Google Excludes Several Types Of Content From Discover
Just recently, Google told SEO agencies that they are updating their Google Discover policies to exclude five types of content from being recommended. With that in mind, online SEO agencies may want to think twice before publishing such content if they want to maximise the presence of their website.
Discover is a way for Google to give mobile phone users access to interesting content straight from their Google app. It is different from Google Search as it automatically selects the type of content that it shows to the user. The recommended articles are oftentimes based on a reader’s recent search history, among other factors.
The app gives the users more control, allowing them to block certain types of articles when Google recommends content that they don’t want to see. Some of the content may be timely while others are evergreen; therefore, it serves as a great platform for webmasters and SEO agencies to boost their site traffic.
With the search engine’s update, there are now five types of content that will be excluded from Discover: petitions, job applications, forms, satirical content, and code repositories.
In particular, websites that publish satirical content have noticed a significant decline in traffic from Google Discover. Satire is a type of content that makes fun of popular societal trends and politicians, and usually is written with exaggeration. Due to the nature of satirical content, some people tend to believe the story and mistake it for real news. This is especially true when confirmation bias enters the picture.
Confirmation bias refers to people’s tendency to seek out or interpret the information from the content they digest to support their existing beliefs. Let’s say for example that a person believes that a specific political party is corrupt and lazy. When they read a satirical news article about these politicians taking bribes while napping, there’s a good chance that they’ll actually believe this to be true.
For this reason, Google has updated their Get on Discover Support Page, describing the kinds of content that they will take out of their app.
Shortly after Google rolled out this new update, some websites reportedly lost traffic as a result. One search marketer in particular made a post on their LinkedIn account, saying that some content with exaggerated headlines may be labelled by Google as satire, even though the content itself is not satirical.
Websites and content that are removed by mistake are referred to as “False Positives”. These can occur when Google updates its algorithm system to prevent certain types of websites or content from showing on the search results.
Thankfully, Google does take feedback seriously, and it uses this to make improvements that will hopefully minimise instances of False Positive cases in the future.
Online SEO agencies and website owners are also advised to monitor their content to see if Google has falsely marked it as satirical. Publishers may also want to change the way they write their content and headlines to tone down “click bait” type exaggerations.
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