It always helps to have some real organic buzz drawing audiences into your digital field of dreams. Especially when it happens online. Nobody knows this better than digital publishers who cover competitive events like esports tournaments. They don’t always have the easiest time conveying the excitement and drama of what they’re covering through the usual digital outreach channels.
Sure, you can leverage SEO and launch some pay-per-click ad campaigns. But that’s not cheap and not necessarily the best way to make organic inroads with your ideal audience.
There’s a better way to get discovered and drive traffic to your blog: by taking advantage of the underappreciated Google Discover Feed.
What is Google Discover?
Launched in 2018, Google Discover (formerly known as Google Feed) is a content-recommending feature that shows up on Google’s apps and mobile devices, like Chrome browsers and Pixel phones. If you spend a lot of time on desktop or Apple devices, you might not see it very often — but it’s well-integrated into Google’s ecosystem.
The Discover feed can be found in a few locations, most commonly at the top of Search pages and if you swipe right on the homepage of an Android or Chrome device.
How is Discover Different from Search and News?
So why work the Google Discover angle when it’s not as widely distributed as Google Search results or Google News listings? The simple answer is that these channels were built for completely different purposes, and they don’t source their content in the same ways.
Google Search works by taking a user query and returning the best possible information in response. It uses sophisticated methodologies to generate the most relevant results for each search term, but it takes the user literally.
On the other hand, Google News mines users’ search history for topics it thinks they might be interested in. Then it finds recently-published news stories and articles from around the web that match those interests. It’s a great resource, but it’s not designed with web marketers in mind.
Why Should You Get Your Content in the Discover Feed?
For one thing, you’re going to see a traffic spike from viewers who spent time engaging with your content. Some publishers are reporting that Google Discover now accounts for more of their traffic than Google Search.
The main benefit of Google Discover is getting free, immediate, high-quality traffic that you’ll be able to monitor. By comparing the performance of different pieces of content, you’ll be able to determine what works best for showing up on the feed, whether it’s a breaking announcement or evergreen knowledge.
How to Get Ranked in the Google Discover Feed
Google being Google, there’s a lot of secret sauce that goes into the selection criteria and algorithms that populate the Google Discover feed.
Create High-Quality, Valuable Content
It’s easy to say “create terrific content”. But what that means in actual practice will always depend on your goals, audience, and source material. The competition for eyeball time is tough out there, so you need to be thinking about: (1) what your audience wants; and (2) how to serve it to them in a way that’s better than what the next site is doing.
The story feed format that Google Discover aims for originated on sites like Snapchat and Instagram. In deference to that tradition, you should expect Google to be preferential toward visual content., particularly video.
E-A-T is one of the guidelines that Google’s human search raters use to determine the quality of their search results. It stands for “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.” E-A-T can factor heavily into the weighting of search results that deal with the important subject matter.
Follow Google Content Policies
Before you can really optimize, you’ve got to make sure you aren’t tripping over yourself. That means staying within Google’s content policies and avoiding easy mistakes that might keep you out of the Discover feed.
Optimize for Mobile and AMPs
Most online activities are happening on phones and mobile devices these days. This means that mobile-focused design has to be a core element of any optimization strategy. In the Google ecosystem, this means designing for Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs).
Discover More Traffic
When traffic is your lifeblood, you want it flowing in from every direction. If you’re not leveraging Google Discover? You’re leaving a potentially significant resource on the table — one with advantages for competitive and event-based websites. If you’re eager to see whether your optimization efforts are paying off, remember you can always monitor how your content is performing on Discover in the Google Search Console.