Optimizing your content for Google Discover is a way to get hits to your web pages, recognition, and SEO optimization.
Google search has always been the go-to place to look up search results when you have a fixed query. But what happens when you want to perform a queryless discovery for content that fits your preferences?
Google Discover does this. It suggests content based on your interests and preferences based on past search activities and interactions.
Observe Google Discover and understand how to use it to its fullest potential.
What is Google Discover?
Google Discover is an ever-changing new feed that offers personalized content based on your preferences and past activities.
You can see it by going to your phone and opening the Google app.
For Google Discover to personalize your content, it presents as a scrollable feed. It takes all the data in your activities, including search queries, YouTube search queries, and web activities.
While the Google discover feed is based on your past activities, there is also an option to customize the feed and follow topics that interest us.
The Google discover feed also updates itself based on newly published content in the user’s interest. You can also build your profile and lay down limits as to what Google discover should show on your device.
To build your profile on mobile devices, turn on your web activity and personal results on your Google app.
How is Google Discover Different From Google Search?
When it comes to Google search, you enter a query and are shown results related to that query.
Google Discover does not take any queries from the user but shows the related content pertaining to the user’s interests.
Google Discover is limited to only mobile and tablets. For Discover, Google uses your mobile data such as location settings, location history, and search activities from your various devices to generate Google Discover content.
Google Discover experience is such that the content is curated for every individual, offering each user an entirely unique experience tailored to them.
The Evolution of Google Discover
The concept of Google Discover dates back to 2012, when it was called “Google Now”. The main idea behind Google Now was to feed the user information without their input.
Google Now could show you your upcoming sports events, calendar events, boarding passes, and more. This was slowly stripped down, and some features were moved to Google Assistant’s Snapshot.
Later it was just limited to articles from the web and was renamed “Google Feed”. This was similar to the news feeds on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Instead of following channels and other social media users, Google would follow a user’s interests.
The main idea was to keep users updated on their areas of interest even when they did not know what they were searching for.
Once Google Feed became popular, the company decided in 2018 to rebrand it as Google Discover, the name we know today.
How to Optimize Your Content for Google Discover
Since Google Discover daily updates users on their favorite topics, it is a good source of high traffic for your web pages. Understanding how to optimize your content for Google Discover will help you improve your brand authority and help you gain visibility.
The following are some tips to help your content appear on Google Discover:
Create High-Quality Content
The content that appears on Google Discover follows specific criteria. For instance, content that appeals to the user and provides a good user experience is more likely to appear on the feed, and this is considered high-quality because it matches the user’s criteria for viewing and interests.
Regardless of the publishing date of the content, anything that answers the user’s queries will have a good shot at appearing on Google Discover.
One way to ensure that your content appears on Google Discover is to focus more on topics that are long-lasting. Think more about evergreen content (stays fresh, is always interesting, not a flash-in-the-pan) that is sustainable and long-lasting so that it stays relevant even after a few weeks, months, or even years.
Check Crawlability of the Pages
For your web pages to appear on Google Discover, you need to ensure that they are crawlable by Google. This makes it quicker for them to get indexed and appear on SERPs and eventually on Google Discover.
Site owners can perform several things to make Google index their web pages faster. For example, creating an XML sitemap with information about all the web pages will crawl more quickly since the sitemap will have all the necessary details of the website, its new pages, and other information.
Using tools like Google Search Console to manually request indexing for your newly uploaded web pages is also a good idea because it directly notifies Google to crawl the page.
Once you get your content on Google Discover, you need to ensure that the content stays on the Discover feed. To attain this, you need to gain more followers for your content.
Every user using Google Discover has the feature where they can follow specific topics and will cater to the user and update the feed based on that. This will aid in encouraging your viewers to follow your brand.
When a user follows a specific brand or a website, Google Discover marks that brand as an entity giving quality content that the user enjoys. This builds credibility for the particular brand and shows more relevant content from the said content creator.
This will help you find new users, and the more people who follow content from a particular brand (yours!), the more likely the same content will appear on the feeds of new users.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Google Discover is only viewable on mobile phones, so optimizing your website for mobile devices is absolutely necessary.
The web pages on your mobile version should be as captivating and engaging as in the desktop version. Optimization of your content via instant loading is absolutely critical.
