What is Google Discover and How It Affects Your SEO
You may have heard some buzz about Google’s new feature, Discover. Or maybe you noticed the once barren Google homepage now has much more to look at when viewed on your mobile device.
What you’re looking at is Google Discover. Google’s latest foray into further predicting what we want to see, before we even know we want to see it.
It sounds creepy but for a vast majority of people who are short on time and patience, digesting information during a commute or while waiting for an appointment to begin, the Google Discover feature can be really useful.
So, what is Google Discover?
Google Discover is a quick and easy way to get a snapshot of what’s going on in the world that is of interest to you. I emphasize you because the Google Discover articles are meant to be customized to your specific interests. And, over time, should get more accurate.
Unlike news aggregator technologies of the past, Google Discover has put a lot more control in the hands of the user. Allowing you to customize further what you see on the homepage.
Note : Google Discover is currently only showing on mobile devices on the Google homepage or in the Google app.
Here’s what it looks like on my homepage, skip to 00:18.
How to Customize Google Discover
You can ‘follow’ and ‘hide’ articles like you would in a Facebook feed or Twitter. And although Google Discover will serve up a lot of trending topics, you have the ability to customize it and even turn the feature off altogether if you miss that sparse Google homepage of the past.
In addition to your likes and dislikes, Google Discover uses your search and browse history to further customize your Discover feed.
How to Turn Off Google Discover
If you’re a Google purist and just want your good ‘ol fashioned search bar with nothing to entice you in to the great beyond of the world wide web and potential endless abyss of reading article after article, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can turn Google Discover off easily.
3 Easy Steps to Turn Off Google Discover
click on the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the homepage
click on ‘Settings’ and under the ‘Discover’ heading
click the radio button for ‘Don’t show on homepage’
How Does Google Discover Affect Your SEO?
Google Discover is just a preview of what will likely be much more prevalent in 2019. A quicker, smarter information aggregator to reduce time spent figuring out what to search for.
I know. It doesn’t seem like an issue that needs solving but if you think about how much time we spend staring at screens each day, perhaps a little predictive technology might help direct our focus on what really matters to us so we can spend less time sifting through what doesn’t matter to us.
So how does Google Discover affect your SEO strategy? Well, for one thing,
Quality content continues to be of the utmost importance.
This is especially true of blogs and news sites. Lengthy articles, media rich, compelling and yet easy to read, digest and to the point will score top points in Google and perhaps, even land you a spot on the Discover feed for a sizable audience.
Think outside of the text box by providing multimedia content.
Google Discover provides content to users that is not always newly published. So even your older content can reach someone’s Discover feed as long as the content is relevant to their interests and queries. Also, Google Discover services up text and video content so finding ways to incorporate fresh video content into your overall strategy is likely to pay off in the long run by offering users different options for digesting information.
Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years. Source.
And let’s not forget,
Mobile-friendliness is an absolute must.
Even if you think your site is mobile-friendly it’s worth re-evaluating every quarter to ensure things are still looking and functioning as they should in those smaller viewports. Changes to your site CSS and coding can inadvertently affect how your site looks on a mobile device.
With Google Discover only available on mobile for the time being, making sure your site and articles are up to modern mobile-friendly standards is a necessity. This means making sure your articles are available in AMP format, content is broken down in easy to read format, and your overall site is easy to navigate should the user want to go deeper into the site.