Google Discover is a feed that appears on Google’s iOS and Android apps and on Google.com exclusively on mobile. Discover is driven by AI that finds relevant content based on a reader’s search activity and preferences across its products, including:
- News and stories (including evergreen);
- Video (including YouTube);
- Some Google rich results, and;
Discover is queryless, meaning there is no search functionality, making it more like a social feed than traditional search. Its purpose is to surface content relevant to a user’s interests and — unlike Google News — includes content not just from publishers.
Discover is very personalized. That makes optimizing, in the traditional SEO sense, more challenging.
What your content needs to appear in Discover:
- Content should have dates, bylines and author pages with relevant professional details and publication or publisher information to build trust with readers.
- Make sure your publication’s contact information is available on an About Us page;
- Your site should be mobile-friendly since Discover is mobile-only;
- The page should load quickly. AMP is not required, but is visible across Discover;
- Don’t use clickbait in the title, meta description or images (the fields that make up the preview). Don’t manipulate any text or image field to mislead readers. Do write engaging, enticing headlines;
- Use high-quality images and engaging videos (YouTube works well, specifically, since it is a Google product).
Given the nature of Discover, the key advice is:
- Do all the normal, standard Google stuff: Make sure your content is crawlable and indexable.
- Focus on what you can control: Creating great journalism with a focus on E.A.T content.
- Experiment with story types: Listicles, Q&A, trending topics or evergreen — analyze the data you do have available (in Google Search Console) to see what topic areas are rewarded.
- Focus on what’s performing well: Keep assigning stories in the areas you’re seeing interest from Discover as long as they are worth writing and they resonate with readers.
Last, but most important: Do not rely on Discover traffic as a guarantee to your overall traffic puzzle or revenue goals.
Traffic from Discover can be unpredictable — and optimizing for the surface can be tricky. So while you can analyze the traffic you do get — and ensure you keep writing about those topics, thinking about the authority of each of your authors and optimizing based on best practices — there are no guarantees.
Don’t assume the clicks will keep coming.
Work on understanding the surface and which stories show up and how you can provide more of that.