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what is Google Discover?
Google Discover is like a super-smart buddy on your phone. It creates a special feed packed with things you love, like news on SEO or updates about golf. How? It looks at what you do online and tailors the feed just for you. Cool, right?
Google Discover: More Friend than Search Engine
Think of Google Discover as the social butterfly of the internet, not just a search engine. But here’s the twist – it needs your search history to serve up the good stuff.
Every day, tons of folks scroll through their own special Google Discover feed on their phones. Since it kicked off in 2018, it’s been a major traffic booster for websites. News and media sites, especially, love the attention, with many getting most of their visitors from Discover.
Even our little SEO blog? It snagged nearly 150k clicks in the last six months. Cool, huh?
The Magic Behind Your Google Discover Feed
Understanding how Google Discover crafts your personalized feed is key to mastering SEO. It’s a bit like unraveling the secrets of a good friend – you need to know how they think.
Google spills the beans on what goes into your feed:
- Your Google Activities: Everything from searches to YouTube binges and how you engage with Discover results.
- Where You’ve Been: Your journey tracked through location history and settings.
- Topics You Love: What you’re into and the things you follow.
See the social network vibe? Your feed mirrors your hobbies, what’s catching your eye right now, and anything else in your world that matters. It’s super personal, even considering how much of an expert you are in a particular topic.
Take my feed, for instance – practically half of it is all about SEO, my go-to interest. And get this, you can even “follow” topics, like I do with SEO.
Curious about how Google sorts this stuff? There’s a nifty way to check. Valentin Pletzer spilled the beans on a method: hit Send Feedback > System Logs > Card Category.
What Valentin found is fascinating. Check out these categories and what they might mean:
- All hail Valentin Pletzer for the info above.
For instance, having a spot on Google News is golden for Discover. It gets its category – “NEWS_HEADLINES.” If that rings a bell for you, John’s guide on Google News optimization is a must-read.
Bottom line, if your content is in demand and talks the talk with Google, you’ll snag Discover clicks from folks already keen on what you offer. Way better than the hit-or-miss of social media, right?
Navigating the Road to Google Discover Traffic
Before you dive headfirst into the world of Discover clicks, here’s a nugget of wisdom: unless your SEO game is strong, focus more on the regular organic traffic. News sites are the outliers here, but that’s old news if you’re part of one.
Optimizing for Google Discover is a bit like chasing a mysterious creature – it’s tricky. The only clues you get are in your Google Search Console. No spying on competitors, making your research kinda small.
Guessing how your content will do in Discover? Tough call. In our B2B SaaS adventures, we’ve noticed a traffic spike lasting 3-5 days after putting something new out there. A bit unpredictable, but hey, that’s the Discover game for you!
The SEO Reality Check for Google Discover
Here’s the deal: even if you’re doing everything right, not all content makes it to the Discover party. SEO is a bit like rolling the dice – no guarantees that doing X will always lead to Y. It’s more about stacking the odds in your favor.
But fear not! There are official tips to up your chances of getting that golden ticket into Discover. I’ll break them down along with our special insights. Before we dive in, remember, your content needs to play by the rules to even be considered. Once it’s in the index and follows the content policies, then you can set your sights on these tips to boost your chances of being in the spotlight:
Mobile-Friendly Magic for Discover
Listen up, because for Discover, mobile is the name of the game. Your website’s mobile vibe is a big deal.
Keep it simple: a responsive, speedy site is a must. Ditch or limit those pesky ads, pop-ups, and interstitials. And mark your calendar for May 2021 – Core Web Vitals are joining the ranking party. Note, Cumulative Layout Shift is the new speed metric on the block.
Want to ace it? Think about AMP. According to John, over 60% of Discover articles roll with AMP. Sure, it’s a bit of a news site favorite, and opinions on using it vary in the SEO world. But here’s the scoop: Discover seems to dig it.
Picture-Perfect Tips for Discover
In Discover land, the spotlight is on images. So, here’s the scoop: load up on fantastic, top-notch images for anything visual on your page.
Google’s image rulebook says go big – 1200px wide is the magic number. Make sure you’re in the game by using the max-image-preview:large robots meta tag or AMP. It’s not just a Discover thing; it’s the image SEO gold standard. Handy plugins like Yoast can handle this for you.
Feeling fancy? Cue the schema image property – it’s like giving Google a little extra info to chew on. More data, more love from Discover.
Crafting Click-Worthy Content for Discover
Here’s the lowdown: your title tags and meta descriptions need to be spot-on, summing up your page and luring in users for that sweet click. But, and it’s a big but, steer clear of clickbait and tricks. Google’s not a fan, and they’ve got guidelines against it.
