How Google indexes passages of a page and what it means for SEO – Search Engine Land

How Google indexes passages of a page and what it means for SEO – Search Engine Land

Among the slew of changes to search Google announced Thursday, we wanted to delve deeper into the passage-based indexing announcement.

Passage-based indexing updates. “Very specific searches can be the hardest to get right,” said Google, “since sometimes the single sentence that answers your question might be buried deep in a web page. We’ve recently made a breakthrough in ranking and are now able to not just index web pages, but individual passages from the pages. By better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you’re looking for.”

Google said passage-based indexing will affect 7% of search queries across all languages when fully rolled out globally

What it looks like in search. Google provided these visuals to demonstrate the change:

With new passage understanding capabilities, Google can understand that the specific passage (R) is a lot more relevant to a specific query than a broader page on that topic (L).

In the video, Google said this at the 18:05 mark. “We’ve recently made another breakthrough, and are now able to not just index webpages, but individual passages from those pages. This helps us find that needle in a haystack because now the whole of that one passage is
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