6 tactics to rank better in Google Discover
Google’s Discover feed presents mobile users with a stream of content based on the user’s interests. For publications that have managed to get their content featured in it, the Discover feed can drive substantial traffic — but, unfortunately, “there’s no way to create content that explicitly targets Discover’s interest matching,” John Shehata, VP, global audience development strategy & CRM at Condé Nast, said, quoting Google during his session at SMX Next.
“That’s absolutely true, but there are certain things [that you can do to] increase your chances of ranking well in Google Discover,” he added. Using data obtained from one million pages (equating to 27 billion impressions) over the prior 90 days, in tandem with his own experience, Shehata provided the following tactics publishers can use to strengthen their ability to rank in Google Discover.
Use emotional titles, not clickbait
“When we analyzed the titles that perform very well in Google Discover [the top titles above 25% CTR and have at least 10,000 impressions] . . . You will see a lot of them are in that area of ‘clickbaity,’ so is there bait and switch?” Shehata said.
Include high-quality visuals
Your larger images should be at least 1200 pixels wide and enabled by the max-image-preview: large setting or by using AMP. “That will transfer your small images, like this on the left [in the screenshot above] to the right size, which is the full-width image,” he said, adding, “I have seen this increase CTR by two or three times.”
Understand and enhance E-A-T signals
While Search and Discover are different products, the overall principles of E-A-T as they apply to content are similar. In 2020, Google added the term E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) to its Discover guidelines. “This phrase has not been there before,” Shehata said, “They’re going to be looking at E-A-T when they are evaluating Google Discover content.”
Use the API to identify topics and entities that work for your brand
Now that Discover data is available in the Google Search Console Search Analytics API, publishers can utilize Google’s natural language processing to identify which entities interest their audiences and work for their publications.
Refresh your evergreen content
Updating your evergreen content can help drive additional Discover traffic. In the image below, clicks spiked each time the article was refreshed.
Understand your Google Discover data
Establishing a baseline contextualizes your data and lets you know which stories performed above or below average.
To that end, it’s important to understand:
- Your average CTR per category;
- Your average impressions per story; and
- Your average daily life span per story.
Read more: 6 tactics to rank better in Google Discover
How marketers can adapt to Google’s local SEO changes
“COVID itself has changed the way that people interact with businesses online,” said Amanda Jordan, director of the local search at LOCOMOTIVE Agency, in her session at SMX Next, “which means that search engines, businesses, and marketers had to pivot to meet those demands and needs.”
The events of 2020 have changed how local businesses operate as well as Google’s search results. And, while these shifts are designed to make the search easier for consumers, many businesses have been caught unawares, losing visibility on Google.
Read more: How marketers can adapt to Google’s local SEO changes
Google AdSense’s Matched content widget will only show ads starting on March 1, 2022
Beginning on March 1, 2022, Google AdSense’s Matched content widget will only show ads, the company announced Wednesday. To go along with the change, Google is also rebranding Matched content as “Multiplex ads.”
What’s changing. Launched in 2015 as a free recommendation service that enables sites to promote their own content, along with ads (which can be disabled), to visitors, the Matched content widget will continue to function that way until February 28, 2022.
“Due to decreasing usage of the content promotion service, and positive customer feedback and performance results from the ads-only Matched content ad format, we’ve decided to turn down the content promotion service and convert all existing Matched content units to only show ads,” Google said in the announcement, “This also applies to Matched content units that have the ‘Monetize with Ads’ option turned off.”
Read more: Google AdSense’s Matched content widget will only show ads starting on March 1, 2022
Google had a crawling issues that impacted some sites
Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that a bug prevented Google from crawling for the AMP cache between November 11, 2021, and November 17, 2021. The bug has since been resolved.
Google confirmed. “We saw that crawling for the AMP cache had slowed down for some sites,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “This bug has since been resolved, and an internal analysis showed it wasn’t widespread, and that there were no negative effects overall.”.
The issue. It seems the issue impacted only certain crawling of caches for some sites. “We saw that crawling for the caches had slowed down for some sites. This bug has since been resolved, and an internal analysis showed it wasn’t widespread, and that there were no negative effects overall,” Mueller said on Twitter.
First to notice. Olivier Papon from Seolyzer first spotted the issue and posted about it on Twitter, saying that he noticed Googlebot, Google’s web crawler, has essentially stopped crawling much of the web. He said it began on November 11 at 6 PM (GMT) and then crawling went back to normal on November 17 at 8 PM (GMT), he said in a follow-up tweet.
Read more: Google had crawling issues that impacted some sites
Microsoft Bing launched Page insights
Microsoft Bing Page insights is now live in the Bing search results for search results snippets, the company announced Tuesday. Users will see a lightbulb icon on the right-hand side of the search results that provides more details about the search result.
Page insights “provides summarized insights from a page on your search results so you can find what you’re looking for faster,” Microsoft said in the announcement.
ore on-page insights. Page insights “helps you verify that the source is relevant to your needs, helps you get caught up to speed at a glance on top factoids you didn’t know about, and lets you jump straight to the relevant section of the page when you click ‘Read more’ for a specific question,” the company said. There is also a section to “explore more” to find more relevant search results.
Read more: Microsoft Bing launched Page insights