Publish your content to millions of new readers on Google Discover

Matt Yau

As media consumption continues to move from paper to screen, the importance of finding innovative and reliable ways to distribute content becomes more urgent. That’s why Google is trying to find new ways to surface and suggest content to its 800 million readers on Google Discover.

So let’s dive deeper into what Google Discover is, how content can be found by readers and how you can start distributing your content to it quickly and easily with Press Publish.

What is Google Discover?

Google Discover is a news feed that surfaces content to readers based on their interests and web behaviour. This differs from Google Search where content is displayed based on ‘intent’ - the terms a person is searching for.

It opens up another avenue for content distribution that feels more organic than the mercenary world of keywords and search terms. Readers can find your content on Google Discover without actively searching for it which opens up your publication to a readership that Google believes will engage with your content, often because your publication is a topic authority.

So if you’re a sports publication, those who already read other sports titles could be shown your content. Or perhaps you’ve just published an exclusive interview with photographer Edward Burtynsky, then Google could show this content to people who have been reading other articles about Burtynsky, photography or climate change.

This ensures your stories are surfaced to relevant readers which will help you maintain high engagement rates on your articles, which in turn can lead to better SEO performance on them too.

How Google Discover can unlock your content strategy

Journalism isn’t always about hitting certain keywords. In fact, it can be detrimental to the writer’s story and their need to engage readers about a subject that can’t be summed up in a few tags. 

Google has recognised this for years and has endeavoured to protect their search algorithm from any SEO gamesmanship. They want a more holistic approach, and that’s why Discover attempts to act like an editor seeking well-researched, high-quality content from an authoritative voice.

But the strategy of becoming a topic authority doesn’t always generate SEO-friendly content. It might be easy to find content that tells you what space debris is but the leading developments on space debris removal won’t be so easy to find unless you follow the relevant publications.

When SEO ace Mordy Oberstein experimented with Google Discover, he found that it does indeed differ from Google Search. Instead of focussing on specific questions, Discover often serves content based on topics. This could benefit those who are topic authorities with the latest stories.

Google Discover seems to know that I've been reading about The Last of Us as well as doing research on a new impact driver.

What’s the difference between Google Discover and Google News?

Google News is a news aggregator focusing on breaking headlines, local news and weather. It works best for established news brands around the world who are considered an authoritative news supplier. 

As Google Discover works based on readers’ interests and web activity, it allows smaller publications to reach new audiences. It can surface evergreen content too as long as the content is well maintained and updated with new information. 

Google is continually updating Discover with new features, like the visually-led Web Stories. Features like this offer publishers new ways of engaging with readers to build loyalty.

Why use Press Publish to deliver your content to Google Discover?

Press Publish is a publishing tool that does all the heavy lifting to seamlessly deliver your content to leading content aggregators including Google Discover, Flipboard, Apple News, SmartNews and other major news platforms.

It does this in two easy steps to ensure publishers get peace of mind knowing that content is delivered 100% of the time to every major news app and platform.

1. Press Publish collects your content as soon as you publish it. No plugins, no coding, no fuss.
2. Content is optimised for every platform. Metadata is added and bloated code is removed.

Get started now and book a demo with us to find out how you can reach millions of new readers.

How is content surfaced in Google Discover?

Google Discover suggests content to readers based on their search activity, previously read articles and general activity on their device such as location settings. It’s fully automated so there’s nothing you need to do but ensure your content is well optimised. Furthermore, readers can also select topics and publications to follow – more on that further down. 

But Google Discover doesn’t just surface content based on the publications the reader visits. For example, if your readers have been looking at holiday destinations online, Google Discover may suggest content around this for inspiration.

It will even take into account the reader’s existing knowledge of a topic. Let’s say a DIY hobbyist has been searching about how to fill that hole in the wall they just made. Google may know that they’ve never searched this topic before and so Discover will only suggest content for new learners. This ensures content is as relevant as possible when it gets surfaced on Google Discover.

What influences what content is shown in Google Discover:

  • Search activity
  • Web activity e.g. previously read articles, frequently visited websites
  • Device activity e.g. location history, location settings
  • Reader’s existing knowledge of a topic
  • Selectable topics that reader can follow
  • The usual criteria for SEO-optimised content e.g. E-E-A-T algorithm

Will my evergreen content be surfaced in Google Discover?

Yes, it will. This study by SEMRush shows that around 16% of content shown in Google Discover is evergreen. Evergreen content is surfaced based on whether it’s relevant to the reader’s current web activity and topics they follow.

However, Google Discover has been known to favour trending or new content more. Therefore, you may want to occasionally review and update your evergreen content to ensure the content is still up-to-date and relevant. 

Submitting your publication to Google Discover

If your content is indexed by Google and meets Discover's content policies, then your publication should be eligible to appear in Google Discover. Of course, you still need to follow all the usual principles when it comes to SEO-optimised content too. To do this, you should be following the E-E-A-T algorithm

On top of that, here are some other tips you can implement to increase the chances of your stories appearing in Google Discover:

  • Ensure your content and website is mobile-optimised as Google Discover is a mobile-only app.
  • Use page titles that clearly tell the reader what your content is about, but avoid clickbait!
  • Use large, high-quality images. Large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting, or by using AMP
  • Don’t artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in your preview content (title, snippets, or images) to entice readers.
  • Avoid appealing to ragebait and doomscrollers with content that caters to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage. Google favours high-quality, expert content from authoritative sources.

As you see, this shouldn’t be much different to the current content guidelines you follow to produce high-quality content. 

Using a tool like Press Publish will increase your chances of appearing in Google Discover, partly because of the Follow feature.

Build a loyal readership by optimising your pages for the Follow feature

Distributing your content to Google Discover will help you reach new readers, but how can you help those readers stay engaged with your publication? 

This is where the Follow feature comes in. The Follow feature gives readers the power to follow websites and publications so that any newly published content from them appears in the ‘Following’ tab in Google Discover.

Discover uses RSS feeds, which Press Publish generates for any CMS. Multiple feeds can be used, so if an article is about photography, a specific feed can be added to this type of story, giving readers a hyper-targeted list of stories to visit.


It’s pretty noisy out there as you know. Cutting through that noise and getting your content in front of the right people only seems to get harder. Google Discover offers a new way for publishers, editors and content marketers to reach new audiences and drive higher engagement from their content. 

Discover appears to favour those who have a more holistic approach to content strategy and positioning themselves as a topic authority. Readers are always looking for better ways to find content, Google Discover is the next development in that quest.

Looking to reach new audiences with your content? Speak to us at Press Publish and we’ll help you distribute your content to Google Discover, Apple News, Flipboard and many other popular news aggregators.

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