10 Unique Features Of Content That Performs Well On Google Discover


Businesses are constantly striving to improve their visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, etc. to drive traffic and increase sales. Having an effective SEO campaign is crucial to be visible before to potential customers. Google introduced Google Discover to show a personalized feed of content for users even when they are not searching. Top performing content on Discover has certain unique characteristics and hiring SEO content writing services is the best option to optimize content that will rank well on this feature.

Google Discover helps curate feed for the users based on their interests, search history, location and activity in other apps. At present, Discover is available only on mobile devices or accessible via the Chrome or Google apps on iOS. Unlike traditional search queries where users input a query, Google Discover anticipates user behaviour to surface new and interesting content. The feeds of articles displayed on Google Discover are entirely customized for each user and this makes it difficult to monitor the average ranking of a given article. While Google Discover give you another opportunity to attract organic traffic, it needs an SEO strategy that is different from regular SEO.

A Search Engine Journal article listed 10 key takeaways observed on analyzing 7,274 URLs receiving traffic in Discover from 23 different domains in different categories listed by Similarweb:

  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Home and Garden
  • News and Media
  • Pets and Animals
  • Sports
  • Vehicles

According to the report, the 10 characteristics of content that will rank well on Discover are as follows:

  • Headlines that have Emotional Value: Google has made it clear that clickbait headlines may lose visibility. Emotional headlines that are not clickbaits got more clicks and click through rates among the analyzed set of URLS. Some of the headlines that got more than 500,000 clicks from Discover in the last 16 months are “ this heart breaking moment”, “stuns the world”, “under this 1 condition”, and “following this simple pieces of health advice”.
  • Headlines that Pose Questions: Another technique that can drive maximum click through is with headlines that has a question. This makes the users to click on the article to get the answer. Headlines with questions like did__ say __ ?, did__ do__ ?, was __ wearing __ ? and so on received over 15% CTR from Google Discover. While these types of headlines might not be accepted as satisfactory by Google’s SEO algorithms, they tend to attract Google Discover users, driving high CTRs.

    headlines questions
  • Covid-related Content: After analyzing several URLs, it was found that sites were able to get more traffic from Google Discover from articles and topics where they have never seen notable traffic from regular search. EAT (expertise authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) is a vital factor that determines the ranking of website on Google Discover. However there are discrepancies in calculating EAT across Discover and regular Search.

For content that was COVID – 19 related, authority was found to be one of the most important factors for ranking in SEO since the onset of the pandemic. The analysis found that articles that were related to the COIVD–19 pandemic gained more traffic from Discover and the same articles received no clicks from Google’s organic search.

  • Evergreen Topics: While Google prefers time sensitive news like Top Stories, Google News etc., Google Discover can show content from many years ago. This is good news for websites that are not able to post new content consistently. Their evergreen content would continue to show up in Discover if it meets all the other requirements.

  • The Content Performs well in Discover and Google Search is Different: Even both fall under Google, both Google Discover and Google search have different ranking criteria and strategies. With the emergence of EAT, the quality of the content has become important than ever for SEO. But the criteria that content needs to meet for Google Discover are different, which may be due to the unique behaviour of Google Discover users and their penchant for fun or light- hearted content in their feeds, which is not fixated on EAT.
  • Consistent with the User’s Beliefs/political Views: Another observation from the analysis is that the top-performing content in Google Discover tends to feed into the existing political or social beliefs of its readers like articles that encourage outrage or adoration about political figures, celebrities, or the royal family.
  • Topics on Discover can Work Better than Search when Users didn’t Realize they were Looking for It: SEO is effective only when users search for a specific topic. On the other hand, content on Google Discover is like that displayed on social media platforms. So Discover content succeeds even when users didn’t realize they’re searching for it. This means that traditional SEO keyword research will not work with Google Discover. To perform well in Discover, you need to focus on topics that resonate with the emotion of your target audience.

  • Topics that Generate Emotion or Controversy: Topics that generate controversies, emotions or empathy in people do well in Google Discover. Discussions about marriage, death, divorce or drama are examples. Emotionally charged content was found to perform significantly better than all other content.
  • Gossip: The analysis also found that that celebrity gossip as a category receives a huge share of Discover traffic. This is an interesting point, especially as organic traffic and visibility has declined in recent years for these types of sites in Google Search, News, and Top Stories.
  • Listicles: The appropriateness of “listicles” as an SEO strategy continues to be a controversial topic in SEO. This type of content is structured in such way that it either leads to a poor user experience or too many ads. However, listicles perform better on Google Discover. Articles that follow this format have seen evergreen traffic from Discover in the past 16 months.


When it comes to Google Discover, content optimization requires a different strategy. Performing well in Google Discover will likely stem from a content strategy similar to that used on social platforms, rather than a keyword-research-driven, E-A-T focused organic SEO strategy. A reliable NYC SEO company can help you implement the right content strategy to perform well on Google Discover.