Google has recently introduced passage indexing to their algorithm, which means that the company will now count various portions of an article that are under each heading on a page towards its search results. This may sound confusing at first, but don’t worry – we will walk you through it.
We will explain what this new form of indexing means for businesses both large and small and what steps you can take to make sure your website doesn’t lose out on valuable traffic as a result of this new algorithm update.
What does passage indexing mean exactly?
Google has announced a new feature called passage indexing which will help to improve the search results for long-form content. This means that Google will now be able to index individual passages from a longer piece of content, rather than just the whole page.
Let’s examine an illustration: Imagine you created a lengthy article about SEO. You included sections on various platforms for SEO, SEO for various businesses, and how to find an SEO agency because you wanted to cover the subject in its totality.
That is a tone of helpful information, but it also implies that only one piece of your post will likely score well for terms like “SEO for various businesses.”
Google can extract portions of your content and rank them separately from the rest of the page using passage indexing. For instance, even if the entire page isn’t optimized for the term, your part on “how to find an SEO agency” may rank for it.
This is good news for those who produce long-form content, as it means that your content is more likely to be found and ranked highly in the search results.
However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that you should start producing shorter pieces of content. Google still values quality, well-written and informative content – passage indexing just makes it easier for them to find and rank your content.
Who is affected by passage indexing, and who isn’t?
This update is designed to help searchers find the most relevant information for their query, even if it’s buried deep within a long-form piece of content. While this change is likely to improve the search experience for users, it could have some negative consequences for websites that don’t structure their content in an easily digestible way.
Also, the adjustment will especially benefit websites with lengthy content that isn’t completely optimized. There probably won’t be any changes for publishers with a solid SEO strategy, e-commerce sites with concise material, and websites without long-form content.
How Does Passage Indexing Affect SEO?
It will have little to no effect on your SEO for most websites. Sites that detect a change will most likely see a slight increase in traffic.
However, there are a few minor alterations worth noting:
Longer-form content has a better chance of ranking for more keywords. This could mean that sites with shorter material suffer a minor drop in ranking while sites with longer-form content benefit.
It is also more vital than ever for websites to implement on-page SEO methods, such as using the appropriate heading and optimizing anchor text. Pages with less optimization but higher quality content may outrank you.
How to Optimize Passage Indexing?
There are a few key things you can do to make sure your website is optimized for passage indexing:
- Update long-form content with fresh data, resources, and links.
- Structure your content in an easily digestible format with clear headlines and subheadings.
- Use keyword-rich phrases to help Google understand the topic of your page.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices so that users can easily read your content on the go.
- Make sure your website loads quickly and efficiently so that users don’t get frustrated and leave before they even get a chance to read your content.