Every business that has a website (and that should be every single one of them) wants more traffic from Google. It’s the number one traffic source, because people performing a search have intent — whether that is to seek more information about a product or service or make a purchase.

Previously, there were two main marketing strategies to pull traffic from Google — SEO (national and local) to get organic traffic and PPC for paid traffic. Most people still get the majority of their traffic from Google by doing SEO or running a pay-per-click campaign.

There is an endless amount of traffic if you have the wallet for it. But what if there was a way you could pull more traffic from Google without spending a large sum of money? SEO and PPC are still the two main strategies, but as Google evolves, additional traffic opportunities arise within those two segments.

PPC evolved to allow for click-to-call, which created a new opportunity for many businesses. Now organic search has a new feature that presents an opportunity for many, and it’s called Google Discover.

Google Discover is fairly new — it’s evolved over the past year — and mostly visible on mobile devices (Android) using the Chrome browser app at the moment. They tend to test on mobile (and on Chrome) first, before rolling it out across all devices and browsers. So, now is the time to jump on this — the sooner you can master this, the more of a long-term benefit you will experience.

Lets talk about Google Discover..


What is it?

There are results under the search bar, which mirrors a social media feed. Similar to what you see on Facebook. There are articles and suggestions based on the users search history. If the user clicks on a suggestion they are taken directly to that web page or article.

So, why is Google testing this and slowly rolling it out?

They are doing it to make their search results more user friendly, and by that I mean look and feel more like the other popular platforms they engage with on a daily basis. The average person uses social media for a good portion of the day, whether they are plopped down in front of their home PC or laptop, or checking their feed on the go via their mobile device.

Facebook is the most consistent social media platform when you are talking about all age ranges. Sure, TikTok might be the most popular social media network for the 10 to 16 year olds, and Insatgram might be the most popular network for Millennials, but overall Facebook has the wider user base in terms of users’ age.

Kids have a Facebook profile, as do their parents and even grandparents. So they are already used to seeing news and information displayed in this manner. Google is smart to deliver some results this way — while it’s “new” on the Google search platform it isn’t “new” to the point that the user is going to wonder what it is. Anyone that comes in contact with Google’s Discover results doesn’t have to be educated as to what it is — they already know.



Google Discover is Spreading Fast

Now, Google Discover isn’t just on the Google search home page. It’s also showing up within search results, with a “Interesting finds” label above the suggested articles and web pages. These feeds will show a few options and then have a “click for more” option which displays additional suggestions.

Right now you see it more when using the Chrome browser on desktop and laptop devices and Android mobile devices. Why? Because these are Google owned products and they are able to roll out and test new features in a controlled environment.

Once they are perfect, they will push them across all devices and browsers. But, will it end there? You have to understand that Google is in the business of providing information anywhere and everywhere its users demand (or don’t when it comes to ads) but you have to think progressively about their next move with Google Discover — doing so will help you understand how important it’s going to be to show up in these results.

It’s already gotten to the point it is at now with little to no formal introduction. It just got pushed out one day on Chrome — so what is next? Just like ads found their way to Gmail, you have to think that Discover will make itself available there as well.

I’m going to explain how it works in regards to how it chooses what to suggest to its users below, but it’s not far fetched to think that it will eventually be integrated into Gmail, showing results based on email data — of curse Google cannot read your emails due to privacy laws, but if anyone can find a way around that to somehow display relevant data and news, it’s them.

YouTube ads, Gmail suggestions, G Suite in-app suggestions, etc. — Google Discover could end up being the source of “answers” within all of Google’s products and services.


Similar to How Instagram’s Discover Feed Works

So, how does Google know what to show users? The person doesn’t need to have any history with a particular website in order to see content from it being suggested. Think of how Instagram’s discovery feed works. You see suggestions based on what it thinks you would be interested in. Google Discover works the same way.

It’s entirely driven by an Artificial Intelligence backed algorithm. So, there is a very good chance of your content being shown to people with a high likelihood of being interested in what you offer, even if they have never personally visited your website or interacted with you brand previously.

This is huge. You don’t need to be ranking at the top of the SERPs. You don’t need to have a remarketing pixel installed. You just have to have solid content and resources that Google finds valuable and will then suggest to its users that its algorithm feels would be of interest.

AI is becoming so advanced these days that the recommendations are pretty spot-on and will only continue to get more accurate as machine learning collects more data. This is why focusing on optimizing for Google Discover now, on the ground floor, rather than later once everyone knows how lucrative it has become for a source of organic traffic, is very important.

Now, I’m far from a tin-foil hat conspiracy SEO, as there are a lot of industry personalities that base their opinions off crazy speculation. Usually I wouldn’t chime in so prematurely on a feature or roll-out, but the writing is on the wall — Google Discover is going to be a huge opportunity.

