Why this matters for your business: This new feature will make it much easier for businesses to respond faster and more easily to customers. Whether it’s through the GMB app or desktop, businesses need to ensure they’re consistently monitoring and respond to customer inquiries on GMB messages.
Google Passage Ranking is Available in the U.S.
On February 10th, passage ranking on Google became live in the U.S. English search results.
“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.
Instead of ranking one page, Google will be able to rank various pieces of content from the page. Now, the algorithm can read through long forms of content and decipher which passage(s) are about one query, while also determining which other passage(s) are about another query. Google will not be indexing the specific passages within the same piece of content separately. Rather than indexing the passages individually, it’s more about ranking the passages from the existing web page. This algorithm update is intended to help users get more relevant search results for specific search queries.
However, be sure not to confuse passage ranking with featured snippets. While featured snippets are for identifying the most relevant passage to a user’s search query and appears at the top of the search engine results page, passage ranking is solely for Google to determine the relevance of a web page by reading separate passages. Passage ranking also does not affect the appearance of how anything looks in Google Search, since it’s not user interface related and is rankings based.
Why this matters for your business: If your web rankings have been affected, this may be why. When Google initially launched passage ranking (previously known as passage indexing), they announced this would affect 7% of search queries. However, there’s no need to make any changes to your content yet. Google has stated this update is simply about how Google is understanding content and doesn’t require a change from how a business needs to update their SEO strategy.
Google plans to roll out this update globally in the future.
Businesses should take these new updates from Google & Yelp as a sign to refresh their business information. Head over to your listings to update your service offerings in Yelp and fill in how many years your business has operated for in Google. It’s also a good practice to remind your brand’s team that they can now check GMB Messages through their desktop, so you have more eyes on customer messages.
Are you looking to see how your business can optimize your local SEO and reputation management strategy in light of these changes? Reach out to our team to see how we can help your business.