This week, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that subtopics ranking was rolled out back in mid-November.
A number of big announcements were made at Google’s Search On 2020 event in October, and one area the search engine has been focusing on is using artificial intelligence to power more helpful searches. As part of this, the company said they were going to apply “neural nets to understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad”.
Giving an example, it added: “If you search for ‘home exercise equipment’, we can now understand relevant subtopics, such as budget equipment, premium picks, or small space ideas, and show a wider range of content for you on the search results page.”
In this announcement, Google said that it planned to roll out this ranking update by the end of 2020, but then there was no further news on this front. Now, we’ve had confirmation that subtopic ranking was launched back in November.
So, what does this mean for you? While it’s good to be aware of the latest ranking updates and how your content might perform on the SERPs as a result, there’s unlikely to be anything you need to change in response to this announcement. Although, if your site experienced any ranking fluctuations back in November and there was no obvious explanation, this could be it. It also highlights the importance of having diverse content on your website, so you can cater to as many relevant audiences and rank for as many relevant searches as possible.
Danny Sullivan also tweeted to explain that “subtopics don’t change the look of search results, only broaden the diversity of content when useful”.
Google is always looking for new ways to provide its users with the most relevant content possible, and this is just another example of that. While it’s certainly helpful to know when a ranking algorithm update has come into effect, so there’s less mystery around why your site might have started performing differently, this one shouldn’t affect the day-to-day management of your site or SEO strategy.
If you need help navigating Google’s frequent updates, our SEO experts are here to help. They’re well-versed in helping companies to improve their online visibility and ultimately make more sales. If you would like to learn more about what we do here, get in touch to chat about your goals and requirements.