Google Discover: answering popular questions
Initially, the search engines Google, Yandex, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and all the others were developed with the aim of solving one simple user task - finding specific information on the key query entered by him. After studying the SERP and navigating to the desired site, the interaction of the person with the search engine stopped until a new question appeared.
However, over time, users began to become more and more spoiled and discerning, and the creators of search engines fueled their spirits by introducing new "chips" and expanding opportunities, thereby making it easier to find information. And here is one of the latest developments by Google - the Discover tool. It launched at the end of 2018 with the aim of grabbing the attention of users. At the same time, the emphasis is on an individual approach to the delivery of content. The search space thus turns into a search area for relevant and useful information for a specific person.
Google Discover - what is it?
In fact, this service is a personalized Google Feed, improved and refined, the number of visitors to which has reached 800 million people. Realizing that Feed had decent potential, Google decided to improve it and created Discover. Unlike the old version, the new one has an improved algorithm for selecting potentially interesting content based on the user's online activity. Now, in addition to news and trends, even blog articles from online stores and business card sites can be ranked in Discover, especially if they represent the niche of tourism, beauty industry, education, entertainment and other popular business areas. At the same time, people see content in the application and the Google browser even before entering a search query.
The release of Google Discover has played into the hands of both users and site owners. The first received relevant, interesting content, and the second - the opportunity to attract free traffic to the site in large volumes.
Principle of operation
The service generates and shows the content to the person before he starts looking for the information he needs. It turns out a kind of advanced version of the search engine, based on the user's search history and interests.
If you do not know how the updated news feed works, it may seem that all people are looking for the same information. In fact, this is not the case. The search results in Google Discover are formed on the basis of the “portrait” of each user, which is formed taking into account:
information specified during registration in the Google system;
search and application history;
geolocation and location;
content demonstration settings;
hobbies, interests, demographic and social indicators.
When the list of topics included in a person's area of interest has been formed, the system only needs to select relevant content and periodically update personal data. As you can see, the new service looks more like a social network than a search engine.
In general, Google Discover is somewhat similar to Yandex.Zen, which has been operating on the Internet for a long time. The only thing that Google turned out to be more prudent, therefore, ruled out the possibility of manipulating the recommendation feed. You won't be able to create your own channel here. The system independently selects and displays the most suitable content.
Benefits for promotion
For any Internet resource, traffic is important, because the more people visit it, the higher its profitability. Traffic is one of the key goals of search engine optimization of websites. And getting into Google Discovery is a guarantee of traffic to the Internet resource. Many publications have already received thousands of conversions, and this is an excellent opportunity to increase the number of visitors, thereby having a positive impact on SEO promotion, website promotion on the Internet.
How does a site get to Google Discover?
Earlier, we have already determined that Google deliberately denied webmasters the ability to add sites to the system in order to exclude the possibility of manipulating the results. However, it is possible to influence getting into Discovery, and it is recommended to do this with the help of content. It is he who is the main driving force and basis for ranking publications in the news feed.
By the way, it seeks to deliberately get there and deliberately don't need to catch every click - so you will only spend a lot of time, which is more expedient to direct to SEO site optimization for search engines. The fact is that it is difficult to predict how an article will behave, and whether it will end up in the Discovery issue.
For example, in the B2B niche, there is often a spike in traffic within 3-5 days of posting. Certain types of so-called “evergreen” content, such as healthy lifestyles, sports, or recipes, can rank consistently and generate traffic. There are times when, after the initial surge in popularity, publications may eventually get into the SERP again, but have a small, stable traffic. However, it can also happen that the content does not appear on Google Discover, no matter how hard you put in it.
As with everything that concerns SEO website promotion in search engines, in working with Google Discovery, you cannot be sure and guarantee that solution A will lead to result Z. The goal of an optimizer is to work with a website and maximize the chances of a positive outcome. And optimization of the content of your publications will help with this.
Content requirements for Google Discover
First of all, it must be indexed by a search engine and meet the requirements of the service in terms of content. If there are no problems with these parameters, we proceed to optimizing the content for Discovery.
Optimization for mobile devices
This is perhaps a key factor in the ranking of content on Google Discover, as this service is only available on mobile devices. Unlike Yandex.Zen, it does not have a PC version, and so far there is no information about its appearance. Therefore, the page of your site should have a comfortable responsive design, fast loading and a minimum of advertising, and there should be no pop-up banners at all. However, already now Internet resources with a weak adaptive are not encouraged by the Google search engine, and after the release of a new the Core Web Vitals algorithm and will rank poorly at all.
For those wishing to take a step further, we recommend that you pay attention to the AMP technology. Increasingly, accelerated mobile pages are included in recommendations, and this can be safely considered a Google Discover trend.
