Google Discover - what is it?
In April 2019, Google rolled out a new report to the updated Search Console – Google Discover.
A lot of SEOs started to dig in…
Wait, what exactly is Google Discover?
What is Google Discover?
In the beginning, Google Discover may seem like some insignificant, minor feature or change.
In my mind, this can be one of the most important Google updates lately, which may have a massive impact on Search.
Google Discover was introduced on September 24, 2018:
Today—as a part of three fundamental shifts in how we think about Search—we’re launching a major update to this experience, including a new name, a fresh look, and a brand-new set of features.
In another blog article, titled “Improving Search for the next 20 years“, Google describes these three fundamental shifts:
The shift from answers to journeys: To help you resume tasks where you left off and learn new interests and hobbies, we’re bringing new features to Search that help you with ongoing information needs.
The shift from queries to providing a queryless way to get to information: We can surface relevant information related to your interests, even when you don’t have a specific query in mind.
And the shift from text to a more visual way of finding information: We’re bringing more visual content to Search and completely redesigning Google Images to help you find information more easily.
Ben Gomes, Google SVP, describes it as “the next chapter of Search” and also mentions “neural matching technique”, which “…can enable us to address queries like: “why does my TV look strange?” to surface the most relevant results for that question, even if the exact words aren’t contained in the page.”
So, basically, Google discover is a feed, that helps you to discover fresh and interesting content.
Here is how Google discover looks like in the Google mobile app.
It is located just under the Google search bar.
If a topic card catches your eye, you can dive deeper.
As you can see, Google Discover is already available in different languages.
Google discover is different from news snippets, it also features evergreen content, which in fact can be old, but new for you.
For example, when you’re planning your next trip, Discover might show an article with the best places to eat or sights to see. Suddenly, a travel article published three months ago is timely for you. …Discover can predict your level of expertise on a topic and help you further develop those interests. If you’re learning to play guitar, for example, you might see beginner content about learning chords.
Also, Google Discover is available on google.com on all mobile browsers. Currently, I think, it’s only for selected locations.
Google claims, that Discover now has more than 800M monthly active users.
Here is my subjective view.
I think Google Discover makes traditional Google search experience more similar to Youtube or Instagram feed:
- more visual,
- “journey experience”,
- easier to navigate,
- without search queries.
If you have a Youtube channel, you may notice that suggested videos can be the biggest source of traffic, along with Youtube search.
Maybe, your site will receive more and more traffic from Google Discover suggestions, similar to Youtube videos.
Tracking Google Discover in Search Console
So, how to track Google Discover traffic to your site?
Google added a new Google Discover report to updated Search Console on April 10, 2019.
You can see this type of data from Discover report in the Search Console:
- How often is my site shown in users’ Discover? How large is my traffic?
- Which pieces of content perform well in Discover?
- How does my content perform differently in Discover compared to traditional search results?
Discover is available in the Performance section, just under Search results.
And here is how Discover report looks like in the Search Console.
It is very similar to a standard Search Report:
- Total clicks
- Total impressions
- Average CTR
You can also filter by:
- Discover Appearance
What I noticed in my case, that currently, only AMP pages get some clicks from Google Discover.
(It is super easy to enable AMP in WordPress with e.g. WP AMP plugin)
At the moment there are more questions, than answers about Google Discover…
Is Google Discover a ranking factor?
As it stands now, it is not a ranking factor.
If you receive more traffic from Google Discover, doesn’t mean, that your SERP traffic will grow.
If someone lands on your page via Discover, does that considers organic entrance and will this be a signal to rank higher in SERP?
— Denis ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@DenisYevseyev) April 10, 2019
Those seem like very different things.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 10, 2019
Can you identify Google Discover traffic in Google Analytics?
Good question — I don’t know :).
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 10, 2019
So, I will monitor and update you further, as this feature develops and we have more data. 😊
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