[Method] How to get your site on Google Discover

roydan

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Jr. VIP
Dec 17, 2013
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Google Discover is the Google News equivalent for non-news sites. It is a feed of content from around the web. It can potentially bring hundreds of thousands of users to your site, regardless of whether your site ranks well on Google Search.
Most of this type of traffic comes from the US on Android phones, so bear that in mind, too.

Screenshot at May 17 08-53-12.png

This is a follow-up to a short case study I wrote for optimizing content for Google Discover, so if you got featured, make sure to check it out, too.

This method is quite simple and consistent. I tried it with every one of my sites, and today they’re all featured on Discover. It may have not worked in the first time, but it never took my more than 2-3 times (once I figured it out, of course).

How Does it Work

The Idea here is to show Google that your content is interesting and engaging. Please note that I wrote ‘show Google’ and not ‘make Google believe’ because if your content sucks, even if it were to show up on Discover, it wouldn't perform, and you’ll stop appearing.

Technical Requirements

There are a couple of requirements you need to meet:

  1. Well-written content that is not promotional.
  2. A well-optimized, fast site (preferably with AMP)
  3. Your content must include an image that is at least 1200px wide.

The Method

We’ll post our newly posted article to a relevant subreddit that accepts the type of content you’re about to share. It’s important because you don’t want the crazy bastards from Reddit to tear you apart just so the mods can remove the post after a few minutes. This is also the reason you need your content to be good.

Your content must be brand new because the newer it is, the better your chances of success are. You can see that even if the content is really good and engaging, it naturally dies after a few days:

Screenshot at May 17 08-51-48.png

Write a few words, add a link to the article, and post it to Reddit. Buy a few upvotes, more than you need to be on the top of the Subreddit.
If you can, buy some comments from aged accounts (This is the part I struggled with the most) to show that your content is engaging. Include some believable compliments, questions, and remarks on specific parts of your content. It has to look real. If you don't have a reliable source for this, your content must be of the type that gets this type of comments on its own.

Make sure your featured image is great, as well as your headline. You can afford to go over the Google search character limit a bit, but don’t waste characters on your site name. I went over some more best practices here if you’re interested.

An ideal scenario is that over time, you'll be constantly on Discover, no matter if your articles are hits or not. Remember that Google needs some filler content, too.

Screenshot at May 17 08-50-08.png

Sometimes it won’t catch Google’s attention right away. You can get featured within a couple of hours, the next day, or not at all. If your content weren’t good enough, you’d have to try again with another article. Save your most interesting content for this.

Good luck.
 
I don't get it. I need to create a viral effect for Google to pick up the site?
Can I use other means of social signals instead of reddit to create that viral effect?

By that logic normal niche content should be suitable for discover too if it gets traction on reddit right? (I have seen niche articles on my discover feed sometimes)

What exact triggers the content to get picked up by Discover? If you can elaborate that part I'll be glad :)
 
Google Discover is the Google News equivalent for non-news sites. It is a feed of content from around the web. It can potentially bring hundreds of thousands of users to your site, regardless of whether your site ranks well on Google Search.
Most of this type of traffic comes from the US on Android phones, so bear that in mind, too.

View attachment 256498

This is a follow-up to a short case study I wrote for optimizing content for Google Discover, so if you got featured, make sure to check it out, too.

This method is quite simple and consistent. I tried it with every one of my sites, and today they’re all featured on Discover. It may have not worked in the first time, but it never took my more than 2-3 times (once I figured it out, of course).

How Does it Work

The Idea here is to show Google that your content is interesting and engaging. Please note that I wrote ‘show Google’ and not ‘make Google believe’ because if your content sucks, even if it were to show up on Discover, it wouldn't perform, and you’ll stop appearing.

Technical Requirements

There are a couple of requirements you need to meet:

  1. Well-written content that is not promotional.
  2. A well-optimized, fast site (preferably with AMP)
  3. Your content must include an image that is at least 1200px wide.

The Method

We’ll post our newly posted article to a relevant subreddit that accepts the type of content you’re about to share. It’s important because you don’t want the crazy bastards from Reddit to tear you apart just so the mods can remove the post after a few minutes. This is also the reason you need your content to be good.

