Google just announced that “passage ranking” is now live in the SERPs:
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
I think it actually launched about a week ago as that’s when I noticed that odd-looking URLs were showing up in the Search Performance Report in Google Search Console like:
It’s possible, these may not be actual “passage ranking” URLs, and are just some other flotsam Google has launched. I am seeing them popping up over the past week on several client sites. But for the sake of this post, let’s assume these are passage ranking URLs. It’s an SEO blog post so cut me some slack.
If you want to track the performance of your content with passage ranking, all you have to do is filter the GSC Search Performance Report by Page containing “/#:~:text” and you get a nice little graph like:
Looks like we need to do some work on getting some actual clicks from these though….
Why should you track passage ranking URLs in Google for SEO? (yes I am trying to rank this passage)
Based on what I am seeing so far, the URL slug displayed in GSC provides some pretty interesting clues as to what content on the page Google matched with the query. For example, according to GSC https://www.localseoguide.com/#:~:text=Obligatory%20Impressive%20Client%20Logos%20%26%20Case%20Studies appeared for searches for “local seo” and “local seo expert.” This may be a signal that “case studies” are important to searchers when they are looking for local SEO help.
Hell, even if these aren’t passage ranking URLs, this is still a good technique for figuring out what content on your page Google is prioritizing for certain queries.