Google’s Danny Sullivan has confirmed on Twitter that the search company rolled out the subtopics ranking algorithm or feature in mid-November 2020, a couple of weeks after the announcement of it at the Search On event took place in October 2020.
Subtopics 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 further added more to it on Twitter, stating that “subtopics don’t change the look of search results, only broaden the diversity of content, when useful.” Here’s a GIF that has been used by Google to demonstrate it, but this can not be really explained:
Here’s a tweet by Glenn Gabe asking out Danny Sullivan about when it rolled out:
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 9, 2021
Glenn Gabe then further asked if what he sees with the topic tags in the interesting finds was related to subtopics declared in October:
Thanks for the reply Danny. I appreciate it. And awesome to hear the subtopics system is live now!
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) January 8, 2021
Glenn then tweeted out some points as well:
BTW, nobody noticed the subtopics system was live. 🙂 I thought I was seeing something related with Interesting Finds (and the topic tags being tested), but Danny explained that's not related to the subtopics system. Here's the post mentioning subtopics: https://t.co/XbQzgDo0J2
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) January 9, 2021