Google Discover: Why it Matters and How to Optimize Content for Discover Feed
January 15, 2021
If you’re like most Android users, you must have checked out the fascinating Google Discover feed on your smartphone. Well, it provides the latest updates to users regarding the topic of their interest. The users don’t have to search for any information to receive the updates through Google Discover. These updates can be related to any topic that interests the users, like movies, shopping, igaming industry etc. One can control the kind of updates that they receive on their mobile phones through Google Discover – because the feed is based on a user’s past online searches and related stories.
For brands, that sounds like a promising opportunity. So, why exactly is Google Discover important and how can one optimize content for it? We will try to answer these questions and more in our blog below.
To get a better understanding of this topic, let’s discuss Google Discover in detail.
What is Google Discover?
Google Discover is an updated and rebranded version of Google Feed – Google’s android device app. While the previous version of Google Feed was more text-centric, Google Discover accommodates different types of content to enhance user interaction.
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- Photos & images
- Video Content
- Latest blog posts
- Evergreen content
The idea is to present the data in a more interesting way to the users by transitioning from ‘text’ to an improved visual discovery.
Google Discover focuses on users’ experience to provide relevant online content. It is being branded as ‘search without searching’ because users don’t need to search for the content that gets shown to them on the platform. Instead, the platform recommends content to users. This feature has made Google Discover an interesting point of conversation and debate amongst marketers.
This has led to the need for marketers and entrepreneurs to answer certain questions like:
- How do I optimize my content for Google Discover?
- How do I ensure that my content gets featured on Google Discover?
- Is it possible to optimize my content for Google Discover?
- Is it worth spending time and resources on understanding Google Discover?
- How do I identify the profiles of users interested in my products and services?
Before we find answers to all these questions, we need to get into the depth of understanding of how Google Discover works. Let’s take a look.
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How does Google Discover work?
As users swipe through the online content, Google Discover keeps on ‘discovering’ things about them and keeps providing them with fresh content. All a user needs to do is to continue swiping. Google Discover:
- Keeps on learning about search patterns and provides the most suitable content at the right time. A user does not need to type or give instructions for it to do so; it is an automatic process.
- Tracks online, web and application activities. It also keeps track of location, including its history and settings. Based on these, it suggests suitable content.
Now, let’s get into the details with regards to the features of Google Discover.
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Features of Google Discover
Through Google Discover, the users can:
- Follow and unfollow the topics of their choice
- Get information in a query-less way
- Control the frequency of specific kind of content
- Manage their interests by manually selecting the topics of their choice
How Do Users Get Google Discover?
Many users wonder ‘how do I get Google Discover?’ Here are the steps to follow:
- Find Discover in the Google app.
- Android and iOS phone users or tablet owners can find Discover in the browser on google.com.
- Some users can access it by swiping right on the mobile home screen on some devices.
Users have the option to restrict Google Discover’s access and ‘discover’ only certain kinds of content by setting limits. Similarly, Google Discover can provide specific content pieces based on user profiles. For this, it is important to understand Google Discover feed customization.
How to Customize Google Discover Feed?
To personalize Google Discover Feed, a user has to:
- Swipe right on an Android and iOS mobile device
- To get updates for their interests, a user can click on the header of any content that they like.
- The user can tap on the notification icon on the top right of the Google Discover page to get a news feed about certain interests, e.g. a celebrity or a game.
- And that’s all; Google Discover will start populating the feed with the content of the users’ choice.
- Click on ‘Your date in search’ to checkout search history. There is an option to delete searches and enquiries to control data in the search history.
Google Discover comes with all Android and iOS phones. But users can deactivate Google Discover if they do not want to use it on their smartphones.
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How to Enable Google Discover or Disable it
Below are the steps to activate or deactivate Google Discover on a mobile phone.
- Open the Google app
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Click on ‘General’
- Look for a section named ‘Discover’
- Turn the switch ‘on’ or ‘off’ based on your requirement
In case a user chooses to use Google Discover on their mobile phone, they can follow a shortcut to access it easily. A user can simply slide the home screen to the right to check out topics such as weather and news.
How to Add Google Discover to Home Screen
Users should follow the below-given instructions to add Google Discover to their Home Screen:
- Tap on the home screen and hold for a few seconds
- Select ‘Widgets’ once the launcher menu appears
- Search for Google
- Tap on the widget and drag and drop it on the home screen
- To access the Google Discover Feed, tap on the Google icon
An alternative way is to tap on the three dots on the left of the notification icon about a particular interest to directly add the news feed icon on the home screen.
How to Change Google Discover Language
Users can use Google Discover in the language of their choice. All they need to do is to follow the below-given steps:
- Open the Google app
- On the top right of the mobile screen, tap on the account- a user’s profile picture or name initial
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Tap ‘Language and Region’
- Search ‘Language’
- Select the language of choice
Now that we have understood what Google Discover is and how it works, many marketers do wonder how it is different from Google Feed. Let’s put some light on this question.
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Google News vs. Google Discover Feed; What Are the Differences?
Google Feed came into existence in 2016. It was designed to help users manage daily schedules by keeping them updated with the news updates and other topics related to their interests. Then, what was the need for Google Discover? Well, Google Discover is the updated and rebranded version of Google Feed that was launched in 2018.
The question arises that when Google Feed had already attained 800 million active users per month, what was the need to launch Google Discover?
Google Discover was an initiative taken to improve the platform and user search experience in the long run.
The differences between Google Feed and Google Discover can be summed up as:
- Google Discover has been given an entirely new name to reflect the objective of the tool- Discover.
- Google Discover has a different design from Google Feed that makes it easier for users to explore their interests.
- Google Discover has new topic headers that explain the reason for a particular card being seen by a user. It also provides new types of content which is useful to them.
