Google Shows How to Optimize for Beta Discover Follow

Just as Google is now extending the data it shares with the Chrome browser to other Google products, including Google+, it seems it is now starting to share this data with other sites.

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Google has updated the documentation for a beta feature that enables visitors to subscribe to a website’s Google Discover feed. Users may follow a website and get notifications when new articles are published in their Discover feed.

The new functionality will be available to Chrome Android Beta users in the United States (also known as Chrome Canary).

Google has been testing this feature since May 2021, and documentation for it has just been published to Google Search Central.

Although the Discover Follow function is only available to a select group of users, getting in first and starting to build a devoted readership via Discover may be beneficial.

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Screenshot of Chrome Android Beta’s Follow Feature

How to Make the Follow Feature Work for You

Publishers are not required to do anything in order to be followed.

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Google does, however, suggest that publishers maintain an up-to-date RSS or Atom feed so that Google can detect new content.

Furthermore, Google provides a method for publishers to indicate which feeds may be followed in Discover.

“By default, the Follow function on your website utilizes RSS or Atom feeds.

If your website doesn’t have an RSS or Atom feed, Google will create one for your whole domain based on our analysis of your site.

If your website has one or more feeds, you may improve the Follow experience by specifying Google which feed you want users to follow for a specific page on your site.”

The feeds must be linked from the web page’s head section.

Feeding the Hub and the Leaf

Google mandates that the feed be added to what it refers to as hub and leaf sites.

The major landing pages, such as category and archive pages, are called hubs. The individual articles that the hub connects to are referred to as leaf pages.

If the site just has one feed, it may be placed in the header area of each page.

Feeds for each category should be added.

A publisher may also define a particular feed for each of the various categories, such as Business, Technology, and so on, using this hub and leaf feed structure.

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A single technology item from the technology area is used as an example by Google.

That article (and any other item in the technology section) may have a technology section feed similar to this:

Multiple Feeds Can Be Added to the Home Page

Publishers may also link several feeds to the main page, each of which corresponds to a distinct part of the site. The significance of such feeds is determined by their sequence.

The updated Google documentation explains:

“In order of choice, add several feeds. For example, you may want visitors to subscribe to the main page feed first, then the business section, and last technology. This information is utilized by Google to learn more about how various feeds are used on your site.”

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Should You Try Out Discover Follow in Beta?

It is not yet available to all Chrome users. However, it seems to be a nice opportunity to participate, even if it just results in a few new readers; anything that increases word of mouth is a positive thing.

Citations

Learn how to optimize for Google Discover in Google’s new documentation:

Your Website and the Follow Feature (Beta)

Read the original press release about the new functionality.

An Experiment in Using Chrome to Assist Users and Web Publishers in Forming Deeper Connections

In order to find out what your audience wants, you have to find out what they want. In order to find out what they want, you have to find out how they choose to search, what they’re looking for, and what they’re interested in. In other words, you have to optimize your site to whatever your audience is doing and whatever they’re interested in. This is exactly what Google has done with their new experiment: improving the way they show their search results.. Read more about google discover widget and let us know what you think.

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