Since 2018, online publishers have been experiencing sudden and significant increases in the number of people visiting their websites using mobile devices. This surge may seem linked to the growing population of mobile internet users, but experts in search engine optimization and content strategy have identified an additional factor responsible for this trend: Google Discover.
Despite its effectiveness in driving mobile traffic, many marketers remain unfamiliar with Google Discover and its potential impact on online marketing.
In this blog post, we will shed light on what Google Discover is, explain why it’s essential for marketers to understand it, and provide insights into how you can enhance your content’s chances of being featured on this platform.
What is Google Discover?
Why is Google Discover Important?
Google Discover is more than just a feature on Google’s app; it’s a valuable tool that can bring more people to your website. Many websites are already seeing the benefits of using Discover on mobile devices.
- Vogue, a popular fashion magazine, got more visitors from Google Discover than from Google Search in October 2019.
- Condé Nast, the company that owns Vogue, says that Discover brings in 20% of the traffic to its U.S. websites from Google.
The best way to get noticed among many similar websites is to create content like blog posts, articles, videos, images, and graphics that fit with what Google Discover is promoting.
Is Google Discover Worth it?
Every day, millions of individuals access a customized Google Discover feed on their mobile devices. Since its launch, this platform has evolved into a significant traffic generator for numerous websites.
Notably, news and media organizations have come to rely heavily on Discover as a primary source of their natural website traffic.
To put this into perspective, even our modest SEO blog has received nearly 150,000 clicks from Google Discover in the last six months.
How Does Google Discover Work?
For your content to show up on Google Discover, Google must know about it and it should follow Google Discover’s rules.
Remember, even if your content is eligible, it might not always show up in Google Discover.
Google Discover looks a lot like the feeds you see on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
People can browse through the feed, click on stuff they like, and then go to the website that has that stuff.
Google Discover vs. Google News
Google Discover and Google News are not the same; they’re different Google services.
Google News mostly focuses on current news and recent articles.
In contrast, Google Discover’s goal is to provide users with content that matches their interests, regardless of when it was published.
How Does Your Google Discover Feed Work?
To create your Discover feed, Google uses various data:
- What you do on the web and in apps.
- Where you’ve been.
- Your location settings.
- Topics you’ve shown interest in.
The more you use Discover, the better it becomes at suggesting content you’d like. For instance, if you start exploring motorcycles and visit related sites, Discover will start showing you more motorcycle-related stuff.
Different Kinds of Google Discover Content
Google Discover mainly presents these four types of content:
- Article links: These are links to online articles from different sources. Each link appears as a card with a headline and a small picture.
- Web Stories: These are like Instagram stories, blending video, images, and sound. You can find out more about Web Stories separately.
- YouTube videos and Shorts: Your Discover feed can include YouTube videos and Shorts based on your YouTube history.
- Discovery Ads: Ads created with Google Discovery campaigns also show up in your feed from time to time.
Steps to Optimize for Google Discover
1. Produce High-Quality Content
The initial step to improve your Google Discover performance is to ensure you create top-notch content.
According to Google, this means making content that:
- Thoroughly covers a specific topic.
- Offers original insights based on analysis or research.
- Doesn’t just duplicate or rehash information from other sources.
2. Do Thorough Research.
To create a valuable piece of content, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the topic you’re addressing.
Here are some steps to become knowledgeable about a particular subject:
- Review existing web content related to the topic, such as blog posts, articles, and guides.
- Investigate what others are discussing regarding the topic on platforms like Reddit and Quora.
- Seek out videos and podcasts that cover the topic.
- Consider interviewing subject matter experts to gain unique insights that you may not discover otherwise.
3. Try to be Comprehensive.
Strive to cover the topic thoroughly and aim to include all the information that people might be interested in.
For assistance in this process, Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool can be quite useful. Here’s how to use it:
- Access the Keyword Magic Tool and enter the main subject you’re focusing on. Then click the “Search” button.
