In last weeks announcement, Google said that they are now able to index individual passages from web pages. Although Google called it ‘passage indexing’, it does not mean that Google indexes individual passages. Google still indexes full web pages. The ‘passage indexing’ change only refers to rankings.
Google is still indexing pages
This change doesn’t mean we’re indexing individual passages independently of pages. We’re still indexing pages and considering info about entire pages for ranking. But now we can also consider passages from pages as an additional ranking factor….— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 20, 2020
Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed this in another tweet:
Because people thought we were doing this in addition to indexing pages, so we want to be extra clear. Which we thought was extra clear. But….— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 20, 2020
We are not indexing passages. Period.
This change is not live yet. Although Google can do this, it has not been integrated into the current algorithm yet.
Passages are not the same as featured snippets
Google’s Danny Sullivan also said on Twitter that passage indexing is not the same as featured snippets:
Featured snippet are used for voice search. They are already identified using different systems than passages.— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) October 21, 2020
Featured snippets show the most relevant part of a page that Google found relevant to a query. Passage indexing shows content that is relevant to a query even if the full page is not relevant to the query.
How to optimize your web pages
There are many different ranking signals that have an impact on your rankings in Google’s search results. The Top 10 Optimizer tool in SEOprofiler helps you to optimize your web pages for these signals: