All About Google Discover Feed and How You Can Take Advantage of It

All About Google Discover Feed and How You Can Take Advantage of It

SEO-wise, Google Discover brings us to a whole new era. An era where people won’t have to search the internet anymore. 

Up until now, a typical search engine query looked something like this. 

An online user types their search query in a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The search engine consults its database (index) for the best answer possible.

The user queries and Google produces relevant results. That’s the essence of SEO. As a website owner and SEO, your work is to work with search engines to give users what they want when they search the internet.

Enters Discover. 

YouTube video

Essentially, Google Discover takes the first step out of the equation. Instead of waiting for the user to reach out to them for answers, it gives it to them before they can even ask.

Google has many years of collected data. They have data on almost everyone using the internet. That means they don’t have to wait for you to tell them what you’re looking for; they can anticipate it. Manually, how’s this even possible?

It’s simple. All these years, we’ve fed Google with likes, preferences, trends, dislikes, and other information about your daily life and perceived reality. 

Now, Google is sated and is feeding us back. That’s how Google feed was born.

It doesn’t just stop there. In discovering our likes, preferences, trends, etc., Google has also been rediscovering itself. 

So, What’s Google Discover, and How Does It Work?

Google Discover is a Google app, Android, and iOS feature that provides users with a feed of content and answers relevant to their interests, needs, and preferences. 

Google leverages the information they have gathered about you over the years through its various products to deliver this.

For instance, it checks your Gmail and Google Calendar for important events and checks search history to determine your interests and preferences. Not just that. It also considers your location to suggest the best driving times, local events you can attend, and many other services you might be interested in.

Other Google services, such as YouTube, are also part of this.

How It Works

YouTube video

Google Discover gathers content from different sources, including blogs, news outlets, and YouTube channels. Users can follow the topics they like and receive more content from such topics in the feed.

What else? They can save articles, videos, blog posts, and other types of content for later viewing.

Google Discover also serves content from the various Google products, including Google maps and search. The function has evolved over the years to show more relevant results to users.

For example, if a user decides to follow a topic such as “cat videos,” Discover will begin to show more cat videos to that particular user.

If a user saves an article about cryptocurrency, Google will show more cryptocurrency posts to that user. 

In other words, Google Discover is a powerful tool for online users to discover new information and stay up to date on topics that interest them.

The History of Google Discover? 

Google Discover isn’t a new Google product like most people love to assume. As with many Google products, Discover has undergone several name changes.

The function debuted in 2012. At the time, it went by the name Google Now. It produced information in the form of Google Now cards, each with a useful snippet.

For instance, if you ordered a product online and received a tracking number via a Gmail account, Google Now would produce this information in a card without you having to [necessarily] look it up.

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The cards would also contain information about easy access to airline boarding passes, upcoming events, etc.

Google has kept this feature over the years. At some point, they stopped calling it Google Now and gave it the name Google Feed instead. 

The same feature still exists today, only that it goes by the name Google Discover. And in many ways, we suspect Google Assistant (which only supports basic voice commands) might be its successor. 

How Google Feed Came to Be Known as Google Discover

Google Feed was a success if you look at it closely. Once it proved its worth, Google decided to invest more in the concept. 

The investment came with a complete rebrand, with Google reintroducing Google Feed and Google Discover. As you can tell, Google has always wanted to step into the world of social media. 

And Google Discover is how they plan to achieve that. Since rebranding, Google Discover has attracted over 800 million users. 

Improvements that Came with the Google Discover Rebrand

Google revealed its intention to revamp its Google Feed feature when it rebranded in September 2018. That was part of their three-tiered shift in how they approach to search.

The biggest shift was to provide users with a way to get the information they’re looking for without them providing a query in the first place. 

Google Discover uses AI to provide suggestions on the user’s Discover feed based on their search history, previous activities, information from the apps and websites they interact with, location settings, etc.

The more the user interacts with the feature, the more Google learns their habit and serves more relevant content.

Why Google Discover?

What Is Google Discover, and How Do I View It on My Phone?

The Discover algorithm is always learning and evolving and, as such, becoming even more accurate with time.

That means the more people continue using the function, the more likely they will see the content they’re interested in – and the more likely they’ll find articles, blog posts, videos, and other content pieces they’ll enjoy.

