Google Discover offers users a query-less discovery of engaging content that fits their unique interests and preferences. It learns what users like and suggests new content based on past search activity and interactions with the Google Discover app.
Some users may be familiar with Discover’s previous name – Google Feed. Once the feature reached 800 million active users per month, the quality was upgraded and a new name was awarded, Discover. Of course, the rebrand is not the only thing that Google has changed since the new name and look was officially announced in 2018.
Learn more about Google Discover and how it impacts search engine optimization (SEO).
What Is Google Discover?
Google Discover is a feed curated by Google to deliver articles and videos on mobile devices. The content delivered to users is personalized through searches and related stories. Users also have the opportunity to further customize what they see on their feed by following topics that interest them. Results in the Discover app change on a regular basis based on newly published content and user interests.
For content creators, Google Discover can be a highly powerful driver of traffic to websites. Google Discover feeds typically contain a mix of news articles and evergreen content. There is a major emphasis on visuals, such as photography and videos. Prior to the Google Discover rebrand, the app had a more text-based layout that consisted mostly of headlines, meta descriptions and the occasional photo.
Accessing Google Discover is simple. The Google app is installed by default on nearly every Android and iPhone device. If the app is not present, it can be installed for free from Google Play or the App Store. After installing, sign in to the app with a Google account. Open the Google App and below the search bar will be a list of Google cards on the ‘Discover’ tab for those with Android or ‘Home’ for those with iOS devices.
How Does Google Discover Work?
When Google revealed its intent to rebrand the feature formally known as Google Feed, it reported it would make this transition in a three-tiered shift. One of these shifts involved moving from queries to providing a queryless way to obtain relevant information. While Google Discover functions similarly to Google Feed, some significant updates have been made since its implementation.
First, it is important to understand that the way Google provides content has remained relatively the same. The search engine continues to display content based on the user’s personal search history, as well as some Google Al. With Google Discover, a user will encounter more relevant content the more that they interact with the app. Some of the main differences between Google Discover and Google Feed include:
- Name – As previously mentioned, Google Discover received a new name during the revamp. Google has reported that the new name better reflects its mission to deliver fresh and engaging content to users.
- Look – The redesign also featured a whole new look that is more visually appealing. Users may notice new topic headers and a Discover icon. Once the user clicks on the header, they have the option to Follow the interest.
- Updated Content – Google is continuing to add new content to its Discover page all the time. Google Feed mostly featured news-related content. However, Google has now incorporated evergreen content to keep users interested.
- More Control – Another update that many users enjoy is the greater control over what they see. Look at the bottom of each card and there will be a Control icon that users can tap to tell Google if they want to see more or less of that particular content.
- Convenience – Google Discover is now available on the Homepage, instead of only being available on Google’s mobile apps. With Discover being available on all Google mobile browsers, users can easily interact with fun topics on their feed.
- Optimization – Many businesses have found that Google Discover plays a key role in their SEO strategy. However, content must meet certain guidelines before Google will display it on Discover.
Why Is Google Discover Important To SEO?
While most people know that SEO is a critical component of content creation, many businesses are not placing as much focus on Google Discover as they should. Google Discover is important to SEO as it is a major aspect of Google Search that enables users to remain updated on topics that matter to them.
Users have the opportunity to explore new data available in a variety of content types, such as blogs and videos. Discover also does not limit its capabilities to only showing new content but allows posting of any article regardless of publish date.
Discover remains a crucial part of any content strategy as its reporting feature in Search Console enables businesses to see an analysis of their content performance. Having access to this data can help businesses better optimize their content, rank higher in the search engines and increase their odds of appearing in Google Discover.
Is My Blog Content Eligible For Visibility On Google Discover?
Not all content is eligible for placement on Google Discover. To achieve visibility, there are certain procedures that must be implemented to improve one’s chances of appearing on the feed. Google Webmaster Guidelines outline what Google expects to see from websites. At a minimum, a website must be indexed, verified and comply with the Google News content policy.
Figure 3.1 is an example of what settings your posts should be set to in order for Google to index them. 321 Web Marketing uses Yoast SEO, a popular SEO optimization tool.
How To Optimize For Google Discover
Google Discover has been found to be a highly valuable source of web traffic for marketers. However, it is important to know how to optimize content for Google Discover using SEO and other practices that allow businesses to achieve greater visibility and build brand authority faster.
Here are some of the best ways to optimize for Google Discover:
1. Create Great Blog Content
Google Discover does not choose content to publish at random. Instead, it searches the web for high-quality, engaging and interesting content that is most likely to provide a good user experience. For this reason, it is important for businesses to create excellent blog content above all else.
Of course, businesses do not have to write their own content to achieve a position on a Google Discover feed. Instead, they can outsource content creation to professional freelance writers who will provide original, quality content in exchange for payment.
Forming a long-term relationship with a content creator is key as Google looks for websites that publish blog content on a regular basis. Posting regularly will help increase a business’s odds of showing up on a Discover feed.
