Google Discover’s Documentation Gets an Update

2 min read

The Google Discover documentation has been revised to explain why traffic from Discover can vary and should not be considered dependable.


Google Discover


Discover is a personalized content feed tailored to users’ interests, often derived from their search history. It’s an integral feature of Google Search.

For instance, if someone searches for baking recipes, their Google Discover feed may display related content. Google typically showcases recently published articles on specific subjects. If Google identifies WordPress as a user’s interest, it may trigger the display of the latest WordPress news in Google Discover.

Unlike keyword-based Search, there’s no direct way to optimize content for visibility in Discover. However, there are methods to ensure that a website aligns with Discover’s criteria.

Yet, it’s important to note that there’s no direct method to optimize a website for increased traffic, specifically from Discover. The primary way to boost traffic from Discover is through the Discover Follow feature.

The Follow feature allows users to select publications they enjoy, which will appear in their Discover feed’s Follow section.


Three Factors Behind Fluctuating Discover Traffic


While Google Discover traffic can be highly beneficial, relying on it as the foundation for a business model is not advisable due to its inherent unpredictability.

Google’s recent documentation outlines three key reasons for shifts in Discover traffic:

  1. Evolving Interests: Users’ interests and preferences can change over time, leading to fluctuations in the type of content they engage with on Discover.
  2. Content Variability: Discover’s algorithm considers various content types, and alterations in the types of content it promotes can affect traffic patterns.
  3. Google Search Updates: Changes and updates to Google Search algorithms can indirectly influence the content and visibility within Discover, resulting in traffic variations.

  1. Evolving Interests: The Diversity of Topics

Topics span a spectrum of categories. Specific issues remain in the spotlight due to ongoing news coverage, such as local events, software developments, or scientific breakthroughs. Others follow seasonal patterns, like turkey recipes, for instance. Then there are those of general interest, characterized by fluctuations that can be challenging to predict.

Google’s recent documentation highlights that an individual’s interest in a particular topic can diminish. Consequently, Google may display fewer articles on that topic, reducing the publisher’s traffic.

  1. Diversity of Content

Google affirms that the assortment of content featured in Discover can undergo adjustments. Similar to conventional search results, these changes aim to present content that aligns with users’ interests.

According to the updated documentation:

“Discover consistently showcases a range of content, including but not limited to sports, health, entertainment, and lifestyle-related material sourced from various corners of the open web.”

  1. Google Search Updates

Modifications to Google’s search algorithms can have an impact on Google Discover traffic as well. Systems are in place to assess signals of utility and value, influencing the selection of content highlighted in Discover.

Google’s documentation offers guidance:

“Given that Discover is an extension of Search, algorithm updates can occasionally lead to shifts in traffic patterns.”


Google Discover: An Unpredictable Traffic Source


The central objective of this new section is to offer insights into the unpredictable nature of Discover traffic.

If a website relies heavily on Discover traffic, creating fresh content on topics that demand regular updates could be beneficial. However, it’s essential to recognize that this doesn’t guarantee a consistent influx of Discover traffic, as three significant factors could potentially lead to its sudden decline.

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Shilpi Mathur
[email protected]