Ever heard of Google Discover? Well it’s a new feature by Google and is surely going to create a revolution the way people consume content in digital landscape. Since its launch it has kept the SEO experts worldwide interested and is expected to surely affect the overall traffic of many websites worldwide. According to SEO professionals worldwide, Discover is Google’s answer to social media feed and will surely have an impact the way people browse from their mobile. In this blog I will be covering everything related to Google Discover right from origins, in detail coverage, features and most importantly how to optimize your content for Google Discover.
Google Discover: The transformation from Google Feed
Google Discover is nothing but an upgraded version Google Feed that was launched by the search engine giant in December 2016. Google Feed was a collection of stories, articles or cards that matters to the users the most or in simpler terms more relevant to them. More or less the feature worked just like a social media feed containing stories and articles based on the interest of the user rather than the posts or articles shared by your friends or followers which actually works in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To refine more, an user follows an interest on discover and gets his feed filled up with relevant stories instead of following other users.
Google Discover: How the Algorithm Works?
In normal life, a user searches for a query based on his requirement and search engines fills them with relevant results. In such cases, the people behind the article sweat it out to make it rank amongst the top results in the SERP to ensure their article gets more click.
In Google Discover life, a relevant topic of your interest or your activity is already there on your discover feed even before you typed in the query in the search box or even when you don’t have a query in your mind. That’s Google AI for you. Pretty awesome isn’t it?
The algorithm of Google Discover is designed to follow your search history, interest, activity, location etc that is more relevant to you at that moment of time.
For Example: You have an upcoming trip to Mumbai in Vistara airlines. As your doj comes near, your discover feed would soon start showing results around Vistara and places nearby Mumbai for a visit.
Even if you haven’t indicated any specific interest and have a significant search history, still based on your location, recent activity and trending topics, Google Discover will automatically push articles in your feed.
Now the all-important question, is it worth for Google to invest so much time and resource on Google discover?
Just to answer the previous question I have pretty awesome statistics to justify the attention given to Google Discover. The new feature has been used by over 800 Million Users in the past year.
How Google Discover is Different from Google Feed?
The algorithm that was used for Google Feed will more or less remain the same for Google Discover but with certain new additions.
Obviously the name is a new addition and with this re-branding the intent of Google is very clear that focus would be more on mobile content and Google Discover in the near future.
Topic Headers & Discover Icon: The UI has been re-engineered to make it look more appealing as well as navigation friendly. Other significant changes are Topic headers and the Discover icon.
The Topic headers or Discover icon are added to ensure the feed is more customized based on the area of interest as requested by you or that is more relevant to you.
For Example: My area of interest lies in articles related to Chennai Super Kings (CSK- IPL Franchisee) so in order to ensure I get more articles related to this interest of mine, I can click on the discovery icon next to CSK and click on Follow to get more real time updates related to the topic in my feed.
Note: According to Google, discovery icons would soon be populated on SERPs to ensure users can add their area of interest directly from search results.
Interesting AI powered Results: Google is “BABA” exactly that’s what we call in India to someone who knows everything. The buck doesn’t stop here with just customized results but Google went ahead with AI to provide results on a more personalized level.
For Example: If you are having keen interest in Guitar but you are just getting started with it and not an expert in handling the strings, only videos and results related to your experience level, i.e beginner level would be shown in your discover feed. Sounds interesting?
Extra Brownie points when you can actually control how many stories from a particular topic you want in your feed. In bottom of each thumbnail displayed in Google discover, there is a button which lets you control whether you want to see more of the topic or less.
Optimizing your Content for Google Discover
As mentioned in the blog, content discovery and listing on this new feature of google is not keywords driven rather interest driven. So getting your content stuffed with high search volume keywords won’t guarantee listing on Google discover rather writing on topics that are trending or evergreen can increase the chances of getting listed on this newly added feature of Google.
As of now there has been no official communication from Google as how the results can be added to the feed of Google Discover but based on tips and tricks shared by SEO experts worldwide, here is a list of Do’s to ensure you give your content a chance to get listed: –
Google Always Loves Quality: Whatever may be your content plan or content calendar for the year, do not compromise on quality to bring quantity of blogs. Do a deep research on your audience what’s working for you with your TG and what’s not. This is how you define quality content for your website.
Replicate your Successful Social Media Strategy: The algorithm of social media is highly engagement driven, where a user in majority of the cases gets only those content in his/her feed with which he/she engages the most. Similarly in Google discover the higher a user engages with a topic and content the higher chances of getting the related topics and websites listed on his/her Discover feed.
In simple terms, build a relationship with your loyal readers through various loyalty programs, email marketing, paid campaigns etc to ensure your content/brand is always in their mind during a search.
This approach ensures the interest or related topic of your content starts getting listed in the users discover feed there by increasing the chances of your content getting impressions.
Importance of Feature Images and Embedded Videos: A feature image for any content is as important as its headline. A catchy feature image can trigger good amount of clicks thereby ensuring a healthy CTR% that would be helpful in ranking on Google Discover. In 21st century content has more or less shifted to video. Along with text content do embed related video in the body to drive more readership as well as ensure audience retention and engagement.
Google Discover also lists out YouTube video in its feed.
Make a Mix of Content: The wider topics of audience interest you venture into, the higher chances you give your content to get featured on Google discover. Plan your content calendar accordingly around breaking news, informative articles, research articles anything that would really add value to the reader rather than just focusing on targeting keywords and SERP ranking.
“Last thing First Ensure you are Mobile Friendly to get featured on Google Discover”
Google Loves Mobile Friendliness: Even if you succeed in implementing all the above points, without a mobile friendly page you stand no chance on getting featured on Google Discover. So the last point mentioned in this blog but is THE MOST IMPORTANT point to get featured on this new mobile exclusive feed by Google.
In The End Quality and Building Relationship Matters
Wrapping up on Optimizing your content for Google Discover.
Google for sure is going to focus more on Google Discover even though Google Feed its predecessor didn’t make the required buzz in the SEO industry, so make sure you optimize your content for discover. Another most important thing to notice is the never ending love story of Google with mobile friendliness. Even though there has been no official comment from the search engine giant on how content is selected for discover but experts through many permutations and combinations have figured out the mantra; and that’s Quality and Building Relationship.