Google Discover: A New Way for Content to Rank and Get Discovered



If you contribute to Google’s 3.5 billion searches per day, it’s very likely you do so on your mobile device, or specifically within the Google App.

While this app is helpful for users to get quick answers, marketers need to pay close attention (and do some light reading between the lines) to what Google is aiming to accomplish with its latest update.

If you’re like one of the many people who searches frequently on the app, like myself, you may have noticed the content in your “feed” becoming particularly relevant to your frequent Google searches. Just this morning, I went on my phone for a quick Google search and was greeted with the highlights of last night’s hockey game between my Tampa Bay Lightning vs the Toronto Maple Leafs. As someone who frequents NHL and Lightning coverage, it’s at no surprise that was the very first piece of content I saw.

Renamed “Google Discover” (formerly Google Feed), the live feed delivers content to users specifically based off their search queries and the content they view. This is where it gets very interesting for marketers. Without any announcements or new social platform launches (R.I.P. Google Plus), Google has quietly entered back into the social media arena in terms of delivering content to a user’s daily feed.

If you’re thinking this may not be important to add to your SEO strategy at this time, in addition to delivering highly relatable content right to the user, the Google app has 800M active users and is ever growing. Moreover, the level of granularity that Google Discover serves on topics and content is extremely lucrative for marketers.

Consider this example: You are a highly-rated country club with a professional golf course that’s open to the public. Your goals are to book golf lessons and fill as many tee times as possible.

Google Discover User A has previously searched “golf lessons” and “best golf sets for beginners”; User B has searched “challenging golf courses near me” and “Nike Pro V1 Golf Balls”. Google knows that User A is a novice golfer and User B is more advanced, and will deliver material specific to their level of expertise. Meaning, Google will ‘hand-pick’ the most relevant content tailored to each user based on their search patterns within the app.

So – How do you rank & how can marketers optimize for Google Discover?

Now that relevant content is being served directly to users, in addition to conducting searches for themselves, it’s important to learn how optimize for Google Discover.

Since real-time Google searches don’t trigger the content, keyword ranking is out the window. However, the basic rules of SEO are still relevant. At a high level, here’s how to start optimizing for Google Discover:

  • Make sure the content you create has value for the user (i.e. quality content)

    • The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. That is Google’s definition of quality. Keeping that in mind, in addition to tailoring your content to what users want to read, sets up a solid initial foundation for Google Discover optimization.
  • Beef up the engagement

    • Think about what shows up first in your social newsfeed: high quality content with the most engagement. The same case can be made for Google Discover. Instead of user engagement, though, Google takes into consideration two things: content that you have already engaged with and the amount of engagement that the content has already accrued. One way to accomplish the latter is circulating and promoting said content on social media platforms and via email marketing.
  • Images and videos are crucial

    • Google announced that its latest update would focus on aesthetically pleasing, high-quality images and videos to show in the feed. So ditch your stock image and low resolution thumbnail if you want to appear. One last consideration to keep in mind is that video seems to be favored by Google over its image counterpart.
  • Content type matters

    • Google will be looking for both fresh (new) and evergreen content. Look to include both types into your strategy.
  • Trust is key

    • The more trustworthy Google deems your content, the better chance it has of being served. How is this accomplished? Site authority.
  • ¿hablas español?

    • While this is probably the least important on the optimization checklist, for now, it’s worth mentioning that Google Discover is available in multiple languages and has plans to add more.

What we ‘discovered’.

While Google Discover still holds some of the key components of SEO rankings, marketers should be mindful to focus on the quality of content that is produced, along with audience engagement, to have the potential to show in the feed.

If you have any questions about Google Discover, please reach out to the SEO experts at MoreVisibility.

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