Podcasts in SERPs: Is Audio SEO the Next Frontier?


What will the audio surface in the search?

The most obvious first steps are extensions to Podcasts, such as automated transcription as well as Full-Text (full-audio) search Both of these appear to be in the making. When you are able to browse within Google Podcasts, though, expect the search capabilities to expand to general Google search results.

The biggest question is the question of whether Google will display audio content directly or utilize the transcribed text. In certain situations it is possible that delivering audio clips will be a more appropriate match for the searcher’s intention. If you’re looking for a film clip or an item you experienced in a podcast and you want to return the original, it’s a more enjoyable experience than simply returning text. The biggest benefit, however it will be for voice devices, like Google Home. The return of audio will help fill a need for content on devices with voice capabilities and offer a straight connection to complete podcasts as well as other non-textual content.

How many podcasts should I begin?

We are in the middle of a slight revival in podcasts and the audio search could be the catalyst for this revival. Like always you can expect Google to roll out changes slowly and to test them over weeks or even months. If you’re already creating a podcast and you want to make it searchable via the search engines, ensure you’re part of Google’s Podcasts community and are adding and updating metadata that is currently available.

In addition to having clear audio in a format that Google can handle it, there’s likely nothing particular you’ll need to do later on to have the content transcribing. You might want to think about the way your content on audio is organized. Free-form content, although it definitely has a space, might be difficult to Google to judge. Does the subject matter of your show and each episode clear? Do you have a structure that a machine can possibly parse questions and their answers. Are there any concise takeaways perhaps a review at the end every episode?

The end goal is to require us to treat the audio we create in a more systematic and thoughtful manner. The development of Google across a variety of devices means that we have to be aware of the type of content will best suit the needs of our users. Are they looking for video, text, or audio? Each of these options is suited to a distinct need and a distinct gadget (or group of devices) in the broader search ecosystem.

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