Frustrated with Google Discover? Learn Here to Optimize Your Content & Reach Your Audience!

Ultimate Google Discover Content Optimization Guide | Increase Visibility

Content Roadmap

The popularity of Google Discover continues to rise, providing publishers and content creators an invaluable opportunity to reach new audiences organically without paid advertising. Optimizing your content for Google’s personalized feed can lead to a significant boost in website traffic, audience engagement, and brand awareness.

This comprehensive guide will explore how Google Discover works, why it should be a key focus for your 2024 strategy, and most importantly – how to crack the code on ranking highly and effectively using the platform to achieve your business goals. Follow these optimization best practices to unlock the immense potential of Google Discover this year and beyond.

Discover More with Google Discover

Google Discover is a content recommendation feed powered by Google’s algorithms that surfaces personalized content for users based on their interests, search history, location and more.

Appearing on the Google app and Chrome mobile browser, Discover has quickly become a popular destination for users to discover – and rediscover – content.

The Benefits of Google Discover

With its prime real estate on users’ mobile devices and its tailored, ever-updating stream of recommendations, Google Discover presents an immense opportunity to:

  • Reach broad new audiences outside your existing follower base.
  • Build lasting connections and loyalty with readers who regularly re-engage with your content.
  • Establish your brand as an authority within your niche with relevant, high-quality content.
  • Drive referral traffic to your site and boost conversions.

But with Discover’s focus on curating the most useful and engaging content for users, optimizing sufficiently requires an understanding of how the algorithm works and what engages its audience.

This guide will unravel the mystery behind Google Discover and equip you with actionable tips to optimize your way to success on the platform this year.

Demystifying Google Discover: A User-First Content Feed

Before diving into optimization strategies, it’s important to understand what Google Discover is and how it determines which content to serve users.

As a reminder, Google Discover is a personalized content recommendation feed designed to connect users with relevant and engaging content. Powered by Google’s algorithms, Discover analyzes a user’s interests, location, and search behaviors to provide a tailored stream of articles, videos, images, and more from across the web.

Unlike Google Search, Discover content is selected and ordered automatically by Google’s algorithms rather than a direct user query. The goal is to provide users with a seamless content experience that anticipates their needs and preferences.

Google Discover works by leveraging user data and signals to curate content it believes will be relevant and valuable to the individual user. Some of the key factors it considers include:

  • User interests – Based on search queries, browsing history, app usage, and more.
  • Location – Physical location and places the user frequents.
  • Past interactions – Content the user has previously engaged with.
  • Content quality – Factors like E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness).

The algorithm uses this data to build an interest and relevance profile for the user. It then matches this profile to content across the web to populate the user’s Discover feed.

Traditional Google Search is reactive – you type in a query and get results. Google Discover is proactive – it anticipates your interests and serves up content even before you search for it. Discover focuses less on specific keywords and more on understanding user interests over time.

Yes, you can! New websites can surface in Google Discover, though it may take time for the algorithm to understand your content and audience. Focus on publishing consistent, high-quality content targeted towards your niche.

No, Google Discover doesn’t require any specific code or tags. As long as your content is indexed by Google and follows their content policies, it’s eligible to appear in the feed.

Eye-catching images are definitely important, but it doesn’t mean you have to hire a designer. There are many resources for free stock photos and user-friendly design tools like Canva to help you create attractive visuals on your own.

Accessibility: Where Users Can Find Discover

Google Discover is available on the Google app for iOS and Android devices and the Chrome browser on Android. On the Google app, it can be accessed by swiping right from the home screen. In Chrome, Discover appears on the New Tab page.

This prime placement on mobile devices makes Google Discover easily accessible for users anytime they want to discover new content quickly.

Why Google Discover Matters for Your Business

Organic Reach & Audience Engagement

Reaching users through Google Discover provides two major benefits:

Free Visibility and Targeted Reach

Google Discover enables publishers to get content in front of interested users without paying for advertising. The platform’s algorithms actively identify and connect users with content tailored to their interests and needs.

This means your content has the potential to be discovered and engaged with by new audiences you may not have been able to reach through existing channels.

Driving Website Traffic

When users click through to your content from Google Discover, this generates direct referral traffic to your site. This incoming traffic from Google Discover can deliver significant results.