Imagine if you knew ‘Position Zero” was coming and you figured out how to rank there before others in your industry? This is the same — it’s coming and it’s going to be a big opportunity.

There isn’t a concrete strategy yet, because it’s so new — but there are a few things you can do that I have found impact the Google Discover results, and I highly suggest you play with these as well as do your own testing.

Let me dive into these three things, but remember — this is so new and this could change. I recommend you test different strategies yourself, while also focusing on these three tips below.


Tip One: Stay On-Topic (Relevant and Timely)

Since Google Discover pulls information the same way Instagram’s “Explore” feature does, it’s important that you are constantly creating fresh content that is also relevant. For those that use Instagram and search for content using the “Explore” feature you know that it’s always suggesting new posts.

You aren’t going to see old or outdated content being promoted on the feed, as the algorithm is designed to match fresh content that has a high likelihood of being something a user is interested in reading.

Not that there is wrong with older content, because it’s an anchor for many SEO campaigns, and when it comes to regular organic rankings in the SERPs content age isn’t a major factor — it’s the quality of the content along with its relevance to the search being performed.

Do you remember how much of an impact being a “Google News” site was back in the day? Blogs were paying huge amounts of money to get included and blogs that were “Google News approved” were fetching a lot of money.

Well, now you no longer need to apply to be included in Google News, which is a huge indication that this new feature, Google Discover, is basically the new direction and the same strategy that was used to be discovered high in the Google News results, should be applied to show up in this new section.

This is language directly from the Google News information page:


Publishers no longer need to submit their site to be eligible for the Google News app and website. Publishers are automatically considered for Top stories or the News tab of Search. They just need to produce high-quality content and comply with Google News content policies.


To me, this is telling you point-blank that you need to publish great content that is timely and newsworthy.



Tip Two: Make Top Search Content “Better”

This strategy is nothing new, and it is something you are likely doing as part of your SEO strategy currently. If not, then you need to be sure to spend some time on this.

Every niche is going to have what I call “top search content” and what this is will vary depending on the product or service your business sells. For example, a pest removal company in Dallas, Texas, might want to find the top ranking pieces of content for each type of pest, and make each better, combining it into a massive long-form resource that features information about every type of common pest they treat, including how to identify the pest, basic home remedies someone can try, as well as how their service works to get rid of the specific pest.

Not only does this strategy make the content “better,” but it combines it into one massive resource, which now will have a high likelihood of being shown in the Google Discover feed to those that the AI determines is interested in that, taking previous search history into consideration.

An e-commerce website that sells sports apparel might want to find a way to publish relevant sport news since there won’t be many topics regarding apparel, but there is endless content topics related to sports.

For example, writing in-depth game reviews for all sports and all teams is going to present the opportunity to publish hundreds of not thousands of pieces of content daily. As this starts to show up in the Discover feed, more sports fans are going to be introduced to that online store. It’s the ideal way to leverage this opportunity for branding that will eventually turn into more sales, especially if they implement a strong offer allowing them to collect email addresses at a rapid rate.


Tip Three: Use Images as a CTA Magnet on Google Discover

The Google Discover feed pulls images directly from the content, with the featured image being used most of the time. Since people are visual creatures by nature, this image is going to have much more of an impact than any other part of the snippet display, including the title and initial content that acts as a description.

So, when selecting an image for your featured image and/or header image, think of creating something that will act as an attention drawing magnet.

If you want some examples, head over to YouTube and look at the thumbnails on some of the most popular videos in your niche. CTR plays such a huge role on YouTube, so video creators spend a lot of time researching and testing what works in terms of increasing CTR by using creative thumbnails.

You can take the same information and apply it to your featured images, and the result will be the same — higher CTRs. From adding emojis to highlighting certain aspects of the image — you will see all kinds of creative image optimization tips by studying YouTube thumbnails in your niche.



Final Thoughts

Google Discover is coming, and the rollout is going to happen any day now. It’s going to be a major part of Google’s search results, so you have two options.

You can either ignore Google Discover (and miss out) or jump on this and position your website for success, because there is no doubt that it will roll across all platforms and be integrated within all Google products (think Gmail, etc.) before you know it.

The more traffic sources you can pull from, the better, right?

Now, as it rolls out the strategy and techniques to show up in this section will constantly change. The algorithm will more than likely be unstable in the beginning, requiring a lot of testing.

Those that pay attention and spend the time to learn how it works are going to benefit heavily. I know it’s something my team is paying close attention to, because any time you can master something on the ground floor when it comes to Google, the more of the upside you can experience.

What are your thoughts on Google Discover? Have you seen it on mobile yet? Are the results you have seen highly targeted to you and your previous search history? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop your comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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