Now, here’s a cool tidbit. Open Graph meta tags matter to Discover. We stumbled upon this accidentally. A little typo in one of our og:title tags slipped into the Discover feed, even though the title tag was correct. Turns out, a missing “L” made all the difference. So, pay attention to those details!
Unveiling the Discover kay: Popular Topics Matter
Discover has a soft spot for what’s hot right now, especially newsy stuff – that’s why news sites rule the feed.
But guess what? Evergreen content rocks too. Take our blog, for example. We’re not chasing trends, but Discover still showers us with tens of thousands of clicks every month. So, whether it’s breaking news or timeless tales, Discover is open for business!
The Inside Scoop on Evergreen Content in Discover
Discover is like your personalized tour guide, showing you what’s new to you, not just new to the web. Imagine you’re diving into the stock market world – boom, your Discover feed serves up articles on investing tips, broker comparisons, and beginner-friendly stuff, maybe published months back.
Now, to hit those evergreen vibes, start with keyword magic. Toss a few broad topics into a keyword research tool like Keywords Explorer. Watch for what’s buzzing in the popular topics section. That’s your golden ticket to evergreen goodness. Easy peasy!
Boosting Your Online Reputation: The E-A-T Game
According to Google, they’re all about snatching up content from websites with tons of pages that shout out expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – that’s the E-A-T trio.
Now, to beef up your E-A-T, here’s the playbook:
- Be Crystal Clear: Toss in dates, bylines, author info, publication deets, and company contact info. It’s like building trust 101.
- Structured Data Magic: Connect those dots with structured data. It’s like giving Google a roadmap to your awesomeness.
- Affinity Categories Hack: Check out Google’s Affinity categories. Spot where you can be the guru. These align with those snazzy “CORE” interests from the logs. Quick tip: find it in Google Analytics under Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories.
- Thought Leader Vibes: Go all out to make your brand the go-to guru in your industry. Think of it as the red carpet to E-A-T success.
Elevate that E-A-T, and you’re on your way to the top!
Focused on Entities: A Dive into Discover Performance
When I dug into how the Ahrefs blog was doing on Discover, I discovered that certain topics outshined others. In the SEO realm, it’s all about entities and how they link up to shape specific topics.
Our contributors echoed the importance of entities. It’s a big deal.
Now, picture this: there’s a Knowledge Graph layer called the Topic Layer. It’s like a map, tracking how user interests and know-how evolve for any topic over time. This layer is crafted by sifting through all content related to a topic and its subtopics, connecting the dots like a pro.
Here’s the kicker – some dots can turn into Discover interests without officially being Knowledge Graph entities. For example, run a “meta description” search in the Knowledge Graph API, and you get zilch. But in Discover, it pops up as an interest you can follow.
Entities are the unsung heroes of the Discover game. They’re like the secret sauce that adds flavor to the mix!
Let’s keep it simple – diving into the Topic Layer might be a stretch, but mastering higher-level entities is the key.
Here’s your playbook:
1. Category Consistency: Stick to your lane. Most websites have their thing – be it coffee, laptops, SEO, or anything else. Don’t wander too far. If you’re all about iPhones one day and cooking tips the next, it confuses your audience and Google. Unless you’re a massive media mogul covering everything, stay focused.
2. Entity Hunt: Spot the sweet spots for your brand. Dive into your Discover reports, manually if needed. But, hold up – this method works for main entities and isn’t scalable. If you’ve got a ton of pages in Discover and some developer muscle, pull a John. Run your articles through Google’s Natural Language Tool, blend those entities based on their importance, and see what’s driving the most Discover traffic for you.
3. Google Images Magic: Dan’s got a nifty trick. Head to Google Images, toss in your main keyword, and check out the related entity tags up top. It’s like a sneak peek into what Google pairs with your topic. Or, snag a tool like Entity Explorer – seems to work like a charm.
Armed with these insights, sprinkle those related entities into your content. Dan did it, and bam – Discover performance boost, more keywords in the bag. It’s like unlocking a secret level!
Becoming a Knowledge Graph Star: Unveiling the Discover Secret Sauce
Wanna be a Discover VIP? First things first – check if your brand made it to the Knowledge Graph. Simple search – if you spot a Knowledge Panel in the results, you’re in the club:
Here’s the plot twist – even if someone follows your brand, your content might play hide and seek in their Discover feed. Kevin and I did some digging. I’ve been on Team MailChimp in Discover for months, and not a peep of their content.
