Updated Google Discover Follow guidelines for 2023

What Is Google Discover? 

Google Discover launched in 2018, but if this is the first time you’ve heard of it, or are unaware of what it does, Google Discover is a feature on the Google Chrome app that recommends content to users based on search history, browser history, app activity and location. This allows users to stay updated on their favourite preferences and topics with real-time updates. When Discover first launched, the feature was getting over 800 million active monthly users, making it a lucrative and essential channel for businesses to connect with their audience.

In May 2021, Google introduced a new element to the Discover feature - Discover Follow. With the new follow feature, it became even easier for users to sort their Discover feed by relevance. They could now choose what websites, and even specific pages they wanted to see, depending on how the website publisher configures the site’s RSS/Atom feeds.

What’s The Difference Between Google News and Google Discover? 

Although Google News also exposes users to relevant new updates on brands consumers interact with, it is limited to new updates. Google Discover can pick up and display old content on your site too, as long as it is relevant to the user.

Why Discover Follow Is Good For Your Brand.

Everyone’s got a little carried away with how long they’ve scrolled through social media at least once or twice. Whether it’s flicking through your TikTok ‘For You page’, or tapping through Instagram and Snapchat stories, time just seems to accelerate away from you.

This is because the apps' technical algorithms, ensure all the content you see is relevant and interesting to you. This then leads to the body releasing dopamine, the feel-good chemical, which makes you want to continue scrolling.

Google’s Discover Follow feature acts in the same way. Setting up a feature that allows users to specifically choose what they want to see, means there is a higher chance of the consumer staying retained and scrolling down their feed for longer durations, thus increasing the potential reach of your website.

2023 Discover Follow Updated Guidelines.

With the new year now well underway, you should be looking at ways to maximise the reach and profitability of your business. As previously mentioned, Google’s Discover Follow Feed is a brilliant way to do this.

Google has now stated in their ‘Search Central Support Desk’ that in order to help Google understand what page you want people to follow, link your RSS or Atom feed in the <head> section of your hub and leaf pages.

Here is an example google gives - This <link> element would be on the Google Search Central Blog landing page (the hub page), and on each individual blog post page (the leaf page):

Head Page:



<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="https://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/amDG" />



<h1>Google Search Central Blog</h1>



Leaf Page:



<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="https://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/amDG" />



<h1>A new way to enable video key moments in Search</h1>



Google also states that to ensure your RSS and Atom feeds can be found:

  • Don’t block your feed with your robots.txt file.
  • Make sure that your feed is up to date like you would for sitemap files.
  • The most important content for the Follow feature is your feed <title> element and your per item <link> elements. Make sure your feed includes these elements.
  • Use a brief but descriptive title for your RSS feed, just like you would for a web page. Recommended: Google Search Central BlogNot recommended: RSS Feed or Central Blog
  • You can host your feed somewhere other than your domain; Google supports this.
  • If you redirect your feed, use a 3xx (redirects) HTTP status code so that Google can follow it.

For more information on how to optimise your RRS & Atom feeds, and how to specify more feeds, click here.

Additional Ways To Optimise Your Site For Google Discover. 

  • Make Sure Your Content Is Creative, Engaging, and Relevant.

Your content should be related and relevant to your audience and should also reflect your business activity. By doing this you will work with Google’s algorithm and will be labelled as a reliable source on the Discover page.

  • Have Mobile Optimised Pages. 

Due to Google Discover being a function on the mobile Chrome app, it is essential that your pages are optimised for mobile use, otherwise, you will be offering a poor user experience when people visit your website.

  • Have Multiple Languages Readily Available.

Open your site to international audiences. By doing this you increase the number of people that can visit your website.

  • Optimise Images.

Start by creating an intriguing thumbnail image that is relevant to the topic and reduce the size to a maximum of 1200 pixels, this will create quick loading times. High-quality images will majorly boost your Google Discover ranking

  • Build a Trustworthy Site.

Be sure to also focus on the technical side of your website. Google focuses on sites that have HTTPS in their URL. Failing to do so will result in a lower ranking.

Google Discover is available on all Android and Apple mobile & tablet devices. However, Google Discover Follow is exclusive to Android at this moment in time. To find out more about how to optimise your site for Google Discover Follow, visit Google Search Central, and keep an eye on our website to ensure you don’t miss out on any new exciting bits of technology, or updates that can help excel your marketing to the next level.

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