to understand the passage's content.

       Use image: Use at least one relevant image below the passage you are optimizing for indexing.


In summary,

Google has made the update to help its users get the most relevant information based on their search query. Although it will not affect websites with a short content and good optimization, it will help webpages with longer-form content and low optimization for SEO. If you are looking to get your website indexed in Google and other search engines, you can take the help of good digital marketing services and SEO companies in India.

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