2. Gain Followers
Once a business has their content published on Google Discover, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep the content on the app. Businesses should regularly remind their audience to follow them on Google Discover. Discover allows users to determine what content topics and brands they want to follow. When users Follow a particular brand, it tells Google that people have enjoyed the content or topic and to show more from this brand.
Once a user follows a brand, Google will alert them each time that there is new content posted from that particular brand. This process can help boost engagement and attract new readers to the blog. The more people that add a particular blog to their Discover interests, the more that Google knows that the content is relevant to the audience.
3. Build Trust With Readers
Building trust with readers is an excellent way to optimize for Google Discover. Although there are many ways to build trust, social media has remained one of the most effective methods. When businesses are able to get people to like, comment and share their content, it can develop trust and improve SEO. The more that content is shared on social media, the more social signals are generated that improve the popularity of the brand and rate their content higher.
For these reasons, building trust with readers is an effective way for Google to recognize content as trustworthy and to boost the brand’s chance of showing up in the Discover feed. However, getting people to like, comment and share a post means creating content that people actually want to read. This requires the creation of outstanding content that is not readily available elsewhere on the web.
4. Boost Social Engagement
The next way to optimize for Google Discover involves increasing social media feed engagement. As previously mentioned, social signals can have a positive influence on SEO. When businesses take the necessary steps to improve their social feed engagement, they can drastically increase their chance of appearing on Discover Feed.
The more likes, comments and shares that a blog receives, the higher it will rank as the level of engagement increases. One of the best ways to increase social engagement is to create and publish helpful content on a regular basis. Relevant, evergreen blogs have been found to drive consistent traffic. Posts should be shared across various channels to attract more visitors back to the website. Businesses should also tell their followers to share the content with their friends around the web and encourage them to leave comments.
Figure 4.1 shows the social account traffic for one of 321 Web Marketing clients. Their social media posts are funneling direct traffic to their website.
5. Optimize For AMPs
Speed is a driving factor in Google rankings and a great way to achieve more speed is by optimizing the website for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). With AMPs, users can expect nearly instant loading which results in a more enjoyable user experience that can be accessed from any device, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
The faster that a page loads, the more satisfaction that users experience on the website. In comparison, web pages that load slow can cause users to click away and go to a competitor’s website. Slow loading websites will also reduce a business’s chance of ranking in the SERPs and being published on Google Discover. The Discover report feature provides comparison options to show both AMP and non-AMP performances. In short, optimizing for AMPs can provide users with a better customer experience and increase a business’s odds of showing up on a Discover feed.
6. Place Focus On Visuals
One of the biggest differences between Google Discover and previous designs like Feed is the use of high-quality visual materials. Google is placing greater emphasis on photos and videos on the Discover app. According to HubSpot, 87 percent of video content marketers reported that there was a direct correlation between web traffic and the publishing of videos.
The quality of visuals also plays a major role in their effectiveness. Photos and videos should be crisp and clearly reflect the content that is being portrayed. Ideally, pictures should be a minimum of 1,200 px wide as Google requires high-quality photos to appear on Discover. Consider using a variety of visuals to enhance blog posts, such as infographics, GIFs, screenshots, memes, quotes and data-driven visuals. Fortunately, there are hundreds of stock photography services available that make it easy to find high-quality images for nearly any topic imaginable.
7. Comply With SEO Best Practices
One way to get noticed by Google Discover is to simply follow basic SEO best practices. These practices were designed to help improve the user experience and drive traffic to the website. Businesses must remember that users will also return to a website if they had a good experience the first time around. Complying with SEO best practices can help ensure not only that the page ranks well, but also that it meets the expectation of the end user.
Some examples of SEO best practices include improved site speed, a mobile-friendly site, a website that is mobile responsive and a website that is secure with a secured layer certificate (SSL). Obtaining an SSL certificate allows businesses to switch their URL from a HTTP to a HTTPS, which is a Google ranking signal.
8. Ensure Pages Are Crawlable
If Google is not able to find the web page, they certainly cannot publish it to a Discover feed. Ensure that all web pages are crawlable to make it easy for Google to crawl and index each page quickly as this is an essential step for appearing on Discover.
There are several things that businesses can do to encourage Google to index their web pages faster. Start by creating an XML sitemap for all website pages. A sitemap provides valuable data,new page updates and other information that enables Google to crawl and index the website faster. Businesses can also use other tools to ensure that their web pages are crawlable, such as Yoast or Google Search Console.
9. Review Google’s Publishing Policy
Google has revealed that complying with their content publishing policy is essential for businesses that wish to appear on Google Discover. This means that all blog posts, news posts and other types of content must follow Google News Guidelines, as well as Google Webmaster Guidelines. Businesses must carefully review these guidelines and ensure that each piece of content that they create meets compliance for a chance to appear on a feed.
