How Google identifies individual passages on a website

Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search link, shares more information on an upcoming change that aims to improve 7% of global queries.

In a short time, Google will be able to identify individual passages on a website in order to understand how relevant a page is for a particular query.

This update was announced last week, and Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti has a full description here:

The upcoming change has drawn a number of questions from the SEO community, and Sullivan wants to clear things up on a Twitter thread.

This is how the passage identification works

Google traditionally evaluates a website as a whole to determine how relevant it is to a query.

This becomes difficult when it comes to very long web pages or pages that cover multiple topics.

A web page with a wealth of content can inadvertently water down the part that is particularly relevant to a user’s query.


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With the new technology from Google, these important passages can be better identified and understood.

This can lead to pages appearing in search results that may not previously have been considered relevant to certain queries.

Sullivan says SEOs or website owners don’t need to do anything special to prepare for this change.

“In some cases, it just means that we may now have better access to content without the developers having to work hard.”

Sullivan emphasizes this update does not mean Google starts indexing individual passages regardless of the websites to which they belong.

When this change is introduced, Google will continue to index individual pages and consider entire pages for ranking.


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Passages from web pages become an additional consideration that Google takes into account when ranking pages.

When will this change be introduced?

It is not yet known when Google will provide this update to search results.

When asked about an estimated timeframe, Sullivan said Google will provide an update when the change goes live.

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