Google documentation states that “content that may appear in Discover includes a wide range of topics that aligns with a person’s interests“. For sites that build loyal followings through the platform, Google Discover can even surpass Facebook as the top traffic source.

The value of referral traffic from Google Discover lies not only in the sheer volume but in the quality. Since users see personalized content aligned to their interests, they are more likely to actually engage with your content rather than bounce away.

Google Discover vs. Google News: Understanding the Difference

Google Discover is sometimes confused with Google News, but the two serve different purposes:

Distinct Purposes

Google Discover

Aims to provide users content that matches their personal interests and habits, regardless of whether it is news. Discover includes news but also includes many other content formats.

Google News

Is an aggregator that clusters news stories on trending topics from thousands of publications.

Content Types

Google Discover

The Discover feed includes news but also surfaces other content like explanatory articles, how-tos, videos, images, and more. The key is providing users content they find useful and engaging.

Google News

Google News focuses exclusively on news content from reputable publications.

While Google News relies more heavily on publisher reputation, Google Discover uses many other signals to determine relevance and quality for the individual user.

Cracking the Code: How Google Discover Curates Your Feed

Google Discover’s aim is to provide each user with a personalized feed of content tailored to their interests and habits. So how does Discover determine what content to serve each user?

Data-Driven Personalization

The Discover algorithm relies heavily on data analysis to understand users’ unique interests and preferences. Some of the key data signals used include:

  • Location history
  • Web and app activity
  • Search queries
  • YouTube watch history
  • Device settings like languages and location services

By identifying patterns in this data, Google can categorize users based on their interests and surface Discover content aligned to those interest profiles.

Factors Influencing Recommendations

In addition to user data, other factors influence the content selected for each user, including:

  • Past user engagement – Content topics the user has previously shown interest in by clicking, sharing, etc.
  • Popularity – Trending topics and publishers gaining traction among other users.
  • Content quality – Factors like expertise, research, and production value.
  • Diversity – Mixing content types and viewpoints.

Continuously analyzing these signals allows Discover to balance personalization with showcasing timely, high-quality content.

Content Variety in Google Discover: Articles, Videos, and More

One of Discover’s strengths is its diverse content formats, including:

  • Articles – From news sites, magazines, blogs, and more.
  • Videos – YouTube videos, clips, shorts, and live streams.
  • Images – Photos, illustrations, and visual stories.
  • Web Stories – Full-screen, tappable visual stories.
  • Discovery Ads – Promoted content that fits with users’ interests.

This variety caters to different user preferences for consuming information. For publishers, it presents more opportunities to engage users in the format they may be most receptive to.

Optimization best practices generally apply across these content types, with some additional format-specific considerations covered later in this guide.

Building Connections: Following Websites and Topics on Discover

An important but sometimes overlooked Discover feature is the ability for users to actively follow websites and topics of interest.

Illustration of the follow feature on google discover

The "Follow" Feature

When users find a source they like on Discover, they can click "Follow" to receive ongoing updates from that publisher. Users can also follow specific topics to always see relevant content.

Frustrated with google discover? Learn here to optimize your content & reach your audience!

Staying Updated

The "Following" tab on Discover shows users the latest content from sites and topics they follow. This content is automatically updated on an ongoing basis.

Content control illustration about discover

Content Control

Within their Following feed, users can control the frequency of updates for each site or topic. So they see new content at the desired cadence.

For publishers, this creates a channel through which their most engaged users opt-in to receiving content updates directly through Discover. This represents a significant opportunity to build lasting connections and habitual readership.

Mastering Google Discover: 5 Optimization Strategies for 2024

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how Google Discover works, let’s get into concrete optimization strategies you can implement to maximize your success on the platform this year.

Strategy One: Crafting High-Quality Content

The Foundation of Discover Success!

At its core, Google Discover is designed to surface helpful, trustworthy content to users. So focusing on creating comprehensive, well-researched content should be the basis of your approach.

Comprehensive Coverage

Strive to provide thorough analysis and in-depth information readers can’t find elsewhere. Avoid thin content that simply rehashes the basics. Share original insights and diverse perspectives beyond the obvious.

Research and Credibility

Conduct extensive research and back up claims with credible sources and data. Facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-world examples strengthen credibility.

Strategy Two: Title Optimization

Since Discover only shows your title and a snippet of text, crafting compelling titles is crucial.

Best Practices

  • Use keywords naturally to help match user intent.

