What is Google Discover and How It Pertains to SEO?

What is Google Discover and How It Pertains to SEO?
Maybe you've heard of Google Discover, but don't know exactly what it is or what its usefulness is when it comes to SEO or even personal use. Google launched Discover back in September of 2018, but it's an application that has to be accessed on your mobile device. It functions similarly to Facebook’s and Instagram’s feed functionality. Discover will show you articles and content based on your interests and will continue feeding articles in an “infinite-scroll” manner (it’s not truly infinite scroll, but behaves similarly) as a user views the feed. Like Facebook, you can also get rid of the articles or content you're not interested in, refining the feed to only contain content that appeals to you.

How Does This Relate to SEO?

In August 2021, Moz (one of the most trusted SEO resources in the world) published information on how marketers and businesses can utilize Google Discover for traffic. Moz closely followed several websites they had analytical data access to, and according to them these websites received almost as much traffic from Google Discover as they did from organic traffic - in some cases they even received more. This serves as a wake-up call for people doing SEO and digital marketing as it’s now obvious Google Discover is another performant marketing channel for consideration.

It's safe to say we can't ignore Google Discover, we must embrace it and optimize for it.

Moz laid out some important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing a page for Discover, and we’ve expanded upon them below:

1. Schema Markup: This is one of the first items Moz recommends addressing on the page or site you're wanting to optimize for display on Google Discover. Tom Capper of Moz points out, "…in my own Google Discover feed, everything that I've seen recommended to me is either marked up as schema in an article or schema in a news article."

Reference: Moz Blog

2. Broader Topics: You can keep your content broader in nature on Google Discover as it will feed content related to the searcher’s interests. Google's organic search results, in comparison, are meant to show very specific and accurate results for the performed query. With Google Discover, as long as the content is based around your niche/industry, it should still be performant. This makes it much easier to come up with content that appeals to broader audience segments, pulling traffic that may not have been accessible previously.

3. Attention-Grabbing Titles: Google Discover favors articles with titles that entice more clicks. This doesn't mean you should create click-bait headlines - no one likes clicking on the title of an article thinking they're going to read about losing weight to only be redirected to an article with recipes for homemade butter biscuits and sausage gravy. You know, the ol’ bait and switch. Try making your titles more like sales copy, or as it's referred to sometimes - as 'copywriting'. Sales copy is all about getting people to read the content while being 100% truthful. You're enticing (selling) people to read further without manipulation. People don't like being manipulated and will immediately exit out of something if they feel like they've been tricked. All you’ll really accomplish is trashing the bounce rate of the article you’re redirecting to.

4. Site Speed: This remains a universal truth for any website, even if you're not trying to rank highly in Discover – your site needs to load fast on desktop AND mobile. Google doesn't want to award high rankings to websites with slow loading speeds. According to a blog article on marketing guru Neil Patel’s site, 40% of web users leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If your site loads slow, you’re practically closing the door on almost half of your prospective new customers, and your business is losing money - it's that simple.

There are many tools/websites out there that will assess the speed of your site. One site speed checker we use and recommend is: GTmetrix. Correction of speed issues may require the assistance of experienced web developers, like the full-stack development team at SEO Idaho™.

Addressing the four items above can help you display your web content in Google Discover. Reaching a broader audience, Google Discover is an excellent avenue for increasing brand awareness and engaging with audience segments that might have been out-of-reach for organic queries requiring high specificity.

Speak with your SEO Specialist today and see if they’re leveraging this performant new marketing channel to help your business increase traffic and revenue.