Your content must be brand new because the newer it is, the better your chances of success are. You can see that even if the content is really good and engaging, it naturally dies after a few days:

View attachment 256499

Write a few words, add a link to the article, and post it to Reddit. Buy a few upvotes, more than you need to be on the top of the Subreddit.
If you can, buy some comments from aged accounts (This is the part I struggled with the most) to show that your content is engaging. Include some believable compliments, questions, and remarks on specific parts of your content. It has to look real. If you don't have a reliable source for this, your content must be of the type that gets this type of comments on its own.

Make sure your featured image is great, as well as your headline. You can afford to go over the Google search character limit a bit, but don’t waste characters on your site name. I went over some more best practices here if you’re interested.

An ideal scenario is that over time, you'll be constantly on Discover, no matter if your articles are hits or not. Remember that Google needs some filler content, too.

View attachment 256500

Sometimes it won’t catch Google’s attention right away. You can get featured within a couple of hours, the next day, or not at all. If your content weren’t good enough, you’d have to try again with another article. Save your most interesting content for this.

Good luck.
Did reddit improve the chances of your content getting into discover? Have you ommited the reddit part on a single post, from a site that already appears on discover.

I just want to know if reddit truly does have an impact not just a coincidence.

Nevertheless, thanks for putting this together
 
So, We don't add our post somewhere other than Reddit? Google will automatically catch it?
Can I use other means of social signals instead of reddit to create that viral effect?
What exact triggers the content to get picked up by Discover? If you can elaborate that part I'll be glad :)
I just want to know if reddit truly does have an impact not just a coincidence.
I'm sure there are other methods other than Reddit, but this is what I found. I'd be more than happy to find another reliable way to do it because I hate Reddit lol

The way I see it, is that Reddit is perfect for passing this type of signals to Google because they can easily understand the traction of the article and the sentiment of the comments. I never had success with FB groups on that regard because it had fraction of the reach similar Subreddits have.

The goal here is to get the site whitelisted in Discover, not just the post. So the signal must be stronger, I believe.
 
BTW, the feature image does not have to be 1200px plus wide.
I have posts on Google Discover with 800px-ish wide image.
1200px is a good image size though.
You know, you are the second guy saying that to me recently. I took the requirement for 1200px from here, but I guess that wouldn't be the first time Google are not entirely honest with their requirements or signals, so...
 
You know, you are the second guy saying that to me recently. I took the requirement for 1200px from here, but I guess that wouldn't be the first time Google are not entirely honest with their requirements or signals, so...
Yes, 1200px is the recommended minimum image width for most web purposes. Everyone should aim at 1200px wide when possible, especially for new projects/sites you build.

I'm just saying you don't necessarily have to change your images to 1200px simply for getting into Discover, especially when large images not fitting your current design.
Images like 1000px or 800px are fine. The balance of the image, UX and your site design is the first thing you should worry about.

However, I always go with 1200px wide images for most of my sites.
 
Can this work for a Local Service site? I have published approx 250 articles in the blog section.
 
If a post you shared on reddit goes viral.....only the same post will get traffic from discover or there are chances to get traffic other posts from your site?
 
Can this work for a Local Service site? I have published approx 250 articles in the blog section.
I assume, but never tried.
If a post you shared on reddit goes viral.....only the same post will get traffic from discover or there are chances to get traffic other posts from your site?
No, the idea here is to whitelist the site to appear on Discover. If one of your posts get there, it means that your entire site can technically be featured. Once it is whitelisted, your posts can appear there with or without using Reddit.
If I have a post that I want to make sure is featured on Discover, I try this, too, to increase my chances. But once you're already whitelisted, the CTR a post have once it in the feed is more important than external signals.
 
My site is already whitelisted, but there was only 2 posts that receied high amount of traffic. I receive daily traffic from discover but the numbers are low 100-150.
 
I actually got into google discover last year, which got me over a million clicks. Sadly for unknown reasons, discover just decided to no longer feature me :/
It was great while it lasted; any idea what could cause a site to be removed from discover whitelist ?
 
My site is already whitelisted, but there was only 2 posts that receied high amount of traffic. I receive daily traffic from discover but the numbers are low 100-150.
Try to increase the posts' CTR by improving the featured image.

I actually got into google discover last year, which got me over a million clicks. Sadly for unknown reasons, discover just decided to no longer feature me :/
It was great while it lasted; any idea what could cause a site to be removed from discover whitelist ?
Sometimes it's for weird reason, but more often than not you can be included again by improving the site speed and even by just adding AMP.
 
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