  • Show value by communicating the benefits readers will gain.

  • Spark curiosity with thoughtful wording to entice clicks.

  • Keep it concise – under 60 characters is ideal.

Title Formats

  • Question headlines – Turn the topic into a compelling question.

  • Numbered lists – “10 Tips for…”

  • How-to – “How to Choose the Right…”

Capturing Attention and Driving Clicks!

Strategy Three: The Power of Visuals

Images allow publishers to make content more visually engaging on Discover.

Impact of High-Quality Images

Large, eye-catching images are more likely to capture attention as users scroll through Discover.

Enable the “max-image-preview:large” structured data setting for the best image display.

Choosing Thumbnails

Select images relevant to the content that arouse curiosity. Close-up portraits and creative compositions tend to perform well.

Using Compelling Images

Strategy Four: The Role of E-E-A-T

Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is a key Google ranking factor that also influences Discover eligibility and ranking.

E-E-A-T and Content Quality

Striving for high E-E-A-T signals to Google that your content is insightful, reliable, and transparent – the type of content Discover aims to recommend.

Demonstrating Expertise and Experience

Share author credentials and qualifications related to the topic. Cite experience researching or working directly in the field.

Establishing Trust and Authority

Build site authority with thoughtful content, clean design, and transparency around owners, mission, and business practices.

For insights about what E-E-A-T is all about, you can read: A Brief History of E-E-A-T

Strategy Five: Fostering Engagement

Building a Community Around Your Content.

While harder to directly control, active user engagement with your content is a signal Google rewards.

Encouraging Interaction

Prompt comments with open-ended questions. Make it easy to share socially. Welcome discussions but moderate if necessary.

Responding to Feedback

Reply to comments and concerns. This shows users their perspectives are valued.

Unlocking Growth: Your Path to Google Discover Success in 2024

Hopefully this guide has shown that with the right optimization strategies, Google Discover presents an immense opportunity for publishers to expand their reach, engage new audiences, and drive traffic growth.

Here are some key takeaways as you chart your course for Discover success in 2024:

  • Focus on creating genuinely helpful, authoritative, and engaging content – This builds trust and loyalty with users.

  • Leverage formatting best practices like strategic headlines, optimized images, and readable layouts.

  • Analyze performance data to identify successes and improvement areas. Refine your strategy accordingly.

  • Stay up-to-date on Discover features and algorithm changes. Adapt quickly to continue connecting with your audience.

The competition for Discover real estate will only grow, but staying focused on optimizing for the needs of users and Google will set you up for sustainable success.

Measuring Success: Google Discover Insights and Analytics

Tracking key metrics is crucial to understanding your Google Discover performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Google Search Console

The Discover report provides data like:

  • Impressions – How often your content was shown.

  • Clicks – Click-through rate shows engagement.

  • Average position – How high your content ranks in Discover.

Use this data to: Identify your best-performing content. Look for downward position trends. Set click-through rate benchmarks.

Google Analytics

Track Discover traffic using UTMs or the Source/Medium report.

Analyze engagement metrics like pages per session, bounce rates, and goal conversions.

Tools like Google Data Studio help create custom reports to surface insights.

Use your findings to double down on successful content formats and subjects. Identify weak points like low engagement pages to improve.

Dont do this!

Six Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some key pitfalls to avoid in order to improve your Google Discover presence:

Clickbait titles

Misleading titles hurt your credibility over time.

Low-quality content

Well-researched, in-depth content is rewarded.

Bad mobile optimization

Ensure fast load times and easy reading on mobile.

Ignoring E-E-A-T metrics

Build author expertise and site trustworthiness.

Inconsistent publishing

Regularly publishing quality content is best.

Bad image optimization

Use large, eye-catching images. Images dimension should be above 1200px width

Future Trends: The Evolving Landscape of Google Discover

While the core focus on personalization will remain, Google Discover is expected to continue evolving.

  • Advances in personalization and AI will allow more tailored, timely content for users.

  • New content formats like interactive content, podcasts and augmented reality may emerge.

  • Increased social integration could enable easier sharing and discovery through social platforms.

  • Shifts in user behavior will influence the types of content users want to see on Discover.

As Google Discover adapts to users’ changing needs, maintaining focus on creating high-quality, engaging content optimized for the platform will be key to staying ahead.

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.