SEO

Google Discover All Ranking Factors

Tuhinaa Dey

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In the last article, I discussed why Google Discover is important for bloggers, newspapers, and businesses.

And, if success on Google Discover is pure luck.

I wouldn’t say it’s pure luck because plenty of small bloggers have achieved great success with Google Discover, though they have very little traffic from Google searches.

If done correctly, the ROI of Google Discover is huge! SEO takes a lot of time. On the other hand, some ‘tricks’ can get you an avalanche of traffic from Discover.

Google Discover All Ranking Factors
Google Discover All Ranking Factors

What are those factors?

Let’s start.

Google Discover Factors

I have been reading countless articles on Google Discover since 2020, and here are the factors that may get you into Discover.

I am writing them down point by point. Details and discussions of these topics will be in separate articles.

1. How famous is your website (aka Authority)

Whenever you open your Google app or Chrome app, most of the articles on your Discover feed are from famous news websites, such as the NY Times, The Washington Post, CNET, Fox, Goal, ESPN, etc. You will rarely see smaller websites. That does not mean smaller websites should give up. Since its release in 2018, Google Discover has gained over 800 million monthly active users. Heck, if you can bring in 0.125% of that traffic, it means 1 million monthly traffic! Who wouldn’t want to bring it on?

How to do it? That’s for another article.

This fame or authority directly correlates to the website’s visibility, which will be discussed next.

2. Visibility of the website everywhere on the internet

I am a football fan (which Americans call soccer). Google knows it and suggests content from Goal.com on Discover, Google News, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and EVERYWHERE! And yes, I am happy with it.

Takeaway: Don’t just lock yourself up in your room and start writing 100 articles daily. Heck, some people hire writing staff right away to blast tons of news articles per day. Stop! You need to post on Twitter, make YouTube short videos and long videos, post reels on IG, and even pay Google ads to promote some of your pages(Be careful; don’t promote pages with Adsense ads on Google ads.) Make all kinds of Social profiles for your brand (yeah, Brand, not just blog websites; you need to build a brand in 2024 for Google Discover success!).

See also  New Ways To Make Money by Blogging

Working on visibility directly or indirectly improves your E-E-A-T (another new boy in SEO country for the last two years).

3. Direct traffic (Push, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.)

This is huge! Why do you think those big newspapers take away all the benefits of Google Discover? Well, this authority EEAT BS is Okay, but it is also true that you randomly jump on those news websites whenever you can! Between work, lunch breaks, and boring dates. Our brain is always seeking dopamine from news.

You have probably also subscribed to their push notifications and email newsletters and joined their Whatsapp groups and Telegram channels. Whenever such notifications come, you enter the News Website and read 2-3 articles at a go, and all these contribute to direct traffic on Google Analytics.

That’s why they get so easily on Discover.

But wait, the articles must be indexed on Google before sending them to your subscribers. That’s when Google News comes into play.

After indexing on Google, send direct traffic using push notifications, WhatsApp, and Telegram to get it featured on Google Discover.

4. Google News Approval

If your website regularly publishes newsworthy articles that cater to trending topics, approval from Google News can get your articles featured on Google Discover.

Why? Because with Google News, your article will be indexed on Google within 30 seconds! Yeah, you gotta trust me.

You will not get much traffic from Google News; that’s for the big boys like the NY Times. In your case, it is just for very, very fast indexing. As soon as it is indexed, send direct traffic as discussed in point 3, and BOOM, you are on Discover!

Don’t worry; if you are not a news website, you can still get traffic from Discover and will not even need Google News approval.

5. Mobile friendliness

This is huge! If your website is not mobile-friendly yet, you are out of Google Discover, as simple as that!

Do whatever you can to make your website mobile-friendly for Google Discover.

Or, use Google AMP (not recommended anymore)

6. Google AMP

Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is kind of a legend itself. You must love or hate it, but you can’t ignore it.

See also  Google Discover: A New Hope

Nothing made me as indecisive as this one, whether to use AMP on my websites for Google Discover or not.