Since Google also considers speed as one of the factors in ranking a web page, have your page optimized for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). Through the AMPs framework, you can easily optimize your web pages, stories, and ads to load faster on mobile devices.
Improve E-A-T Value
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) value has always been the staple for improving Google rankings. When it comes to getting your content to appear on Google Discover, the same SEO strategy of building your content around E-A-T value is applicable.
Your content should provide helpful information to the user for their queries, and any irrelevant or misleading information will hurt your rankings. For most types of content, the author’s authority plays an important role. Fact check your information before publishing them online.
Google actively tries to remove content that does not offer any real value to the user. You must demonstrate experience with the subject and give them reasons to trust you and your content.
Boost Social Engagement
Social media engagement for your content is always an excellent way to ensure that your SEO is positively affected. In that regard, it is necessary to understand how social media engagement can help your content appear on Google Discover.
To increase your contents’ level of engagement, look for ways to improve your blogs’ likes, comments, and shares. Understand the requirements of your target audience and push content based on that.
Create posts across as many social media channels as you can to drive traffic to your website. Also, encourage your followers to leave a comment for better engagement, and they may share the post with their friends and families for even more outreach.
Emphasis On Visuals
Creating engaging content alone is not enough to improve your SEO rankings. Supplement your blogs with appealing visuals that make it easier to attract more visitors.
Google Discover places heavy emphasis on the visuals that support your blogs. Images, videos, GIFs, quotes, and infographics are known to keep readers engaged.
When it comes to images, using high-quality images that are at least 1200 px wide is essential. Set the image setting to max-image-preview: large for optimal results.
Videos are also a good way to drive more traffic to your blog. Simply ensure that the video is relevant to the subject and engages visitors. Hint: if you are bored with your own video? Visitors will be, too.
Comply With Google’s Publishing Policy
For the content of any businesses to appear on Google Discover, they must follow Google’s content publishing policy. The content you publish will have to adhere to the Google News guidelines and Google webmaster guidelines.
The main reason behind such guidelines is to enhance the user experience. This will help the users find the content they need more quickly and efficiently. The critical factor is that the content should be original, fresh, and cater to the users’ needs.
Even when republishing old content, only update the content that is still relevant to your viewers.
Produce Timely Content
Google Discover constantly updates its content and tries to keep the user updated on any newsworthy content on the topics that the user follows. This means there is a higher chance of Google Discover showing your content if you produce timely content.
Keep an eye out for trending topics, new ideas, and improvements in your niche. Create helpful content such as listicles, how-tos, and guides around this and post them regularly.
Understand the preferences of your target audience and create outstanding content relevant to that.
Incorporate Structured Data
Scheme implementation uses structured data as blueprints to help search engines understand their content and plays a considerable role in SEO rating systems. They are blueprints that help search engines understand your content and how it is structured.
It only makes sense to see your content in Discovery to ensure that your schema implementation is well built and gives as much information as possible.
This helps the Google algorithm understand more about your content, how it is structured, and why it should appear on Google Discover.
Use of Google Web Stories
Google Web Stories are similar to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. They present visually enhanced, full-screen content tailor-made for the mobile experience. Viewers can swipe through and navigate various stories.
Unlike social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, Google web stories have the freedom to get published anywhere on the web. They can be freely distributed and need not remain on the Google Discover platform.
To get your stories on Google Discovery, create visually engaging content that is easy to read with a swipe or a tap. This will engage the user and be easy to read.
Avoid Clickbait Titles
It is a common misconception that clickbait titles help content appear on the Discover feed. While clickbait content might bring in more clicks in the short term, Google has made it clear that it does not allow clickbait, especially on Google Discover.
Google recommends that your headline reflects your specific content while ensuring that you do not mislead the user in any way and achieve false engagement.
Google Discover is yet another channel where you can gain more traffic for your website. While it is predominantly accessible on mobile devices, the beta version is accessible from chromebook. Understanding the nature of Google Discover will help you curate content appearing on the Discover feed. Optimize your content for mobile, especially the loading time to keep your audience engaged. Ensure that you carefully follow all the guidelines by Google, stay mindful of the quality of the content, and produce them regularly.