Does Google Discover Spell the End for Your Content Strategy?

July 15th 2020       Sally Ormond       content strategy, Google Discover
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Google Discover is the search engine giant’s matching algorithm.

Google says you can’t optimise your content for Discover in the same way you can for the search engines, which is leaving content strategists and copywriters scratching their heads. Does this mean the end of content strategies?

What is Google Discovery?

Rather than showing users search results in response to a query, Discover delivers content based on what Google’s automated systems think is a good match with a user’s interests.

That means the content in Discover changes regularly to include newly published web content that is relevant to the user or reflects the user’s evolving interests.

Can you optimise your content for Discover?

Google Discover

First of all, Google’s quick to point out that content can’t be optimised the way you do it currently. In other words, don’t rely on it as a good source of referral traffic.

In a recent help document, Google gives the following recommendations for boosting the rankings of your content in Google Discover:

  • Post content you think users will find interesting
  • Use high-quality images in your content

The second recommendation means that the appearance of your content may influence the likelihood of a user clicking on it. 

Still sounds a bit vague, doesn’t it?

Luckily, Google has provided more recommendations for us to help us increase this likelihood:

  • Your page titles must capture the essence of your content, but using clickbait
  • Don’t use tactics designed to artificially inflate engagement (e.g. using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content to increase appeal, or withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about)
  • Don’t manipulate your content’s appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage
  • Create content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights
  • Always include clear information about authors and company who created the content along with contact information to better build trust and transparency with visitors
  • Use compelling, high-quality images in your content (large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview: large setting, or by using AMP)
  • Publish content that demonstrated your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness 

What should you do now?

Assuming you’ve already got a kick-ass content strategy in place with high-quality, professionally written content, you’re pretty much there. 

Just remember to give more consideration to your images and make sure the content you create is something your reader wants to read.

Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd: www.briarcopywriting.com

Tags: content strategy, Google Discover
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