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Passage Based Ranking is officially live. Google has dubbed this a mini Algo update, although it is expected to affect 7% of search queries globally when fully rolled out.
Update: passage ranking launched yesterday afternoon Pacific Time for queries in the US in English. It will come for more countries in English in the near future, then to other countries and languages after that. We’ll update this thread as those further launches happen.— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 11, 2021
Besides being the king of shitty beer, PBR stands for Passage Based Ranking. So, what is it?
Google is now crawling pages and finding sections of the page that it finds to be informative and helpful to specific search queries, or questions. So instead of determining ranking based on all the content on a web page, it is now ranking based on informative snippets in addition to full page content quality.
It is important to note that Google is still indexing the entire page, not just the individual section. So we are not in a mad dash to start optimizing for keyword specific phrases just because we saw them rank for someone else.
Your entire page and website needs to have high quality content with good EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in order to be viable for passage indexing. We can’t control rankings for any phrases or common queries, but we can optimize for it by starting with quality content that answers common questions and covers useful topics.
We first saw some benefit in PBR when our SEO specialists caught a big jump in our client’s keywords in the 4-10 ranking positions moved up to 1-3.
Content that was written around specific keywords and common search queries was ranked higher. We observed results while the algorithm update was going live on February 11th.
In true Google form and as with every algorithm update, Google advises not switching tactics or changing a bunch of content on your site. Continue to focus on writing great, useful content aimed at answering those common questions.
Gather search rank and performance information of your website with this free tool. We’ll also reach out to provide some additional information on where your opportunities for growth and optimization are.