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Google Launched Subtopics Ranking In Mid-November 2020

Danny Sullivan of Google confirmed on Twitter that the search company launched the subtopics ranking feature or algorithm in mid-November 2020, just weeks after announcing it at the Search On event in October 2020.

Subtopics according to the announcement is a (machine learning) way for Google to “understand subtopics around an interest, which helps deliver a greater diversity of content when you search for something broad.” “As an example, 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.”

Danny Sullivan added on Twitter “subtopics don’t change the look of search results, only broaden the diversity of content, when useful.”

Here is the GIF Google uses to illustrate it, but it can’t really be illustrated:

Here is Glenn Gabe asking Danny Sullivan about when it launched:

Glenn asked Danny if what he was seeing with topic tags in Interesting Finds was related to subtopics announced in October:

Glenn tweeted some points as well:

Note, this is from the same announcement around Passage indexing which did not yet go live and also won’t look different.

Did no one really notice? It depends. We reported on a few unconfirmed Google ranking updates; November 5th, November 11th, November 17th & 18th and November 25th.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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