In addition to tailoring content to the user’s needs and interests, Discover offers many other benefits. For example, it ensures users have the latest or the most up-to-date news in their respective fields. It also helps them learn and discover new products and services.

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Google Discover helps users connect with like-minded people. It’s also an excellent way to explore new topics.

You can use the tool to find new and interesting content topics to which you otherwise may not have been exposed. Ultimately, Google Discover makes the internet more enjoyable and informative to the user.

Is Google Discover Revolutionary?

Google Discover is a revolutionary content discovery tool that’s changing how people consume information. It uses artificial intelligence to produce relevant articles, blog posts, videos, and other types of content based on your tailored interests.

The personalised approach ensures you always see content that’s relevant to you. That allows you to stay up-to-date on the content you care about. 

The tool also offers many features that make it easy to find and consume new content. For instance, it allows you to save articles for later or explore related topics. 

The innovative approach to content discovery and consumption means the tool has the potential to revolutionise how people interact with content.

Suffice it to say Discover is a game-changer for internet users. Users no longer have to stay tethered to their mouse and keyboard or scroll through dozens of search engine results to find what they want.

Discover saves you from all this by delivering the content you prefer directly to your feed. The tool uses AI to personalise your experience and ensure you see the most relevant results.

What are Google Discovery Ads?

YouTube video

Google Discovery ads are all about helping online users discover your products and brand. The visually rich, mobile-optimised clickable image ads use Google signals from the websites people visit, videos watched, map searches, and app downloads to target potential customers.

Discovery ads aren’t served at random. They’re based on user intent. They’re a powerful way to reach new customers more likely to be interested in your offer.  

Google Discover runs across Gmail Social and Promotions tab, mobile YouTube home feed, and, most importantly, Google Discover feed.

While social media ads are still viable, Google is positioning Discovery ads as a workable alternative for ROI and reach.

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How to Optimise for Google Discover

The Google Discover feature gives you more opportunities to optimise your site for SEO.

Get Your Website Verified and Verified in the Google Search Console (GSC)

You can start by getting your account verified and indexed in the GSC. 

It’s also important that the website doesn’t violate any of Google’s policies and, even more important, that it passes Google News Standards.

In addition, you must ensure your content follows EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Otherwise, the content won’t rank or even be indexed.

Avoid Click baits for Titles

Click baits are misleading. They might get users to click on them, but they won’t keep them on your page.

You want to stay away from them. As with any Google opportunity, quality reigns supreme on Google Discover. 

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The more helpful and practical your content is, the more it will appear in users’ Discover Feeds.

Click baits are also associated with spam. They only lure the user in but do nothing to keep them on your webpage.

So, with every new article or post you create, you want to come up with a captivating title that accurately describes what the content is about.

For example, if the post is about making an omelette, the title must reassure the reader that they will have an omelette by the end of reading it, and the article is how they do it.

Produce Timely Content

Google Discover can only get better with time. The more users interact with it, the more it understands their needs, preferences, and interests.

The more Google Discover evolves, the more its content gets better.

You can game the system, but be sure google will catch up on your ruses sooner than ever. So, instead of overoptimizing your content for Google Discover, focus on producing quality content and making it valuable to the reader. 

Optimise for Mobile

Every new content post you create must be optimised for mobile.

Remember, most Discover users access content via mobile devices. For this, you want to ensure your content looks as engaging and captivating as it does on desktops.

Use High-quality Images

Images draw the attention of users scrolling through your content. Too bad the same can’t be said about low-quality, unflattering images. Instead of pulling users in, they drive them away.

First, you must ensure the images are at least 1200px and set to a max-image preview, large.

The website must have other images besides your site’s logo and feature images. You also want to include infographics, graphs, screenshots, hand-drawn images, and animated graphics.

Incorporate Structured Data

Google loves structured data.

The more structured your content is, the higher it will rank.

The idea isn’t to use several pieces of schema markup data but to try and provide as much information as possible. 

Help search engines understand your content and why they should highlight it.

Leverage Google Web Stories

There’s a Google version of Instagram stories, and it operates almost similarly. 

And yes, you can use it to draw more attention to your content. 

But unlike Insta stories, Google Web Stories are distributed freely. They’re not restricted to the Discover platform.

They can be published anywhere. 

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Google Web Stories (GWB) took the place of Amplified Mobile Pages (AMP) stories in May 2020. It would go on to launch on WordPress that same year (in October).

