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Understanding The Algorithm of Google Discover

Understanding The Algorithm of Google Discover
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The digital landscape is crowded with ways to consume generic content. However, Google Discover allows people to find personalized content on their Google app. Discover is a curated feed of articles, videos, and news that match people’s interests.

Have you wondered, “What is Google Discover?” and “Why should I create content for it?” Understanding Google’s algorithm opens up opportunities for you to reach curious audiences.

This article will discuss the benefits your brand will enjoy when you appear on people’s Discover feeds. We will also explain the factors that determine the content Google recommends.

We will give you nifty tips to remember when creating content specifically for Google Discover. Finally, we will highlight practices to implement to ensure your content appears on this coveted feed.

Let’s begin.

Benefits of appearing on Google Discover

Benefits of appearing on Google Discover

Discover is an avenue that brings several advantages to any brand. Here are some of them.

Increased organic traffic

The Google mobile app has over 10 billion downloads on Android and iOS. Google constantly recommends content to all these users when they open the app. If your content matches many people’s interests, you have a higher chance of appearing on their Discover page.

The more people see your content, the more organic traffic your website receives. Organic traffic is an excellent signal for search engines to recommend you to more internet users.

Increased brand authority

Google Discover recommends credible websites that have valuable information. People who see your content on their Discover feeds will consider you an expert. If people click on your site and find your content has unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge, they will trust you as an authority in your niche.

Opportunities for reaching new audiences

People’s Discover feeds often include websites they are not actively searching for but may be interested in. If this happens, you gain exposure to new audiences whose interests align with your brand.

Increased audience retention

Think of the last time you read content that matched your interests. You probably returned to the website afterward to see if there were more pages you’d like. If your content appears on Discover, you might fit the reader’s preferences. Once they’re on your website, engage them further to keep them returning for more content.

Factors influencing content recommendations on Discover

Before you create content, you must understand what Google considers before selecting recommendations. Here are three critical factors that influence content selection.

1. Interests and preferences

User interest is a significant factor Google considers when recommending content on Discover. The Google App has settings dedicated to selecting interests. People can customize what they find on Discover and blackout particular interests.

As a content creator, brand, or marketer, you’re interested in how to make this feature benefit you. Here’s how.

Define your target audience

Trying to make content for everyone only ensures that no one sees it. Research your target audience’s demographics and psychographics to learn more about the topics they love reading about.

Create buyer personas

It’s a great idea to visualize your audience by creating buyer personas. Each persona should have your target audience’s characteristics, goals, and motivations. Create different personas and tailor content that each of them would enjoy. Doing so helps your content appear on many Discover pages at once.

Research your keywords

Keyword research is a crucial step that ensures your content fits people’s interests. Use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush to learn high-ranking keywords. Look at the keywords’ relevance because that’s likely what more people are interested in.

Research the interests of your competitors’ target

We promise that this is an ethical practice. Learn the interests your competitors are talking about in their content. Analyze their high-performing content and social media interactions to learn which themes and formats work for them. Incorporate these themes into your content to target their audiences or tap into new demographics.

2. Search History

Google considers people’s search queries and history to personalize their Discover feed. The more someone searches for specific topics, the more related content appears in their recommendations.

Unfortunately, you can’t access people’s search history. Therefore, the next best thing is to predict what they might search for online. Here are quick ways to stay one step ahead.

  • Create long-tail keywords to incorporate into your content. These keywords contain three or more words and are specific. For example, “Fun activities for children under 13 years in Hawaii.” 
  • Learn about user intent. Don’t worry; we’ll discuss this later in the article. Knowing people’s motivation helps you predict their needs when they click a search bar. 
  • Keep up with your industry’s trends, news, and developments. Most people search for trending topics; this knowledge helps you create content that addresses them. 

3. Location and language settings

Google loves personalizing content recommendations by considering people’s geographical location and language. Thanks to this factor, Google shows relevant local news, events, and topics on Discover feeds.

Here’s what you should do if you want to target location or language-specific Discover feeds.

  • Translate your content into the area’s local language. 
  • Incorporate cultural references that are specific to people in a target region. 
  • Create landing pages that mention local landmarks or events. 

4. Users’ feedback

Users’ feedback

Google considers people’s feedback on a recommendation to show more or less like it. Types of feedback Google looks at include explicit and implicit feedback.

Explicit feedback refers to when people deliberately dismiss or like a recommendation. They can toggle interests in the Google app settings they want to see. Implicit feedback refers to signals that Google uses to determine whether someone likes or dislikes content. Such feedback includes the time spent on an article or where they clicked while on a website.

Here are a few ways to make this factor benefit you.