- Once you’ve entered your main subject and clicked the “Search” button in the Keyword Magic Tool, the tool will provide you with a list of results. To access questions related to your topic, simply click on the “Questions” tab.
- In this section, you’ll find various queries that people are searching for and that contain your main keyword. You can use these queries as inspiration to create content that answers these questions.
4. Include Data
Incorporating data, such as studies or statistics, into your content can enhance its credibility and support the claims you’re making.
Ideally, you should use data you’ve gathered yourself, like from surveys you’ve conducted.
Alternatively, you can utilize data from studies conducted by others or companies. However, if you choose to use secondary data, it’s essential to properly cite your sources and provide a link to the original research.
5. Optimize Your Titles
After ensuring your content is of high quality, it’s important to optimize your titles for Google Discover. Follow these best practices for creating titles that work well on this platform:
- Showcase the Value: Your title should clearly communicate the benefit or value that users will gain from consuming your content (e.g., “How to Make Your First $100 Online”).
- Spark Curiosity: Try to pique the curiosity of users with your title, making them more likely to click (e.g., “Eggs vs. Oatmeal: Which Breakfast Option is Healthier for You”).
- Use Numbers: Numbers tend to capture people’s attention, so consider including them in your title if relevant (e.g., “22% of Americans Have No Emergency Savings”).
- Avoid Clickbait: Google Discover guidelines prohibit misleading content, so steer clear of using clickbait titles.
6. Utilize Attractive, High-Quality Pictures
Google suggests that websites should employ large, high-quality images to attract more visitors through Google Discover.
Per Google’s recommendations, these images should be wide, at least 1200 pixels or more in width, and enabled using the “max-image-preview: large” setting.
It’s crucial that the images you select are directly related to your content. Avoid using attention-grabbing images that have no relevance to the content’s subject matter. Additionally, take the time to pick a captivating thumbnail image for your Google Discover content.
The thumbnail plays a significant role in the appearance of a content card in Google Discover. Consequently, it greatly influences the click-through rate your content receives in Discover.
7. Improve E-A-T
Google Discover relies on many of the same indicators and standards as Google Search to assess the usefulness of content. In Google Search, a pivotal factor is E-A-T, which encompasses:
- Experience – Does the author possess practical knowledge about the subject?
- Expertise – Is the author well-versed in the subject?
- Authoritativeness – Does the author (or the website) hold a position of influence regarding the subject?
Trustworthiness – Can the author (or website) be relied upon for accurate and honest information?
8. Boost Page Load Speed
Today, people anticipate websites to load quickly. They don’t want to wait for more than a second or two for a website to appear. In fact, if a webpage takes one to three seconds to load, users are 32% more likely to abandon it.
Mobile users, in particular, are quite impatient. Since they often browse on the go, during work breaks, or while on lunch, they lack the time or patience for sluggish websites.
Here are a few measures to accelerate your website:
- Compress Images: High-resolution images can significantly slow down a site. Utilize image compression tools to shrink your image sizes. Alternatively, consider using a file format like WebP to keep file sizes small while preserving image quality.
- Employ a CDN: Enhance page speed by deploying a content delivery network (CDN) such as Cloudflare or Akamai. CDNs deliver website content from servers situated close to the user’s location.
9. Consider Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
For an even more advanced approach to speeding up page load times, you can explore the option of implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an HTML framework championed by Google. Its purpose is to enhance the loading speed of websites on mobile devices.
To adopt AMP, you’ll need to develop AMP versions of your web pages, which will coexist with your standard pages.
The guidelines for implementing AMP are readily available. However, please note that this process may demand development resources and extend beyond the scope of this guide.
Hence, Google Discover is a valuable tool for marketers. It helps them reach more people online and share their content with a wider audience. By understanding what Google Discover is and how it works, marketers can use it to their advantage, boost their online presence, and connect with potential customers. So, if you’re a marketer, don’t overlook Google Discover – it’s a handy tool that can help you succeed in the digital world.