Google has always been the first search engine many users turn to to find verified news, entertainment stories, and interesting content. But Google Discover, a mobile-only feature for Chrome users, nixes the search and brings the content right to the user, just beneath the search bar. This is a powerful new tool that can push stories that might otherwise get buried right to the forefront of the user’s Google homepage.
What is it?
Let’s break down the feature itself. Since it launched in 2018, Google Discover has become a source of traffic that operates independently of the traditional search. Discover anticipates topics you might be interested in based on your Google activity. This constitutes a user’s search history and what they click on. A user who typically searches for video game news or reviews for new Nintendo Switch releases will see stories surrounding these topics begin to appear beneath their search bar.
The content that gets plucked to feature on Discover has high visibility, and as Discover operates independently from the typical SEO rules, a story or article that could be low-performing in SEO might see a big boost from Google Discover users. However, Google Discover shouldn’t be counted as reliable traffic. There’s no way to guarantee a story will end up on a user’s Google Discover, but there are a few things to keep in mind when writing for Discover’s algorithm.
How can I land on Discover?
Keep headlines informative and avoid using clickbait and misleading or exaggerated language. Don’t purposely withhold information or appeal to outrage to get clicks, as Google Discover is looking at the time spent on a page rather than solely looking at the number of users visiting a page.
Use large, compelling images that relate to the headline. If you can draw up an interesting graphic that seamlessly meshes with the story, you’re more likely to get added to a user’s Google Discover.
Good content still reigns supreme. Be sure you are telling stories well, providing insight that a user can’t find from other sites. Keep content timely and fresh. You don’t necessarily need to be the first to break a story, but keep up with the latest trending topics in your niche.
What else should I consider?
The stories themselves are called Discover Cards and will fall under a few crucial categories to merit a push on Google Discover. Hitting as many of these categories as possible while keeping the above advice in mind will increase your chances of reaching users through Discover. It’s better to use a ‘scattergun’ approach than targeting just one of these categories.
Stories that are fresh or recently published will be prioritised, though there are a few evergreen topics that can populate in Google Discover. Google wants to serve users a mix of brand new stories and rolling content that provides updates on current news, as well as roundup stories and ‘in case you missed it’ content.
As anything can be a Discover topic, it’s best to target as many different topics as possible. Page elements like embedded YouTube videos and large, high quality images will traffic well on Google Discover. Header images should be bright and unique, high-resolution, and centrally oriented.
Ultimately, if you’re providing compelling, meaningful content, you can benefit from the Google Discover feature. It’s an excellent way to reach users who may not already be a part of your existing audience. For more tips on improving your SEO and reaching a wider audience, be sure to check out our blogs and our SEO eBook!