- The content provided by Google Discover is more customized than before and is available in multiple languages.
- Google Discover is also available on the Homepage besides being on Google’s mobile apps.
- Google Discover provides stories, not just answers.
- Unlike Google Feed, Google Discover is a query-less method of getting the desired information.
- Google Discover is ahead of Google Feed in terms of visual methods to provide information to the users.
- Google Discover plays a more crucial role in business optimization.
The last point brings us to our next topic of discussion:
Why is Google Discover Important to SEO and Content Strategy?
Google Discover is an important component of Google Search and hence holds a lot of importance for SEO.
- It has already been explained how Google Discover helps the users in staying updated on the topics that are relevant to them. So, businesses can use Google Discover to reach out to their target audience as it allows the users to explore new data in the form of blogs, videos and other content types.
- Google Discover is not restricted to only the latest news pieces, articles and content. It simply shows audiences relatable posts irrespective of when they were published – making them an important aspect of your SEO strategy.
- Through Google Discover, businesses can analyze the overall traffic over a long period and gain insights about their content performance through the reporting feature in Search Console. This helps the businesses to optimize their content in the best possible manner, rank better in search engines and enhance their chances of appearing in Google Discover.
All these factors make Google Discover an imminent part of any business’s content strategy.
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How to Optimize Content for Google Feed?
People familiar with the concept of regular SEO will not find it difficult to understand how to appear in Google Discover as the basic principles remain the same.
Here are a few points to consider:
The main focus should be on quality content. Businesses should make sure to include the answers to the questions readers might be interested in. It will be an added advantage if the content has the edge over the competitors. If the content is about a specific topic with less competition, it is comparatively easier to get in.
However, if the topic is generic with a lot of online content already available, then one needs to be more careful about the quality of the content.
What else does quality content constitute? For starters, you should look at creating blogs that are result-driven as well as well-structured with a logical flow of information. Additionally, the content must also comply with Google News Guidelines and Google Webmaster Guidelines. That means that your content must be original, purpose-driven, and up-to-date, and it also answers user queries.
Besides following these points, a business should go a step ahead and study the content posted by its competitors- ‘What are they posting?’, ‘What are their rankings?’, etc. All these factors need to be considered to come up with compelling content. Additionally, the website also needs to be verified and indexed while complying with Google News content policy.
To increase the chances of content doing well in Google Discover, one should make sure to post timely content. A business needs to have an always-on repository of evergreen content that never goes out of trend. To complement that, the business must also keep an eye on trending topics that are time-sensitive, specifically those that are within the niche and include those in the content.
Focus on E-A-T – expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of the content. The higher the content is on the E-A-T factor, the better its credibility. For a few industries, like the medical and the financial industries, it is imperative for the writer to have technical and professional expertise. In such cases, it is important to focus on the truthfulness and the credibility of the content and the writer.
The schema implementation should be as per SEO requirements. There is no special schema structured data (code making it easier for search engines to crawl, manage, and display the content) for Google Discover. Describe the content well so that the search engines can have a clear understanding of what the content is all about.
Engaging Images & Videos
Since Google Discover is a virtual tool, it’s important for content to be visually appealing. Combining content with good images is essential to hold the reader’s interest; it helps in increasing the chances of a user clicking to read more. Similarly, utilising professional and engaging videos is highly recommended as well.
Website Optimised for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages
To increase the chances of getting your content listed on Google Discover, make sure that your website is optimised for AMP. That means your web pages load swiftly, thus creating a seamless and instantly gratifying UX which is the very essence of the Google Discover feed experience. Speed will also swing your website’s SERP rankings in your favour, thus making it more likely to appear on Discover.
Since Google Discover is mobile-centric, use the Web Stories tool to reach out to users by providing them relevant content at any particular point in time. Since Discover is also a visual medium, use Web Stories for compelling visual storytelling.
Best SEO Practices
To get listed on Google Discover, following basic SEO rules is a must. This ensures an improved user experience and a better SEO strategy. This move will improve user engagement, leading them to spend more time on a page.
Ask Users to Follow You
Even though Google Discover allows users to follow the topics of their interest, users can skip doing the same until and unless it is brought to their attention. So, a business should ask interested users to add its content to their page and follow them on Google Discover.
Once they do that, Google will keep on alerting them every time some content is posted on the site. This step also helps in enhancing the engagement factor for the website. It also helps to augment the search rankings.
Social Media Feed Engagement
To optimize its content for Discover Feed, a business should make efforts to increase its social feed engagement. The probability of getting a higher rank on the users’ feed is directly proportional to the number of likes, shares and comments on the posts.
The best way to improve social media feed engagement is by:
- Creating and posting relevant content on a regular basis
- Sharing posts across various social media channels
- Asking the users to like and share the content
Any content that is doing good on social media platforms has a high chance of being picked on Google Discover Feed.
Since Google Discover is available in several languages, take advantage of it by publishing content in the language of the target users.
The above-discussed points prove that Google Discover can be a great tool for a business or an individual to optimize their content; if they have the ability to understand its complete scope and usage. Explore the endless possibilities that this medium offers irrespective of whether you are a business owner, a marketer or even a blogger.
We have also learnt through this blog how Google Discover is a great tool for websites that are rich in quality and relevant content. So, it is an equally beneficial medium for media houses and online magazines.
The more the users interact with Google Discover, the more it will show related content. So, your focus should be on getting users to interact with your content.
As we have learnt in this blog, Google Discover offers a massive opportunity for brands and businesses to grab the eyeballs of almost 800 million users that are regular on the feed. At the end of the day, quality content with adequate optimisation is the bedrock of making your brand appear on Google Discover. You don’t have to go to great lengths to achieve that. All it takes is smartly tweaking your trending and evergreen content in line with the above-mentioned tips and tricks, and you’re golden!