SEO for Google Podcasts
SEO is an ever-moving target, as Google and other search engines constantly update their algorithms and search policies, mostly to make them more exacting in how content is ranked. While some of it may seem to be a relentless and arbitrary moving of the goalposts to thwart savvy coders from gaming their systems, the changes are made to make end-user search results more relevant and precise. The secret to success in getting our customers top-ranking is not really a big secret: it’s 85% staying on top of all the changes, some of which are public knowledge, some of which require digging and reverse-engineering of what works.
Case in point: on August 12th, we received this email from Google Podcasts Manager on new information requirements which will have a major impact on how you do SEO for Google Podcasts. Here is an overview of their new policies:
A podcast that does not provide the required information cannot appear in Google Podcasts recommendations. The podcast can still appear in Google and Google Podcasts search results and users can continue to subscribe to it.
If you are using a podcast hosting provider, you can provide any missing information using your provider’s podcast management pages. If you edit your RSS feed directly, you can provide the information directly in the RSS feed. Here is a summary of the required changes:
All podcast RSS feeds must now include the following information at the show level to be eligible to appear in Google’s podcast recommendations:
- A valid, crawlable image: This image must be accessible to Google (not blocked to Google’s crawler, or require a login). See the RSS tag specifics.
- A show description: Include a user-friendly show description that accurately describes the show. See the RSS tag specifics.
- A valid owner email address: This email address is used to verify show ownership. You must have access to email sent to this address. See the RSS tag specifics.
- A link to a homepage for the show: Linking your podcast to a homepage will help the discovery and presentation of your podcast on Google surfaces. Learn how to link to a homepage in code.
- The podcast author’s name:A name to show in Google Podcasts as the author of the podcast. Does not need to be the same as the owner. See the RSS tag specifics.
Adhering to all the above is essential in doing SEO for Google Podcasts. The email ends with this: If your feed is missing any information and you are using a podcast hosting provider, you can provide any missing information using your provider’s podcast management pages. If you edit your RSS feed directly, you can provide the information directly in the RSS feed. On September 21st, any podcasts still missing any of these requirements will not be eligible for Google recommendations. They will continue to be searchable and be displayed on the user subscription list in Google Podcasts. Note that we will continue to crawl your podcasts regularly and can surface them in recommendations within 48 hours once all requirements have been implemented.
We will continue to keep you abreast of major search engine changes as we become aware of them. We know it’s a lot to keep on top of – which is why companies such as yours entrust their digital marketing assets – their websites, landing pages, podcasts – to our SEO team!
If you have any questions about these changes to Google’s Podcast policies or want to know more about infusing your media assets with proven SEO methods, email us at email@example.com.