Google’s Discovery Feed Experiment Goes Desktop

2 min read

Google is currently in the experimental phase of extending its Discover feed to the desktop, hinting at a possible significant transformation of its traditionally straightforward homepage.

Google is in the process of testing the inclusion of the Discover feed on its desktop homepage. The Discover feed is tailored to maintain user engagement through personalized content. The introduction of a desktop version of Discover has the potential to boost referral traffic to publishers substantially.

Google is currently conducting an experiment that could extend the availability of its Discover feed to desktop users.
The Discover feed offers recommendations such as news, weather, sports scores, and stock prices directly on the Google homepage, alongside the familiar Google search bar.
Google has officially confirmed the testing of the Discover feed on desktop but has limited this trial to users in India. MSPowerUser made the initial discovery of this test.

The desktop version of the Discover feed closely mirrors its mobile counterpart, featuring algorithmically curated news, entertainment, sports, finance, and other content. Posts are presented in a horizontal carousel format.
Introducing Discover to the desktop represents a significant shift, considering that Google’s iconic and minimalist homepage has remained unaltered for over two decades.


Why Introduce Discover to Desktop?


Google’s experimentation with Discover on desktop may increase user engagement on google.com.
As users often bypass the homepage and go directly to search via their browser bars, integrating Discover could lure searchers back to the homepage, encouraging them to browse through recommended stories.
From a publisher’s perspective, Discover offers a fresh avenue for promoting content organically without the need for advertising. However, this expansion also intensifies competition for limited placements on Google’s high-traffic homepage.


Possible Global Expansion?


Should Discover prove successful in its testing phase, Google may consider a global rollout on desktops, similar to its mobile implementation. This move could significantly increase referral traffic to news and content websites worldwide.
The extension of this experiment beyond India remains to be determined. In the past year, Google has dabbled in introducing personalized content modules to desktop searches, including features like news, weather, and stock tickers.
Currently, the iconic classic Google homepage remains the norm for most users. However, including the Discover feed suggests that Google is actively exploring ways to maintain the relevance of its homepage in an age where search bars are nearly ubiquitous.


More About Google Discover


Google introduced Discover on mobile devices in the United States 2018 and later expanded its availability globally. The feed is now a regular feature on the Google homepage for mobile users in more than 100 countries. Extending this feature to desktop users would introduce it to an even larger audience.
Discover occupies the entire Google homepage on mobile devices, while in desktop testing, it appears more compactly beneath the central Google search bar. This approach enables Google to maintain its iconic minimalist homepage design while incorporating personalized content.
When users click on a story in Discover, it directly takes them to the publisher’s website rather than a Google-hosted content page. This approach makes it more publisher-friendly than Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and emphasizes directing traffic to publishers.


In Summary


Google is initially experimenting with introducing its Discover feed to desktop homepages in India.
This trial signifies a possible shift in Google’s renowned minimalist homepage design.
Should the test yield positive results, Google may consider a broader rollout of Discover on desktops, similar to its mobile implementation. If you need help with this, explore our monthly SEO packages, where our experts can handle it.

Shilpi Mathur
[email protected]