If you have an Android device, you’ve probably noticed the Google Discover app on your phone. You might have mistaken it for your Chrome mobile app since its icon is the same capital G that we see on many Google products. Even the interface inside the app looks very similar to Chrome’s mobile browser interface.
Despite these similarities, Discover is actually a separate app designed to help users find new content they might not find on their own. It features a newsfeed similar to Facebook or Twitter, which it populates with information Google has gathered from your search activity and activity on your device. The more you interact with Google Discover, the more customized your feed will become. You can also adjust your feed by clicking on the settings icon on any newsfeed item and indicating you want more or less of that type of content.
Google Discover holds a lot of promise for marketers. Because it delivers highly-personalized content, it has the power to put your brand in front of users that are likely to convert. But how do rank content on Google Discover anyway?
Table of Contents
Why should I Try to Rank on Google Discover?
There are lots of reasons to want your content to appear on Google Discover. For one thing, 73% of smartphones worldwide rely on the Android operating system and, therefore, feature Google Discover. A year after its launch, over 800 million users.
Beyond being popular, Google Discover appeals to our preference for visual media. It serves up content with large graphics and videos on tidy cards users can interact. Sharing, saving, and responding to content in this feed is easy, and unlike platforms like Facebook, content in Google Discover isn’t locked into the platform; you can share your favorite discoveries through text, email, Facebook Messenger, and so on with a few clicks.
More importantly, content on Google Discover is some of the most personalized content in any feed. Using data from its search engine as well as users’ unique smartphone activity, Discover presents users with content that 1) they have not already seen, and 2) they are very likely to respond to. If your content is in someone’s Google Discover feed, it’s because they have already expressed an interest in your product, service, brand, or competitors.
In fact, this customization means Discover will not only send your content to users who are likely to engage with it. It will actually take into account a user’s experience level and present beginner users with beginner content and more experienced users with more sophisticated content. If a user is comparing cars, for instance, someone just starting that search journey will see broader search results, while someone who has narrowed their search to a certain make or model will see more specific results. So not only will Discover help people find your content, but it will help them find the right stage of your marketing funnel.
How do I get My Content on Google Discover?
Any online content is eligible to appear in Google Discover as long as it is indexed and meets Google’s content policies. Unless your site is brand new, it is probably indexed by Google already, but you can always create and submit a site map if you want to make sure.
However, just because content is eligible for curation on the Discover app doesn’t mean that it will appear there. There’s no way to submit your content for inclusion; instead, Google’s algorithms select content from the web—and you’re competing with an internet full of stuff. But there are ways you can increase the likelihood of getting into someone’s feed, such as improving the quality of your content and the functionality of your site.
Use EAT to Increase Your Ranking
The most important factor for having content appear on Google Discover is to create quality content. That might sound easy, but lots of businesses stumble at this point. According to Semrush:
54% of marketers cannot develop content that generates quality leads.
More than 50% of companies cannot create top-notch content that attracts more web traffic.
45% of marketers are unable to produce content that connects with their audience.Moss Clement, How to Optimize for Google Discover, and Why it Matters
Above all, quality content benefits the user. It offers them knowledge or skills they can use to solve problems or improve their lives. Google describes these qualities using EAT, an acronym for the criteria it uses to measure the quality of content. On its developers blog, it explains, “Our automated systems surface content in Discover from sites that have many individual pages that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T).”
Creating content that meets Google’s EAT standards comes back to the basics of good writing. Expertise comes from crediting sources clearly, linking facts to credible sources, and providing factually-accurate information. You can increase your authority by providing original information, research, or analysis in your content, and comprehensive content is usually more authoritative than short overviews. And use your social media to increase your content’s trustworthiness. Content that receives engagement and shares is often seen as more trustworthy. If you want to evaluate your content for EAT, you can check out Google’s own quality rater guidelines here.
How do I Get More Traffic on Google Discover?
Online marketers are excited by Google Discover because, as John E. Lincoln of Search Engine Land puts it, Discover “represents a major shift in how people use the search engine. Mainly, users no longer have to rely on their own search queries to find the topics most relevant to them.” Instead, the search engine will anticipate users’ interests based on topics they have demonstrated interest in before.
This shift in how users interact with search engines will impact SEO. For instance, many of us rely on keyword optimization to improve our rankings. But without users entering search queries, keywords will only get us so far. What’s a marketer to do? Is it even possible to optimize for Google Discover?
Yes, absolutely. Follow these steps to improve your chances of ranking well on Google Discover:
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Google Discover is only available on mobile devices. If users visit your site and it’s slow or hard to navigate on their phone, they’re going to leave quickly, signaling to Discover that your site isn’t a good one to send users to. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, then consider optimizing for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). You can also check out mobile SEO guides from Yoast and QuickSprout.
Google My Business and Google Knowledge Graph
Google knows a lot about a lot. The way it knows so much about seemingly everything is through two databases, the Google My Business listing and the Google Knowledge Graph. Google My Business is like a digital phonebook entry and much of the knowledge Google offers about businesses comes from user-generated data in this database. You can follow our guide to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Google Knowledge Graph is a similar database that maps Google’s knowledge of facts about people, places, and things. Google draws information from hundreds of sources to create knowledge packs and answer users’ questions. Just like with your Google My Business listing, you can get verified and update your Google knowledge panel to ensure searchers online are getting the most factual information about you and your business. Keeping both of these databases updated and accurate sends Google signals that strengthen your trustworthiness online.
Mix Evergreen and Timely Content
Google has been upfront that Discover is designed to return evergreen content. Solid pieces with long lifespans are more likely to succeed with users, and Google wants to present users with content they will like. But it’s important to also offer fresh content alongside classic pieces. Trending topics do well on Discover, so keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and make sure you offer content that’s relevant to current fads.
Use High-quality Images and Videos
Google Discover is highly visual. The cards it suggests to users often feature images prominently with short text excerpts or headlines. Pictures should be at least 1,200 px wide, relevant, and compelling. Obviously, original images are better. Videos should also be high-quality. How-tos, product demos, case study videos, and even behind-the-scenes sneak peaks of your company all make great, relevant content that Google Discover can curate.
Promote Your Content
You should be promoting your content already, but Discover is much more likely to pick up your content if it’s already doing well online. Be sure you share your blog posts, infographics, and videos to your social media accounts, as well as places like LinkedIn and Medium. People can’t enjoy what they don’t know exists! And the more popular your content is, the more likely it is to find its way onto Google Discover.
Encourage People to Follow You on Google Discover
Like with most social feeds, users can choose to follow topics of interest on Google Discover. They can also follow sources. So when you remind your supporters to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else, remind them they can follow you on Google Discover, too! You can even link them to Google’s own article about customizing your own Discover feed.
How do I Know if My Content is Successful on Google Discover?
If you’re curious about whether some of your content is already on Google Discover or how it’s performing there, you can find out by visiting your Google Search Console. On the lefthand side you’ll see “Discover.” Clicking here will show you your content’s performance over time, offering key insights into what content performs well there. It’s an easy way to know if your optimization is working.
All the Marketing in the World Won’t Protect Your Website from Cybercrime.
Cybercrime is on the rise. Is your data safe?
Don’t take chances with your business. Contact TracSoft today for a free, no-obligation security assessment. We’ll consider your network functions, identify its vulnerabilities, and check your industry compliance. Find out if you’re safe—and how to be safer.