Consumers love Google Web stories because they’re engaging and captivating. Digital marketers, on the other hand, love them because they’re multifaceted and can appear in various places on the internet.

Understand Your Category

Your content has a better chance of appearing on Discover if it falls into particular categories. 

Note that not all categories are similar. While some are easier to get featured on, others are as competitive as you could ever imagine.

Search engine journals studied this and found that 46% of the posts appearing on Google Discover were news, while 46% were ecommerce sites. 

Popular categories such as finance, travel, education, automotive, and B2B only make up 1 to 2% of the posts.

If you’re among the 1 to 2% category, don’t be quick to write off Discover. The 1% might seem negligible, but it still translates to millions of clicks.

Suffice it to say regardless of which category your content falls into, optimising it for Google Discover is an excellent strategy for driving massive traffic to your website.

How to Access Google Discover

Google app is, by default, installed on any Android device. There’s a fair chance it’s also installed on your iOS device. If it’s not, we suggest you install it. 

Go to App or Google Play store and search for Google App to download and install the app.

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To access Discover, open the Google app once installed and scroll down below the search bar. 

You’ll see a list of cards for Google discover. Each of these cards contains a link to a post or content piece that Google thinks you’ll love. 

The results shown on Google Discover are based on the videos you watch on YouTube, the content you search on Google, and many other factors.

You’ll see a “Tap to Update” popup button on Android. Clicking on this button, you’ll see information similar to what Google Now offered back then. You’ll also see cards showing tomorrow’s weather, scheduled appointments, flights, and upcoming bills.

Google Discover and SEO

Google Discover should be part of your SEO strategy. 

That’s because it helps users easily discover the content they’re interested in faster. 

It ensures users are only seeing content that’s relevant and useful to them. That can lead to more engagements, stay-up time, and conversions. 

Plus, Google Discover isn’t restricted to new content. It also shows older content so long as it’s still relevant to the user.

That allows you to gain exposure from your older content, hence more traffic and leads. 

A General Overview of Google Discover Interests

How to personalize the Google Discover feed on your Android smartphone | Digital Citizen

To understand Google Discover interests, the Search Engine Journal analysed over 700 Discover interests. 

Although the sample size is extraordinarily tiny, the study provided some pretty helpful insights:

Interests Related to Entertainment and Sports Were the Most Prevalent.

Take a look at your Discover feed; chances are most of the results you see will be sport-related. Most users reported that their feeds were mostly filled with sports updates and news. 

Focused mainly on the User’s Hobbies and Activities

What do you do in your pastime? 

Whether it’s baking, deejaying, or beekeeping, there’s a good chance that will constitute the bulk of the results you see on Google Discover.

The results will be primarily dominated by content on your after-work activities. 

Brands Have a Strong Online Presence 

Most of the submissions on Google Discover are from strong brands and local businesses. 

Google values and trusts strong brands. They know they can be reliable and that their content can be trusted. 

So, they’d rather go with a brand they trust instead of picking any random brand. 

And while it aims to suggest new content to users, it also pays close attention to the restaurants and stores that you visit.

Statistics and Research Findings About Google Discover

What happens to the content that appears on Google Discover? 

News Sites Hog 99% of the Clicks

While news accounts for only 46% of the URLs on Google Discover, they hog about 99% of all the clicks that these links get.

That’s because Google shows news content to a broad audience while the other types of content only target a small audience with specific interests.

Simply put, Google serves the same news content to everyone but breaks down the rest according to interest, preferences, and other factors and only serves it to a specific segment.

That makes Google Discover one of the biggest traffic drivers for news publications. 

Blog Posts Are Prevalent Across Industries

While non-news sites only command 1% of the clicks, they’re dispersed across various industries.

The most popular type of content across industries was blog posts. 

For news content, 97% of the content comes in the form of news articles, while the remaining 3% comes in the form of video.

For ecommerce, 39% of the content found on Google Discover is in the form of blog posts, 49% are products, and the remaining 12% is information on special offers.

For the entertainment industry, blog posts cover 83% of the content, while videos cover 16% and products 1%.

Travel content is 43% blog posts, 53% special offers, and 4% products.

As you can see, blog posts claim the giant share of the content that appears on Google Discover. 

It was also discovered that these blog posts were highly relevant to specific interests and hobbies, such as nutrition, makeup, and hiking. 

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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