  • Develop informative content that addresses people’s needs. People are more likely to give positive feedback when they learn new information from your content. Give solutions and advice that solves pain points your target audience has. 
  • Encourage people to voice their opinions, thoughts, and suggestions after consuming your content. Include ways for them to do so, such as polls, surveys, or comment sections.
  • Use analytics tools to learn about your audience’s behavior while on your site. These tools show you critical metrics such as bounce rates, time spent on a page, and click-through rates. You can use these metrics to learn people’s patterns and understand what content they enjoy the most.
  • Show your audience that you value their feedback by being responsive and proactive. Acknowledge and thank people for their feedback, and update them on any changes you make based on their suggestions. 

How to create content for Google Discover

It’s easy to forget that Google’s algorithm has to read your content before any human does. Google’s crawlers index your site to deem it relevant to people’s interests and browsing behavior.

While creating content that an algorithm reads may sound intimidating, it’s easier than you think. Here are points to abide by when creating content for Google Discover.

Create high-quality content

The best way to get on people’s Discover feeds is to create content that gives new insight into topics and answers your audience’s questions. Researching your audience’s interests and preferences is a great starting point. Learn what they want to see and what they are more likely to search on Google.

Next, include valuable information people can’t get elsewhere. This information can be advice, tutorials, and how-to guides. Make sure your content is the one-stop solution for people’s pain points.

Ensure your content is free of grammatical errors and typos. It helps to let a third party proofread your content and point out words or phrases that don’t fit. You can also use editing software such as Grammarly to polish your work.

When creating your content, cite credible sources and references to convince the algorithm and audience that your information is credible.

Focus on user intent

We mentioned user intent before and how it helps you predict what people search for. User or search intent is the motivation behind search queries. We can categorize these motivations into four distinct groups.

  • Navigational intent is when people look for a product’s or brand’s website.
  • Transactional intent is when people want to buy a product or complete a transaction. 
  • Informational intent is when people seek information about a product, service, or brand. 
  • Commercial or investigative intent is when people compare brands that offer similar products to decide which one to buy. 

Again, it’s challenging to determine what everyone is searching for online. Luckily, there are ways you can use to focus your content on intent.

  • Talk to your audience. It sounds simple, but it is so effective. Ask questions and review people’s feedback. They will give you firsthand insight into what motivates them to search on Google. 
  • Use keyword research tools to learn your niche’s most used search queries. Keywords such as “what is” and “how to” indicate informational intent. Keywords such as “discount” and “for sale” indicate transactional intent. 
  • Monitor your social media platforms. Pay attention to people’s conversations, questions, and discussions in your niche. 
  • Use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to learn people’s behavior on your website. For instance, a high time-on-page on your store page tells you that many people have investigative intent.

Focus on timely topics

Remember, Google Discover aims to show trending topics as they unfold. Rarely will you find content that talks about an event that happened several months earlier. You have to stay updated on industry news if you intend to get on people’s Discover feeds.

Following reputable industry publications and social media trends is an excellent way to stay plugged in. Afterward, chime in with a unique perspective on the trending topic. Give your analysis or expert opinions that add value to the conversation. Doing this differentiates your content from others covering the same topic.

Tips for getting your content on Discover pages

Now that your content is ready, we’ll highlight a few practices to ensure Google recommends it to people.

Optimize for mobile

Remember that people mainly access their Google Discover feeds on their phones. They also visit the websites they click on on their phones. You must refine your content for mobile. Use responsive design elements to ensure your website adjusts to fit different screen sizes.

Ensure buttons, links, and other interactive elements are large enough and well-spaced for people to easily click on them with a finger on a touch screen. Consider breaking up content into short paragraphs to make them more readable on a small screen.

Include high-quality visuals

Google Discover shows large image banners on its feed when recommending content. For this reason, use high-quality thumbnails, pictures, and gifs to catch people’s attention. Remember to include alt-text and captions.

Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

A web page’s load time can be why a significant portion of your audience bounces from your site before reading a single sentence. AMP is an open-source project by Google to lighten web pages and make them load faster. An AMP page is the bare-bones version of a regular web page. Read this guide on how to set up AMP on your website.

Diversify your content

Cover many topics within your niche to maximize your chances of appearing on Google Discover. These content variations should be in different formats, such as articles, videos, infographics, or podcasts.

Ensure you cover evergreen and trending content. Evergreen content refers to topics that are always relevant in an industry. Evergreen content has a longer shelf life (you can stay on the Discover feed longer), while trending content attracts immediate interest.

You can also repurpose your existing content into different formats and refresh them to make them relevant again. Doing so also ensures Google’s crawlers index your website and suggest it to more people.


Understanding the algorithm of Google Discover boosts your chances of appearing on the feed. While Google doesn’t disclose how the algorithm works, we can look at several factors influencing content selection. We can also determine the benefits you enjoy when Google selects your content.

Google shows content to people based on their interests, search history, and feedback. This article explains how to navigate these determining factors to ensure your content is front and center of the Discover feed.

Remember to create high-quality content that focuses on intent and trending topics. You must also optimize your website for mobile, include quality visuals, and diversify your content. The algorithm is dynamic, and there’s no guaranteed method to hack it, but the tips in this article are the next best thing.