The reason for creating these stringent guidelines is to once again improve user experience. Content that meets Google’s publishing policy is more likely to help searchers find the content that they are looking for quickly and efficiently. To meet these guidelines, content must be original, purposeful, fresh, and answer the user’s query. If a business is republishing old content, they must remember to update it with new ideas.
10. Get On GMB
If a business has yet to create a Google My Business (GMB) page, there is no better time than now to complete this essential task. Google My Business is a directory created by Google that presents results based on user queries. Many people rely on the internet to find goods or services and GMB can connect them with local businesses that offer these services. It also provides a description of the business, as well as contact information like addresses, phone numbers and websites.
Businesses that have a Google My Business presence are more likely to appear on Google Discover than businesses that have overlooked this essential step. Google’s main goal is to provide users with the best match to their query. Google looks at a wide range of data when deciding what content should appear on Discover, such as rich snippets, knowledge graph panels and image carousels.
Figure 4.2 demonstrates the profile that appears after optimizing Google My Business. Odin, Feldman, & Pittleman, P.C., one of 321 Web Marketing’s clients, has received 13 client reviews through their Google My Business account, increasing their brand reputation, and thus, the likelihood their content may be featured in Google Discover.
11. Publish Evergreen Content
Anyone who has been involved in SEO has likely heard the term ‘evergreen’ content. Evergreen content refers to SEO content that remains fresh and continuously relevant for readers. What makes evergreen content so valuable is that it is considered sustainable and long-lasting. It will continue to be relevant in days, weeks, months and possibly years down the line.
Creating and publishing evergreen content is essential for businesses that wish to gain a spot on Google Discover. This is because Discover is always providing users with a mix of new and evergreen content based on the user’s search history and preferences. Publishing evergreen content has also been found to engage readers, drive traffic and boost user experience. Once a post lands on Discover, it will continue to show up on the feed and drive organic traffic back to the website.
12. Cater To Reader Interests
Not all content has what Google is looking for when finding posts to publish on Discover. In fact, Google is often on the lookout for content that is highly emotional and caters to the unique interests of the reader. Examples of highly emotional content includes blogs about celebrities filing for divorce, cheating scandals, x-rated symbols, drug use, relationship advice, scandalous photos, deaths of political figures and similar topics that are designed to affect a reader’s emotions.
When creating content for a blog or website, it is important to cater to the reader’s interests and consider what he or she may be thinking or feeling when they read the content. If the content does not evoke emotion, consider reevaluating the topic or changing the headline to attract readers.
13. By Wary Of Clickbait Titles
There is a common misconception that using clickbait titles will help businesses become optimized for Google Discover. Although it is true that clickbait titles can bring in a larger audience as these titles tend to be more alluring, Google has made it abundantly clear that it does not permit clickbait, especially on Discover. Instead, Google recommends using page titles that reflect the essence of the content but without using clickbait or other tactics designed to achieve false engagement or mislead users.
So, what exactly is clickbait? Clickbait refers to content that was written specifically to attract attention or to encourage people to click on a particular link within a web page. Some businesses misuse clickbait to get as many clicks as possible to give their ad revenue a boost. The problem with clickbait titles is that many companies value getting clicks over generating quality content.
14. Pose Questions In Headlines
Another way that businesses can increase their odds of gaining a spot on Discover is by incorporating questions into their headlines. Adding questions to headlines has been found to drive high click-through-rates (CTRs) in Discover. Marketers have been publishing content with questions posed in the headlines for years and for good reason. These types of headlines encourage people to click or scroll to find answers to important questions.
Posing questions in headlines can also benefit SEO as many search engine queries are actually questions. When a user goes to a search engine to find information, they often write the query as a question, such as “Why do cats meow?” When a business creates a piece of content with a matching query, it is more likely to rank higher in the search engines and possibly on Discover.
Figure 4.3 provides an example of a blog previously posted by 321 Web Marketing with a question in the headline.
15. Write On Niche Topics
When searching for content to post on Discover, Google looks for a variety of things, such as a website’s ability to create content that accurately targets the users’ interests. This refers to specific, niche interests that an audience may be searching for that is highly specific.
Niche content refers to content that was created for a specific audience to drive strong results. The development of niche posts can act as an effective tool for building long-lasting connections with clients or customers. Niche content can also improve SEO efforts, validate leads and help businesses stand out amongst the competition.
When creating content on niche topics, it is important to know the audience and what they are looking for online. Create content that is easy to read, engaging and encourages the reader to return for more information.
Schedule A Consultation With 321 Web Marketing
Appearing in Google Discover is a great way to increase a business’s page visibility and generate more organic traffic to a website. With millions of monthly users, businesses will have the opportunity to get their brand out there and share relevant information that pertains to their unique industry. Understanding how Google Discover works and how it relates to SEO plays a key role in whether or not a web page appears on Discover. For businesses that want a chance to be on Google Discover, consider working with an experienced web marketing agency. For more information about Google Discover and why it matters for SEO, reach out to the web marketing professionals at 321 Web Marketing today.