Google Discover is a personalized feed that recommends content to users based on their previous Google searches.
The company launched it in 2017 as Google Feed’s replacement. While Feed only recommended news articles and recently published content to users, Discover offers content according to the user’s behaviour, interests, and preferences.
It features a mix of latest news and evergreen content while putting significant emphases on visuals — both images and videos.
You can access Discover analytics by going to Google Search Console and clicking on the Discover button.
With over 800 million monthly users, Discover is available to Android users through the Google App, and others can access it by logging into Google.com on their mobile browsers. Only indexed website pages eligible to appear on Discover. It works by analyzing the kind of topics you have previously shown interest in and then showing articles of similar articles on your feed.
Why should you care about Google Discover
Online content is getting more mobile-optimized, personalized, and visualized by every passing day. The success of Google Discover is the perfect example of that. The most significant advantage of Google Discover is that it puts your content directly in front of your target audience. It shows your content to users who are already interested in the kind of topics that you cover. It allows you to reach out to new users, even the ones who aren’t trying to search for the keywords you are targeting.
Discover gives you an additional way of driving organic traffic for your website, apart from the search engine rankings. Many websites are already seeing heavy traffic from Discover. Vogue’s website saw more traffic come in from Discover than Google search in October 2019.
Conde Nast, the parent company that owns Vogue along with other publications, reports that Discover drives 20 percent of its total Google-based traffic in the US.
The average Click Through Rate (CTR) is much higher with Discover, as compared to search engine results. That is because Discover puts your content directly in front of users who are already interested in the topics you are publishing.
Optimize Your Website To Get on Google Discover
Improve content quality and user experience
Google is the most popular search engine in the world. It continually comes up with new algorithm updates that emphasize user experience and content quality, proving that good SEO involves both strong content and design.
Whenever there is a new Google algorithm update, some websites see a drastic decrease in their search engine traffic, while others see a drastic increase. The reason? Google prefers websites with content that can drive value to its users.
Google uses the same algorithms to curate articles for a user’s Discover feed. That means Google will give preference to a website with a low bounce rate that loads in less than 10 seconds on mobile data over a website with only clickbait articles that have more ads than content in them.
As a result, it’s vital to ensure that your content marketing funnel focuses on content that is valuable, engaging, and informative.
Include high- quality graphics in your posts
Google Discover is a visual feed for users, and images play a very vital role in it. Google shows the featured image of your blog on the user’s Discover feed, and it is a deciding factor for your CTR.
So, whether you are sharing your favorite chicken recipe or posting an article about digital marketing, make sure to have high-quality images.
According to Google, the two ways to improve performance and ranking of Discover content are:
1- Posting content that your users would find interesting
2- Adding high-quality images along with the content
Google recommends feature images to be at least 1200px wide to display them on Discover cards easily.
Websites with optimum feature images size experience:
- 5 % increase in clickthrough rate
- 3 % increase in user satisfaction
- 3 %increase in time spent on the pages
Publish a mix of evergreen and trend content
While introducing Discover, Google mentioned that the content curated for the Discover feed would be a mix of trending and evergreen content. The strategy allows users to catch up on all the critical, time-consuming news while still reading interesting evergreen articles about topics they like.
So, if Discover learns that you are searching for a particular product, it may later show you a review of that product from over two years ago. Similarly, if you have been searching for a specific location to make travel plans, you may find travel articles related to that location on your feed later.
The best way to take advantage of it is by creating a content strategy that combines both new and evergreen topics. Not only will it improve your chances of landing on Google Discover, but it will also increase search engine traffic.
Follow Google’s guidelines completely
Google is very particular about the kind of content that gets added to Discover. That is why you should ensure that you follow all the required content policies set by Google.
The content published on Google needs to follow Google News content policies. The content should be completely original, and there should be complete transparency about the author’s name, publication date, publisher, and other sources for the article. At the same time, you should keep ads at a minimum and ensure they never exceed the content.
Get your pages indexed
Getting your website pages indexed is the most crucial step to show up on Discover. After all, if Google isn’t able to crawl through your most important pages, then it won’t be able to showcase it to users who might be interested in the kind of topics that you publish.
For every blog you publish, you should ensure that it is a part of your XML sitemap and linked to other pages on the website. A quick way to check whether a page is indexed or not is by going to Google Search Console and copy/paste the page URL on top. In case the URL changed, or it didn’t get indexed, you can request for indexing again.
Note: You can only inspect URLs of websites that you have added as your property on Search Console. To add a new website, go to ‘Add Property’ and add the domain or URL prefix to verify it.
Make sure to create an entity on Google Knowledge Graph
Google Discover leverages the top layer of Knowledge Graph to get a better understanding of your level of expertise when serving your content to users.
Google’s Knowledge Graph is essentially a knowledge base of entities and the relationships between them. By storing real-world data through the Knowledge Graph, Google can better understand the meaning behind search queries and serve users with more relevant content. Google shows Knowledge graph data in search engine results through Knowledge panels and cards.
Google also uses this data for curating Discover feeds. If the Knowledge Graph has no data about your website, it won’t be able to show your articles to users.
The Knowledge Graph Search API uses Schema.org for marking structured data. According to the entity type, you need to add the code to your website. Validate your markup after adding the code, and you will be able to see knowledge panels about your entities in a few days.
Analyze Google Discover data routinely
Just hoping for Google Discover to work its magic on your website isn’t going to work. You need to routinely analyze your Discover data to see what kind of web pages are receiving the most engagement and traction. Also, look for any inconsistencies or sudden loss in traffic.
For instance, if some pages have high impressions, but low CTR, then you can try fixing that by changing the featured image and meta description of the page.
Increase traffic by optimizing your content for Google Discover
Personalized and curated content is the future, and if you are not actively optimizing your website content for it, you risk falling behind. While Google Discover is a mobile-only feed, and not everyone is using it, it can help you reach out to your target audience in a way that search engine queries just cannot.
Start by checking your analytics to see if any of your website pages are already gaining traffic from Discover. At the same time, make sure to optimize your already ranking pages for Discover by updating the content and adding high-quality images. The entire process may seem overwhelming at first, but it can yield excellent results for your business.