Google Podcasts Search Results and SEO

Google has podcasts in search results!

Neat! Google has yet another feature to push down the ten* blue links, encourage people to never click through to your website, and take credit for your content! Alright, that’s a little more cynical than I usually am but, I’m not wrong.

*your number of blue links may vary

These rich results for podcasts first launched in 2017. Initially, they displayed as a list of playable episodes under an organic listing. Now, podcast search results show up as a card carousel high up on the results page.

Screenshot of Google search results for "stuff you should know" podcastsScreenshot of Google search results for "stuff you should know" podcasts

My Chrome browser isn’t the only place you will see these Google Podcasts search results either; you can also find them in several Google-owned and operated properties and services:

  • Google Search in any browser
  • The Google Search app for Android
  • The Google Podcasts app
  • Google Home
  • Content Action for the Google Assistant
  • Android Auto

So, How Do I Get My Podcast in Google Search Results?

The first step, after “get yourself a podcast” is to publish your podcast to Google Play Music. It’s a straightforward process that includes creating an RSS feed and having a website that links to the RSS feed.

  • Create an RSS feed for your podcast and follow the episode-level requirements
  • Have a website for your podcast and link to your RSS feed from the homepage
  • Don’t block any users or crawlers from your website with passwords or robots.txt, etc.

Once you have verified and published your podcast, it will be available in the Google Podcasts app and eligible for all the search display opportunities Google has to offer podcasts.

Is There Such a Thing as Podcast SEO?

Anytime a website and Google are involved, there is going to be an opportunity for optimization. And, from what I can tell, there are not a lot of podcasts out there that are optimized for organic search. I mean, two of the three podcast results for “productivity podcasts” use an episode title of “Productivity.”

Screenshot of Google search results for "productivity" podcastsScreenshot of Google search results for "productivity" podcasts

It also looks like Google is still trying to interpret search intent with a lot of “podcast” related searches; probably because there are podcasts out there for practically everything!

For example, trying to find out which type of schema markup to use on podcasts brings up a handful of pages that don’t actually answer the query and a Google Podcasts result with podcasts talking about structured data. The eighth organic result is the info I needed:

Screenshot of Google search results for "podcast schema markup"Screenshot of Google search results for "podcast schema markup"

Podcast SEO Best Practices

So, with all of that in mind, here are some SEO fundamentals for podcast SEO:

  • Get a dedicated website for your podcast
  • Don’t gate or block your content
  • Create a unique page for each episode
  • Use your target keywords in all the right places like the URL, title tag, and meta description
  • Your podcast episode title and page title tag do not have to be the same and should pass the Blank Sheet of Paper Test
  • Have a summary introduction on the page
  • If you have episode transcripts available, get those on the page
  • Use the schema markup for OnDemandEvent on each podcast episode page
  • And submit your podcast to Google Play Music along with everywhere else

There you have it. As the art of podcasting continues to grow and gain more momentum, it will become even more necessary to make sure yours is well positioned and easily accessible through Google search results. By following these best practices, you’ll be set up for success. Happy podcasting!

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