Google’s Martin Splitt addressed the issue of declining traffic from Google Discover during the July 2023 Office Hours session. He shared insights on what Google Discover prioritizes.
Understanding Google Discover
Google Discover is a personalized feed that showcases articles of interest to users. The content displayed on Discover is based on signals that indicate the user’s areas of interest, although the specific signals are not disclosed by Google.
However, it is evident that one of the signals could be the user’s search queries, as observed by those who pay attention to Discover.
Getting and Maintaining Google Discover Traffic
A user asked, “How can I regain visibility on Google Discover?” Here’s Martin Splitt’s response:
Discover is an organic feature that aligns with user demand and habits.
There is no easy answer to reclaim Discover traffic.
Generally, content that is indexed and meets Google’s content guidelines can be featured on Discover.
However, predicting and sustaining Discover traffic is challenging, as it fluctuates over time.
Emphasizing User Demand and Habits
This explanation of how Google Discover functions is valuable, as it emphasizes that the selection process revolves around presenting what users want to see.
Google’s guidance on appearing on Google Discover includes the following insights:
Fresh and Evergreen Topics
While evergreen content is relevant, Google also seeks fresh content on specific topics that require up-to-date information.
For instance, subjects like sports, technology, entertainment, and certain products constantly evolve, with newsworthy updates emerging throughout the day.
On the other hand, topics like recipes usually don’t change dramatically unless there’s a new technique or variation.
According to Google:
Discover automatically refreshes its content with new publications. However, it aims to present useful content from various sources, not solely recent publications.
An all-too-common mistake made in the SEO industry is excessive focus on keywords and word semantics rather than topics.
From my experience, fixating on word semantics is fruitless. Instead, concentrate on current industry topics and what users are genuinely interested in.
In my opinion, focusing on topics enables writers to provide content that fulfills user needs, which is precisely what Google Discover seeks.
According to Google Discover:
Discover, as part of Google Search, employs similar signals and systems to determine helpful, user-oriented content.
Key Signals for Google Discover
Once the topic has been determined, the article should be crafted in a manner that effectively conveys the topic.
This is where SEO writers who overly fixate on keywords and semantics lose their way.
In my experience, an article that performs well prioritizes the topic and effectively communicates it.
An outline of the headings used in an article provides a bird’s-eye view of the topics covered, enabling readers to comprehend the essence of the article without reading the sentences.
Organize your content to flow logically and cover all relevant aspects of the topic, much like chapters in a story.
Google’s recommended best practices include:
- Creating page titles that accurately represent the content
- Incorporating high-quality, engaging images
- Providing timely, storytelling content or unique insights
Google also advises against using misleading titles, exaggerations, or content that appeals to outrage, morbidity, or shock.
Google Discover can drive substantial traffic, but it lacks consistency.
Based on my experience, focusing on relevant topics, writing well-structured content, utilizing appropriate and relevant images, and staying current are effective strategies to increase the likelihood of gaining traffic from Discover.
Learn more about getting featured on Google Discover: Discover and your website.
Watch the Office Hours session starting at the 7:32 minute mark:
Featured image by Shutterstock/Prostock-studio
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