Google Discover and Google Search Console

This week’s question is from Adam Barrell who is the Founder of So Media Group – a new media publisher and agency.
Adam asked:

– Google Discover what is it and how does it work as it can send traffic sky high
– people would also no doubt be interested into uncover their seo treasure chest using search console to review traffic v impressions for search terms, talk about that

As a leading Marketing Consultant in Perth, the question about what Google Discover is frequently comes up. Discover is a highly personalised feed viewable on mobile devices through the Google App. I like to think of it as a feed from Twitter or Facebook. It is similar and different to traditional search on Google in that it uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect the relevancy and popularity of the content and somewhat different is it is much more personalised than standard search.

You may know that Google search ranks websites in order of relevance and what Google’s automated systems believe will best serve your queries for a great user experience. Google Discover shows content from websites that you follow – similar to pages on Facebook or accounts on Twitter. Google uses its “EAT” criteria to decipher good quality content from bad – the EAT standing for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

To increase the likelihood of your content appearing in Discover, Google recommends the following:

* Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion. Use natural sounding page titles also know as title tags such as “Perth Lifestyle & Travel News” and not “Perth News | Perth Entertainment | Perth Travel”

* Include compelling, high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover. Large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting, or by using AMP. Avoid using a site logo as your image. Google is getting smarter with detecting images as it examines the EXIF information in an image – meta data within an image that gives technical details about the photo including but not limited to author or photographer, camera used, date, location, keywords, etc – although best practise is attribution if reusing someone else’s images -with consent- Google’s systems can match EXIF data and know when someone elses media is being used which can work against your efforts to rank in Discover. So using original and unique images is always more powerful than rehashing others in your articles.

* Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about. Be transparent, do not manipulate and as a rule of thumb, does my article and website follow the “what you see is what you get” rule? Or does it mislead and misrepresent? You do not want any instances of misinformation, misrepresentation or misleading information.

* Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage. Dont use fear of death, sex or suggestively sexual content or topics or languages or anger as a basis for maniupulation to rank.

* Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights. Don’t do a half baked article. Google knows when you have put effort into an article, and can easily tell if it has been well researched by the quality of the content. Use references when making assertions and ensure they are from credible sources. As has been the case for a decade now on Social, timely articles work well. Research your competition, can you provide industry insights and statistics that no one else can and present them in an interesting and engaging way? And finally a golden timeless marketing classic, if you can deliver your content in a manner that tells a story well, it can be timeless.

To deliver a good user experience, Discover seeks to present content that’s suitable for interest-based feeds, such as articles and videos, as well as filter out content that’s not desired or that might confuse readers. For example, Discover might not recommend job applications, petitions, forms, code repositories, or satirical content without any context.

You can add code to your website that will enable it to be followed in Google Discover. This code can be found in the Google Developers repository and when added can enable a “follow website” button from the Chrome browser on mobile devices. To monitor your Discover traffic, you can go to the Search Console. Remember traffic from Discover is highly volatile and far less dependable and stable than traditional search. Follow the tips and recommendations covered in this video, experiment and if you still aren’t getting in the Discover feed, look at some comparable brands that are and analyse what they are doing and emulate.

The second part of your query addresses traffic vs impressions on Google’s search Console and how you can uncover an SEO treasure chest to help your rankings rocket. So if you’re not aware of Google’s search console, it is a free tool like Google Analytics that you can register for and sign up to use. This is the central location where you can index changes to your website and index new content to fast track it appearing in the search results on Google. In the last 18 months, significant updates have been rolled out and you can really deep dive into your organic keywords – the search terms people type on Google and then are led to your website. Because this data can be quite overwhelming, a simple way of analysing that I use is a table in Data Studio. From Data Studio connected to Search Console I can create an auto updating automated report of what search terms are being used, how many clicks vs how many impressions.

You can even code a custom formula for ratios if that is your thing. The principle here is knowing what keywords you are ranking for in SEO on Google, knowing which ones you would like to rank for and then having the objective data from Google of what people are ACTUALLY searching for and then targeting your effort and energy in the right places. I’ve seen many people emotionally react and waste time on ranking certain keywords when in fact, such an insignificant amount of people in Perth are searching with their intent, it isn’t worth spending effort on! Remember the more impressions a search term has, the more likely its competitiveness, and a challenge it will be to rank it. However, remember the “EAT” – expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness – philosophy from Google, follow it and with some social media love you can watch your content and brand skyrocket into 2022!