Setting up metadata
Meta tags title and description, as you know, briefly describe the content of the page and let the search engine know if its content matches the key request. Their second function is to encourage the transition to the page. However, it is not recommended to use psychological manipulation techniques and generate clickbait headlines. Google openly warns that these promotion tactics are unacceptable, which is reported in the guidelines for posting to Discover.
Interesting fact. Discovery, like social media, takes into account the Open Graph microformat. So we advise you to carefully form them, avoid mistakes and adhere to Google's recommendations for compiling and configuring metadata.
Theme Choice and E-A-T Principle
Most often, Google Discover posts relevant content about current events. As a result, news web resources dominate there. However, there are so-called “evergreen” themes that are always popular regardless of the environment, season, or any other factor.
There are chances to get into Google Discovery and profile, authoritative blogs, because this news feed is personalized. It displays content that is new to a particular person, and is only needed by him, and not by the entire Internet community. It is important to understand here that just writing a good article is not enough to get into Discovery. You need to focus on high-quality, expert and unique material that conveys real knowledge.
To search for relevant, trending topics, you can use Google Trends, Exploding Topics, or analyze popular keywords. Follow the E-A-T principle to cover your chosen topic as succinctly as possible. Indeed, as resources for the news feed, Google chooses multi-pages that demonstrate expertise, authority and reliability. In order to increase trust and form content transparency, there are some recommendations in the Discovery rules.
The article must indicate:
the current publication date;
the name of the author of the content;
sourse of information;
Name of the organization;
information about contacts.
To put this together, you need to use micro-markup. It will help Google see you as an influencer in your niche.
Since Discovery is a news feed, it is important to pay attention to the images that “personify” your posts. After all, users, as a rule, see the picture first, and only then read the text. Google recommends supplementing posts with images of at least 1200 pixels in width and using the max-image-preview: large attribute in the meta robots tag.
Knowledge Graph, Web Stories and YouTube
Getting a brand into the Knowledge Graph gives users the opportunity to subscribe to it on Discover. In addition, it will be easier for Google to understand what needs people associate with your company, products, services, which means that the likelihood of getting to them in the news feed will increase.
Videos from YouTube, as statistics show, often end up in the search results of Discovery. Inserted into content, they are more likely to display on their own and still successfully grab the attention of users. However, it is important to understand here that a click on a video will redirect a person to YouTube, and not to your web resource.
Web Stories are a familiar type of content used on Instagram and other social networks. Google announced that Discovery started supporting this format of stories. True, so far it is available in the United States and only in English, but sooner or later Web Stories will appear in the feed of Ukrainian users. Prepare for this moment in advance.
Instead of a banal conclusion, they decided to offer a checklist of how to get a site into a personalized Google Discovery news feed:
Comply with the rules of posting (not spam, not potentially dangerous, not misleading, not adult-related);
Indexed by a search engine;
Be filled with interesting and useful content according to the E-A-T principle;
Contain adequate meta data that reflects the essence of the page;
Be adapted for mobile gadgets and display correctly there;
Have a high download speed according to the Core Web Vitals requirements;
Build trust among visitors;
Regularly update and update previously published materials;
Use images and videos as an addition to texts;
Post articles on interesting, trendy, relevant topics for the audience.
In fact, all these actions are in any case carried out by you if you are promoting your site within the search engine.
Some more useful information on Google Discover
As we said above, there is no version of Discovery for computers, and there is also no separate mobile application for it that would need to be downloaded. The news feed works on all smartphones in the Chrome browser and Google software. There is advertising in Google Discover. The service began to monetize in May 2019 after the introduction of Discover Ads.
With regards to the niche division, in principle, any site with structured data can get into Discovery. There is a chance to get traffic from there, regardless of the business area. If you do not have a news portal, then its volume will probably be less, but in any case, getting into Google Discover is useful for search engine promotion.
Since Discovery is still being finalized by Google, traffic sinking is likely. If this happened, the reason could be both a system update and the recognition by the assessors that the search algorithm was erroneous, which could lead to a decrease in the priority of the source. By the way, some webmasters who work a lot with Discovery noticed that sometimes doorway pages appear in the search results on the most popular topics, which do not belong to useful sites at all.
Yes, the Google Discover algorithm is not perfect, but nevertheless, it is possible and necessary to consider it as a useful and effective way of interacting with users of mobile gadgets. It is problematic to predict whether an article will get into Discovery, because it does not always depend on the webmaster. On the other hand, the traffic from the Google Discover news feed can be safely regarded as a welcome bonus if you pay due attention to the interaction with users through the content and responsibly approach the content of the website.