Audio Search, Audio SEO, and Podcast Help - Google experts are already working on it

    According to Podcast Insights, the number of US residents who listen to podcasts on a monthly basis has more than doubled in the last 5 years. Therefore, Google decided to think about the implementation of a full-fledged search for such audio recordings. Due to this approach, the IT giant plans to double the number of podcast listeners, not only in the US, but around the world.

    More about this news and possible plans of the company, we will tell below.

    Photo by Jakob Härter CC

    What has been done

    Today , specialized applications such as Castbox, Pocket Casts and Podcast Go are most often used to listen to podcasts . These are relatively closed ecosystems, so it can be difficult for the average person to navigate in a series of special showcases for podcasts and themed web radio stations.

    To remedy the situation, Google made the podcast releases part of the search results - they appear on the page along with text materials and pictures. Today, Google Search and Google Assistant services on Android already know how to search for podcast names. To make the podcast appear in search results, the company introduced a set of instructions for content makers .

    If you enter the podcast name in a search engine, the last few releases appear in the results list. A Play button will appear next to them, allowing you to immediately start listening. There is a “Other issues” button that leads to a personalized podcast page. Here you can subscribe to the show and find the rest of the releases. There are also traditional sections “In the Trend”, “The Best” and tops in the categories “Comedy Shows”, “Science”, etc.

    Also, Google has already implemented the integration service for listening to podcasts with Google Home. You can ask the voice assistant to include the podcast. For example, suffice it to say: “Okay, Google, turn on the Hackable podcast”. And the “seamless” switching function is supported when the user can start listening to the podcast on his phone, and then continue on the smart speaker. YouTube and the Netflix streaming service work in a similar way .

    What is planned to do

    Displaying podcasts in search results is only the first step. Google intends to implement a search for audio recordings. As the company's specialists say , the engine handles the search by text, images - a similar approach will be implemented for audio.

    For example, if you type the name of a book in the search box, a podcast will appear in the list of results with its discussion. In the same way, it will be possible to find issues about specific people, movies, news.

    In addition, Google plans to develop ways to support the authors of audio content. Currently, advertising is the main monetization tool, however, for some podcasts (for example, NPR and Radiotopia), Donate buttons are already integrated when searching through Google Search on Android devices. In the future, it may be possible to add support for Subscribe with Google, which helps subscribe to online publications - magazines and newspapers.

    Future prospects

    In addition, Google plans to explore several other areas related to podcasts. For example, one such initiative is audio SEO. We are talking about the mechanisms that would allow to “raise” one or another podcast in search results. For example, if the release of a podcast is the answer to a question asked by a search engine user.

    Representatives of the company say that, perhaps, in this case, a new kind of podcast will appear: "Maybe pokdaster will start making releases shorter and more specialized." Now the company is testing this concept with a video - for this they launched a project with celebrities answering questions from their fans.

    Photo of Gauthier Delecroix CC

    Another direction in which the work is being done is the recommendation of audio content. That is, the creation of a mechanism similar to the one that uses YouTube. When you finish listening to a podcast release, the system will offer another podcast that may be of interest to you.

    Google also plans to use geolocation and a type of listening device to make a list of recommendations. People listen to podcasts in various places. According to Podcasting Insights, 49% of people listen to them at home, 22% - in the car, 11% - at work. In each of these scenarios, different devices are used: smartphones, personal computers, laptops.

    Because the recommended audio content will adaptunder certain circumstances - for example, when listening in a car, a user can receive content that will not distract him from driving. So far this is only a concept, but now it allows content creators to think about in which case their podcast will suit the listeners the most.

    By the way, if you are interested in audio technology, then you can pay attention to our podcast “Sound” , in which we discuss new trends from the world of Hi-Fi, technology and audio formats.

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