Use it if you want. It will immediately solve two crucial issues: Mobile-friendliness and Speed.

But plenty of articles appear on Discover without Google AMP.

Read: Does Google AMP Matter For Google Discover Traffic?

7. Speed

Your website needs to be fast! As fast as your website is, Google bots will find it easy to crawl. Not only bots, but people love a fast website, too. Also, speed immediately solves two of the three core web vitals, LCP and FID, probably upcoming INP. Overall, it improves the page experience. Here are my two cents on how to make your website fast with a good pagespeed score.

Google Claims Core Web Vitals Saved Over 10,000 Years In Load Times“-Search Engine Journal

8. Page experience

Page experience is many things, not only a 90+ score on Pagespeed tools. But that may help.

Remove all the clutters and pop-ups (yes, the email ones!) from your website. Yeah, emails are important. For that, you may think of using embedded forms and widgets. But for God’s sake, remove those exit intent forms where the ‘x’ button is invisible. They are annoying!

I only use in-page ads on my websites, not anchor, video, or vignette ads. I can’t annoy people with things I don’t like myself.

Go to any article on Discover; they are fast, clean, and have no intrusive pop-ups. Gotta keep the visitors happy!

9. Title of the article (For CTR)

Although Google says not to clickbait, it does help to some extent for Google Discover. You must leave the reader ‘dying with anticipation’ to click on your article. If you use generic headlines like ‘Best ways to earn money online’, people will probably not click. Instead, if you write ‘5 Proven Ways Linkedin Can Help You Earn Money While Asleep’, people will click it in the blink of an eye. This improves CTR, and Google loves high CTR headlines for Discover. Proof? Ask anyone for their Search and Discover traffic stats from the Search Console. Discover always has a higher CTR than search traffic.

But, you must write about proven ways Linkedin can make you rich while asleep in this article. If not, people will bounce out and never again click on your articles. Reputation is the way!

See also  Why Google News is Important for Google Discover

10. Image requirements (Also CTR)

Not only should the featured image be at least 1200 pixels wide, but it must also be rectangular. I use the size 1280*720, and I do it using Canva. Also, the centre of attraction should be near the centre, such as someone’s face.

Also, use the meta tag max-image-preview for this featured image. I use the Rank Math SEO plugin that automatically sets it up.

11. Content velocity and quality

Finally, don’t bombast your website with tons of garbage articles. Content velocity is essential, but one quality article every day will do more good than ten crap articles. Of course, when you have money, you can invest that in quality writers for more articles, and that’s what the newspapers do.

More content will always help. If you dream about getting insane traffic from Discover, you must be like a servant to Google. The more you serve them (content), the more they reward you.

12. Schema and Structured data

Schema is important for Discover. Remember, Google is a bot. It knows what your article is about by crawling the structured data/Schema.

What kind of schema? I have seen mostly articles, news articles, and blogposting schema used by the articles that surface on my Discover Feed. The recipe schema is also interesting. I successfully brought in huge discovery traffic to my mom’s recipe website using recipe schema.

Google Discover All Ranking Factors
Google Discover All Ranking Factors

13. Affiliate links

If you aim to make money from blogging, that’s perfectly alright. If you use Adsense or other ad networks, that is also acceptable. But, if you use affiliate links on your website, you will almost not get any impressions or clicks on Google Discover. I have observed this on the recipe website I maintain.

14. Region and language

Finally, you will mostly see articles in your regional language relevant to your locality. I see articles in Bengali on my Discover feed, mostly about my state, West Bengal. I visited Kashmir a few months back, and my Discover feed was flooding with Kashmir-related articles, but in the English language this time.

On some lazy days, I casually refresh my Discover feed all day. Someday, they run out of content, and I am surprised to see Google suggesting Bengali language Wikipedia pages of trending celebrities, even LinkedIn profiles sometimes!

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If you think I have missed any important factor, let me know on X (Twitter)

Conclusion

Alright! These are the factors I have noticed so far that improve your odds of success with Google Discover. If I find something new, I will update it here.


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