How to optimize your content for Google Discover

Google is the undisputed king of the search engines, handling nearly seven billion search queries every day.

After all, we don’t tell people to search for a query anymore… we tell them to ‘Google’ it!

This means it’s essential to optimize your website content to increase the chances of it ranking highly on Google.

One of the ways people can discover new content is through Google Discover. In this article we’ll look at what Discover is, and how you can use it to promote your website to brand new audiences.

What is Google Discover?

Google Discover (formerly known as Google Feed and Google Now) shows users a selection of content that it thinks might be of interest to them.

Discover appears when people access Google on their Android device or other smartphones using Chrome. A selection of curated articles will appear below the search box.

Google Discover decides what appears in the feed based on the user’s personal preferences, for example, the YouTube videos they watch and the queries they search for.

The feed uses AI to improve over time, and users can say if they’re not interested in a specific topic.

Why is Google Discover so important?

Appearing in Discover can greatly benefit your business as it can showcase your content to people who may not have heard of you before.

If they like what you put out, they can follow your website through Google Discover and receive notifications when you publish updated content. They can also share your updates with family and friends, amplifying your reach even further.

How you can optimize your content to increase the chances of appearing on Google Discover

The good news for businesses is that content is automatically eligible to appear in Discover if it:

  • Can be indexed by Google – you don’t need to use any structured data
  • Follows Google Discover’s content policy (i.e. no hateful, violent, misleading or dangerous content)

However, just because your content is eligible, doesn’t necessarily mean it will appear. Discover wants to ensure that all information it recommends will provide value to the user.

With this in mind, here are some ways you can boost the odds of your content appearing.

Use relevant page titles

Google Discover does not like misleading content, so make sure your titles are accurate and reflect what the information on your page is about.

We’ve found that Discover also doesn’t like clickbait headlines, so avoid anything that is overly sensationalized or spammy.

Upload high-quality images

Google Discover is predominantly image-led, so using a captivating image will encourage people to click. Images should be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide, should not be logos, and be enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting tag.

In fact, this tag can help increase Discover traffic by up to 300%!

Provide an excellent mobile experience

As Google Discover is only available on smartphones, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Slow-loading sites, hard-to-close popups and poorly formatted text all reduce the chances of Discover promoting your site.

Auditing your site for mobile responsiveness has a lot of other benefits too.  Google uses mobile-first indexing as a ranking signal. This means your website is more likely to rank highly in the Google search engine results if it is mobile-friendly.

Respond quickly to current events

According to Search Engine Journal, the average lifespan of a post in Google Discover is between two to three days.

This means if you want to capitalise on a news story or trend, you need to move fast. Reading social media, signing up for industry newsletters and using Google Alerts can help you stay on top of potential news opportunities.

Continually relevant (‘evergreen’) content works well in Discover too. Take the time to create high-quality articles and pages that inform, educate and entertain users.

Optimise for E-A-T

As we talked about in a previous article, optimising for expertise, attractiveness and trustworthiness can increase the chances of your content ranking highly in Google. The same applies to Google Discover too.

Make sure all content you create is accurate and fact-checked, especially if you work in the medical, legal or financial industry. A by-line for the person who created the content that lists all their qualifications can also be helpful.

Promote your content on social media

Social media popularity is a ranking factor on Google Discover. This means you should be using all your social media platforms to publicise your content and build up momentum.

Create engaging social media posts and carry out hashtag research to increase the chances of likes, shares and comments.

How to check your Google Discover statistics

If you have Google Search Console on your website, you can see how many people are accessing your content through Discover in the performance report.

This report will show which pages appeared in Discover and how many times users clicked on the links to find out more.

Bear in mind that you need to reach a certain number of Google Discover impressions for the report to be available.

We hope this guide has helped give you insight into Google Discover and how you can use it.

The majority of information online is eligible for inclusion in Discover, but a few little tweaks can increase the odds of your content appearing.

Give Google Discover a try on your smartphone today and have a look at the type of information that appears for you.

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