Google Discover: How to Rank for Every Post

Ranking on Google Discover

When I started my first blogging project, the chase like every other publisher, was to rank organically – most especially on Google.

I worked hard to achieve this with all efforts put on SEO, quality content, link building, and few other approaches to secure page 1 or number position on Google search results.

However, there’s something I didn’t recall focusing on.

The Google Discover!

Google Discover wasn’t as popular a few years back, indeed. However, not every publisher merit that scorecards since Google introduced it.

I wasn’t seeing much from it until, one day, on launching my Google app, I saw one of my posts sitting to be opened.

I was so happy and thought if every phone user can see my posts, just like this, without even searching for it, I should be able to win more on Discover than general searching. More on this later!

And as a matter of fact, only a few publishers are aware of Google Discover and why it may be even more important than our regular search ranking.

This post will open your eyes to its importance, how to write content that ranks and how you can be sure you’re featuring.

What’s Google Discover?

Launching your Google app, on any android device, what you see is called Google Discover. This is a scrollable list of topics that users can browse through for topics that interest them.

When launch Mobile Chrome Browser, more than half of the home page also contains feed for Google Discover.

Google app and Discover interface


It has several cards – giving titles and introductions to the content. Tapping a card will send you to the page that is the source of the content entry.

Google Discover is Rich in Content of Interest

One clear advantage Discover has over regular search results is that, in most cases, only a users’ areas of interest are covered in the cards.

It only shows users a mix of content based on their interactions with Google products or content that they are found loving.

Though Google plays the game of showing different content, for a few days, to measure what the users will fall in love with. With time, the bots will give feeds strictly on its’ experience of how the user is using the discover and their areas of interest.

If a user clicks more on education news and updates in the first few days of using Google app, he or she will likely be receiving more feeds around that.

Google Discover Places Priority on All Niches

In case you’re wondering if your niche benefits from it, this app feeds for generally all available niches. It has no respect for any field.

Though a few reports had shown that, there could preference for certain niches, experience has just shown that Google only cares about users’ interests, in as much it doesn’t contradict the type of content they do rank.

Hence, Discover features, news, videos, sports scores, entertainment updates (such as a new movie release), stock prices, event information (such as the nominees for a major award ceremony, or the lineup of upcoming music festivals), and more.

8 Tips for Ranking on Google Discover

What does Google look for in content before ranking its apps?

The answer to that question is the same things they look for before ranking your content for regular search results.

Content ranking is powered by the strength of the match between an article's content and a user's interests, so there aren't any methods for boosting the ranking of your pages other than posting content that you think users will find interesting.

Above is the position of Google if you must be ready for ranking on it. Hence, below are what you should take into consideration to encourage being featured.

1. Quality Content Must Be the Priority

First, you have to write with quality in mind. Just like for the regular searches, users can bounce back if your content is below par. This sends a signal to Google that you’re not meeting users’ expectations.

We both understand how Google deals with that!

And better than the regular Google search, people using this have the option to tell Google they don’t want to follow you again - with just a few clicks.

Below are the immediate options available to users to discontinue seeing your content.

Users may use any of the options to manage their preferences


2. Mobile Responsiveness Your Website is Important

This shouldn’t be new to you again. Using a mobile-friendly website template has never been this important. The Mobile friendliness of a website is a ranking factor. And for Discover, it’s the second-ranking factor.

Google Discover is strictly available on mobile phones and a few other android devices such as tablets and Chrome book. These devices require your website to adapt.

If you’re having problems seeing your content been fed in the feed, check for the response on mobile devices. If you've got it, I detailed a 2-minute guide in my post, "Change to Responsive and Professional Blog Theme in 2 Minutes".

3. Website Speed Must be Convincing 

Speed is for phones and mobile devices. However, a website may be mobile friendly but has difficulty with speed.

The world is in a hurry, help it!

People want to open pages within mini seconds. If your website should take above 3 seconds to load, you may lose a visitor and subsequently lose your content on Discover.

4. Image Sizes Should be Right

Google has fallen in love with the correct-size images in its Discover. For one reason, image size does affect the loading time of a page. If it’s not correctly sized or resized, it affects users’ experience which may force Google to discontinue your content featuring on Discover or make it not appear in the first place.

Learn to reduce the size of your images and make sure the quality of any used graphics is modern. You need this to win a permanent space on Discover.

You can achieve the right image sized either by using AMP or by filling out this form to express your interest in our opt-in program

Google has reported that …

Publishers do experience a 5% increase in clickthrough rate, a 3% increase in time spent on their pages, and a 3% increase in user satisfaction when Discover cards feature large images instead of thumbnail images.

5. Google Should Be Allowed to Index Content

Allow Google to freely crawl your content so as to index it not only for regular Google search results but also the Discover.

If Googlebot is finding it difficult to crawl and recrawl your posts, don’t expect that to be on the scorecards on your next visit.

Your pages are eligible to appear in Discover if they are indexed by Google and meet Google News content policies. No special tags or structured data are required.

6. Market Your Content Across Other Platforms

Generally, all other points mentioned above are around SEO and organic traffic. Let’s talk about the effects of content marketing on Discover.

Don’t forget that Google measures the interests of users with their browser’s history, search history, YouTube video history, news search, subscriptions, sharing, etc.

If you’re not seeing more traffic from Google Discover, it may mean a few people had come across your content in the past. Hence, to let people get familiar with your content, you can market a few posts through Facebook, Twitter or Google Ads.

A few days of interactions with some of your posts will cache in users’ browsers. Next time they use Discover, they’re likely to see results from you.

This is because Google will conclude, if they’d encountered your content in the past and loved it, they should be interested in more.

7. Post More Content

Even though Google does feature old and dated content to people on Discover, they seem to prefer fresh content.

I’d observed that if old content is evergreen or not susceptive to changes, Discover still shows them for users to date. However, if your niche requires regular updates and fresh content, you will need to keep posting new topics or republish the old ones to maintain a serious position.

8. Use the Right keywords for Labeling and Tags

One hidden means to optimize your content for Discover is using the right labels or tags for your content categories.

Google categorizes users’ interests with their histories. Then, they use that to serve the right feed for them.

If a user has recently searched for Google announcements, my old or next posts categorized under "Google Updates and Announcements" may likely feature in his next feed.

Right tagging is not only needed for the regular search ranking and giving users flawless experience, but it also helps us to win more appearances on Discover.

Checking your Discover Ranking Status

Google has given you a tool to monitor your representation on the Google apps. If you have content on Discover, you can monitor your performance using the Performance Report for Discover.

The report shows impressions, clicks, and CTR for any of your content that has appeared in on Discover in the last 16 months, as long as your data reaches a minimum threshold of impressions.

However, with my experience, it may be difficult to differentiate the traffic coming from Discover and regular search. This is because the tool is the same as the Google Console which gives you the results of your Discover and organic searches without a differentiator.

Conclusion

If you don’t find your content coming up on your phone's Google apps, this doesn’t mean it’s not featuring on others’ phones.

The difference is that, perhaps, you’re not searching much of your targeted keywords on your own phone like others do on theirs.

If you should take all the Discover ranking factors listed above serious and follow Google Content Guidelines to heart, your posts are guaranteed of audience and traffic from Discover.

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