So you built a pretty cool website and you expected to be flooded with organic traffic overnight and even upgraded your servers to support all the hits.
When you checked your analytics in the morning you had zero website visitors.
Welcome to the struggle, no one said it was going to be easy. Well, maybe a few gurus out thought it would be.
There are no silver bullets when it comes to gaining traction on Google or Bing. Although, there are a few shortcuts for getting a heavy burst of traffic pretty quickly.
Google Discover, which used to be Google Feed is becoming a big chunk of my traffic.
A while ago I had my first burst of Google Discover traffic resulting in 18,000+ unique hits to a single post in less than 24hrs.
This is probably the fastest way to see a huge spike of web visitors in the modern day of mobile feeds.
That being said, I didn’t understand why this was happening until I checked my Google Pixel and noticed my featured post.
In Analytics it was showing hits from Google’s API which I hadn’t seen in the past.
I wrote a few more posts and did not see this type of traffic and wanted to reverse engineer this success.
Turns out it all came down to a few important ranking factors and one factor in particular for Google Discover.
Once I repeated this same process on another niche website we saw upwards of 40,000+ organic website visitors.
There are hundreds of ranking factors that Google uses to determine where a result belongs on a search engine result page.
I’m only going to discuss the factors I believe are most beneficial for getting featured within the Google Discover feed.
- Social Signals: This is probably the most important factor I have observed. Think of these social signals as Google’s way of determining whether or not any given post will be well received. It’s a way to fast track any post you write to the top of the priority checks. I have had the most success with Reddit and you will find that have a minimum of five upvotes and a decent amount of engagement (comments + click-throughs) will give you the best shot.
- Relevancy: Remember Google Discover is trying to best match content with the user’s current trajectory. This means creating content that will be relevant to that person’s interest, which is why niche content is performing better than ever. Not only that, but with Google Discover, I believe Google is recommending familiar brand content that is relevant, so understanding your audience is very important.
- Recency: In most cases, people want the most recent solution to their answer. I assume this is because over time solutions will change, that’s not to say your old content won’t show up on Discover. As a matter of fact, an article I wrote a year ago that was shared and happened to be more relevant than any recently published content was on Google Discover. News articles will thrive on Google Discover as well, hints the Recency factor.
- Authority: Although not necessary, if Google sees your brand or identity as an authority for any given topic the algorithm will also be more likely to display your post over another website with similar content.
- Optimized: This should be common sense but if your website is not optimized for mobile and does not make use of modern schemas it will likely be overlooked. Google has recently announced the deadline for mobile-first search indexing is 2021 and some believe that Google Discover has already started adopting this factor. When I say optimized I am mainly referring to the page load speed and user experience. Take time to fix any issues you have with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.
There are a ton of factors to take into account when trying to rank higher but these are the most important factors I’ve found for Google Discover. You’ll probably notice I didn’t mention backlinks and that’s because I don’t think this is a major ranking factor for Google Discover.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I could make a commission from your purchase.