Google's John Muller is interviewed about new Passages algorithm

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A new article on Search Engine Journal reports on an interview with Google's John Muller regarding the new passages ranking algorithm and how this affects SEO.

Google had this to say about Passages:

"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."
Passages arrives as part of a core update, prompting the question as to how pages can be properly optimized to suit the new algorithm.

"I've got a question about Passages. So, it's more about how Google will see the structure of a paragraph. Because obviously, more recently, we're seeing kind of more conversational kind of blog posting... and I'm wondering if there is kind of a minimum word count or character count within a paragraph so that Google realizes this is a paragraph?"
Muller responded with:

"I don't know."
Muller then went into further detail about Passages:

"I don't have the details of all of the Passages things. It's not a core update... it's not what we would consider a core update. It's more about ranking these passages from existing pages rather than indexing them individually. So, more about recognizing this is a big page and this is a part of the page that is particularly relevant to this query that is coming, so we'll focus on that part of the page. So it's not that there's a separate passage index or anything like that involved. It's really more about understanding the page and the different parts of the page and being able to recognize which of those parts are relevant for users' query. I don't have much more details past that to share from our side."
How do Passages affect SEO?

Muller gives some pointers on how publishers can optimize passages to rank high for SEO:

"I did notice there's some folks that have been digging up patents and papers and kind of the more... educational content or theoretical content around some of these topics. And they mentioned there are things like you should make sure that you have clear headings and that you have well-structured content on your pages so that we can recognize these sections, which to me is kind of obvious. Like if you want a search engine to recognize a part of your page, then you should structure your page properly, that it's easy to recognize. But maybe that's kind of a direction to head. In general, with a lot of these changes, one thing I would caution from is trying to jump on the train of trying to optimize for these things because a lot of the changes that we make like these are essentially changes that we make because we notice that web pages are kind of messy and unstructured. And it's not so much that these messy and unstructured web pages suddenly have an advantage over clean and structured pages. It's more, well... we can understand these messy pages more or less the same as we can understand clean pages."
Let's see if the Passages algorithm causes a significant change in SEO methods or impacts content on the web.
#algorithm #google’s #interviewed #john #muller #passages
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