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Google Podcast Manager’s Improved Listener Insights

Google Launches Podcast Manager

Google has announced a feature that should interest podcasters, publishers and content producers. It’s called Google Podcast Manager.

The Google Podcast Manager dashboard now allows creators to see how well their podcasts are performing in Google Search.

Back in August 2019 Google announced that podcasts could be played directly from desktop and mobile searches, which is highly useful for those looking to broaden their SEO strategy and marketing campaigns.

For boosting Search visibility alone, podcasts offer easy wins, with Google now displaying podcasts across a variety of different surfaces, such as:

  • Google Search on all browsers, desktop and mobile
    • Users can play your episodes in the browser
  • Google Search App for Android (requires v6.5 or higher of the Google Search App)
  • Google Podcasts app for mobile devices
  • Google Home speaker system
  • Content Action for the Google Assistant
  • Android Auto in your car

Google Webmasters, via Twitter

“Podcasters can see impressions and clicks for Google Podcasts results that appear in Search, as well as top discovered episodes and search terms that led to their podcast.”

Google says that the Google Podcast Manager will come with three main benefits for producers:

  1. See what works, by the second. Creators will be able to find out when listeners are switched on, and when they switch off. Find out what your audience wants to listen to, and what they find boring in order to optimise your content.
  2. Understand new listening habits. See how listen habits differ across devices like smart speakers and mobile, while giving a broader understanding of how your content is discovered on Search.
  3. Reach listeners across Google. Log in and claim your podcast to ensure listeners can find it across Google Search, Google Podcasts, Good Assistant and more.

Podcast Manager offers content producers more tools at marketer’s disposal that will allow them to make informed choices, broaden a discovery strategy and will provide further avenues for organic discovery.

Brands and marketers will now be able to make data-driven decisions about the type of podcasts that do well and those that don’t – while the increased exposure across the Google suite *should* help a podcast gain fresh ears.

Google Podcast Manager provides data analytics, including:

  • Listens per show
  • Listens per show segment
  • How much of the podcast was listened to per show

How To Optimise Your Podcast For Google

Optimising your podcast for Google is going to be an important thing to get right here.

These new updates can offer content creators, brands and marketers some exciting benefits, but they’ll only be realised if you get the technical stuff done.

“Podcasters always ask us about how to optimise podcasts for Search, and while the guidance is similar for all surfaces where users listen to podcasts, there are a few things we wanted to call out that are particularly important for Search

  1. Include detailed show and episode metadata
  2. Make sure your podcast’s webpage and RSS data match: If you have a web page for your podcast, make sure the following data match the data in the RSS:
    • The title of the podcast show’s webpage and the title of the RSS feed match
    • The HEAD element of the podcasts show’s webpage contains a ‘link rel’ element that points to the RSS feed, and that the RSS feed in turn contains a <channel><link> element whose value matches the URL of the show’s webpage More details here
  3. Include cover art:
    • Google recently changed its guidelines to make cover art images in your podcast feed required, rather than optional. More details are here.
  4. Allow Googlebot to access your audio files
    • Google advises making sure that your audio files, the actual mp3s within your RSS feed, are able to be crawled and accessible to Googlebot
    • While this is recommended and not required, if we can crawl your audio files, it allows Google’s technology to use these files to understand the entirety of the podcast
    • Allowing Google to surface this podcast to users for a broader range of topics, as it better understands the full context of the episode, and aren’t limited to the description

To run alongside Podcast Manager, Google has also announced a new forum community for podcasters.

“For podcasters curious about how to optimise their podcast for Google, we’ve put together a few pointers in our newly launched Podcasts Manager forum”.

You can access the new forum community for podcasters here: https://support.google.com/podcast-publishers/#topic=9476973

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