So, why bother with the Knowledge Graph?
Being in the Knowledge Graph means Google thinks you’re a big deal. It says your online game is strong, putting your brand in the right context. Translation: Google gets what entities and interests roll with your brand, possibly showing your content to folks keen on those things.
It’s like getting a golden ticket to the Discover spotlight!
Creating a Stir: Boosting Discover Love with Content Distribution
Let’s spill the beans – Discover craves content that gets the crowd going. And guess what? Posts with more Discover clicks usually strut a snappy CTR in Discover.
But here’s the twist – the plot thickens with social media. Brace yourself for this revelation: there’s a strong link between social media buzz and your Discover success.
John crunched the numbers and dropped a bomb – the correlation between Discover performance and Twitter engagement in the US is a whopping 0.91. Now, hold up, correlation isn’t causation, but here’s the kicker: creating a buzz with your content pays off, even if Google plays the silent game.
And get this – the ‘buzz factor’ might have its own tale in different countries. While Twitter rules the US Discover scene, other platforms might steal the spotlight elsewhere. Translation: tailor your content distribution to local favorites.
We did a little experiment at Ahrefs, too. Localizing our blog into five languages didn’t quite nail the Discover clicks like our English posts. Why? Simple – we weren’t on top of the content distribution game in those languages.
Remember, no iron-clad proof of causation here, but Suganthan threw in an eyebrow-raiser. JR Oakes pulled off a stunt – got folks engaged with a tweet featuring a deliberately terrible article, and voila, it slipped into the Discover feed.
Creating a stir It might just be the Discover secret sauce you’ve been looking for!
Giving Your Content a Facelift: The Power of Periodic Refresh
Here’s the scoop – if your page is MIA in Discover, don’t lose hope. Case in point: an article we dropped in 2017, zero Discover love until we gave it a makeover and hit the republish button:
Now, we didn’t spruce it up just for Discover clicks. Nope, it was a tactical move to boost its rankings and organic traffic in the regular search game. Discover clicks? Consider them a sweet bonus.
Guess what? Content CPR is one of our go-to moves. Content Explorer spills the beans – we’ve pampered 60 pages in the last 12 months:
But it’s not just us. John and Suganthan are on the same page – refreshing evergreen content often works like a charm for them too.
So, don’t be shy – give your content a makeover, hit that republish button, and watch the magic unfold. Discover might just give you a nod of approval!
Integrating YouTube Magic: Elevating Your Discover Game
Check this out – YouTube videos are Discover favorites, popping up in feeds left and right:
Now, here’s the hack – embed those videos in your content. There’s a chance they’ll strut into Discover solo, stealing the spotlight from your content. The bonus? No schema markup needed, as Kevin cleverly points out.
We’ve got some articles with a modest few hundred clicks, but their embedded videos? Thousands of clicks, baby! We’re doubling down on topics in both video and written form, playing the repurposing card to amp up Discover traffic.
But here’s the deal – those video clicks? They take a detour to YouTube, not your website. So, if you’re up for the Discover video game, get those YouTube gems into your articles and watch the magic unfold!
Diving into Web Stories: Google’s Discover Delight
Get ready for a twist – ever heard of Web Stories? Google’s version of those snappy stories you love on Instagram and other social hotspots.
Guess what? Google’s now welcoming Web Stories into the Discover feed. It’s like a VIP pass for your content. Quick heads up – as of now, it’s in the English content party in the US.
And here’s the golden nugget – Kevin spilled the beans. They gave Web Stories a whirl, and voila, featured in Discover. So, if these bite-sized wonders align with your content vibe, it’s worth a shot. Discover might just be waiting for your story to unfold!
Wrapping it Up: Unleashing Google Discover Magic
Here’s the lowdown – Google Discover traffic is a gem, no matter your business vibe. It might not steal the spotlight unless you’re a news giant, but hey, the optimization tricks are just your everyday SEO moves, no rocket science here.
And guess what? Applying these tips isn’t just a love letter to Discover. Nope, it’s a ripple effect – expect an upgrade in your overall SEO game, content distribution, and a sprinkle of traffic diversity.
The beauty of Google Discover? It’s the traffic wizard that clicks its magic wand even when your primary keywords are on vacation. Sure, your content should vibe with people’s interests, but here’s the kicker – it’s a green light to publish content that’s not all about the search traffic chase.
So there you have it – Google Discover, your not-so-secret weapon for clicks, SEO glory, and a dash of content adventure. Cheers to optimizing your way to the top!