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Google Passage Ranking: Definition and Impact on SEO

Last updated: Apr 03, 2023

What is Google Passage Ranking?

Google Passage Ranking is an algorithm for determining the position of a website page in the SERP based on short excerpts or passages in the content.

This ranking algorithm change was introduced on February 11, 2021. Since then, long content ratings can be reviewed in the context of the citations in them.

This effectively gives Google a better understanding of long articles, thereby providing users with a better search experience.

By understanding the context of long articles based on these short excerpts, Google can fill the SERP with content that is relevant to search queries.

How Google Passage Ranking Works

The algorithm related to website page ranking prioritizes user needs in search activities.

The way it works is by matching search queries that users enter and serving up results based on short excerpts from an article.

The Passage Ranking Algorithm will look for excerpts or passages from articles that can answer user questions from various indexed websites.

In this way, Google can give a website page a different ranking based on the topic of the passage found in it.

In comparison, a search on "how SEO works" would turn up pages with content discussing SEO as a whole a few years ago.

With the current passage ranking, Google can display articles about "how SEO works" based on the topic of discussion in the existing passage.

The logic of updating the Google Ranking algorithm is quite simple. The answer a user is looking for may be just one sentence in a long article.

Therefore, Google helps users easily find the answers they are looking for without having to spend a lot of time reading the entire article.

The Differences Between Passage Ranking and Featured Snippets

At first glance, information about Google Passage Ranking may sound similar to another feature from Google called Featured Snippet.

The difference between Passage Ranking and Featured Snippet here is the algorithm used and its purpose.

Passage Ranking is used to determine website ranking based on quotes or passages in the article.

Meanwhile, Featured Snippet is a SERP feature that provides instant answers based on voice search principles.

The Featured Snippet itself is displayed in position 0, which is at the top of the SERP. However, Passage Ranking cannot be displayed as real as the snippet feature gets.

Impact of Passage Ranking on SEO

Based on Google's inquiries regarding this update, Google Passage Ranking has no real impact on SEO.

Passage Ranking is only used to identify relevant sections in long articles to help optimize search for users.

However, this does not guarantee that the website's SEO performance is free from the impact of this algorithm change.

The results of this algorithm change will later be able to improve the search experience on Google.

This can also have an impact on the way SEO practitioners produce content and optimize it according to the algorithms they apply.

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