Glenn Gabe submitted a question to Google’s John Mueller asking him how will Google roll out the passage indexing – what will it look like when it rolls out. In short, John said he doesn’t really know but based on his experience, Google will experiment a lot with different ways of showing this – so expect experiments.
When Google announced passage-based indexing, the example it provided in the announcement showed a featured snippet result. Do you know if both featured snippets and the core results in the 10-blue links will benefit from passage-based indexing? Or will it just result in better answers for featured snippets? We haven’t heard much on that front yet.
John responded that he does not know, he said:
I honestly don’t know.
So my kind of taking a step back and just guessing at this, with my internal information. Usually what happens with these things is we will roll them out in in one particular place, experiment a bit to find out how to best implement these, how they best work and then find ways to roll that out a little bit more broadly.
So it might be that we start showing these in the featured snippets first because I don’t know we showed that example or maybe that’s the clearest way we can check this. And then at some point we start showing them more in the normal search results as well.
But again kind of like with all of these newer changes in search. Usually we we try them in a small scale and then roll them out a little bit larger over time.
This is the screen shot Google used in its official blog post about how this might look:
But you and I know that what we will see in a year from now might not be this at all. In fact, the search results might not look any different at all. It might just be around how Google ranks the content, not how Google presents the search snippet. But time will tell.
Also, note featured snippets are different from passage indexing, which we covered. The bigger question is will their be a big visual difference?
Here is the video embedded at the start time:
Here is how Glenn summed up the response to his question:
…provide some information. John explained it’s possible Google could roll it out in one place (like featured snippets), experiment a bit, and then roll it out more broadly once they have more data. Again, he doesn’t know for sure, but that was his guess: https://t.co/7zKrIuBuHW pic.twitter.com/DKPT7mvuRS
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) November 11, 2020
Forum discussion at Twitter.