Google Discover SEO and Google Erratic Behavior

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From Google Discover examples related to my three sites it seems obvious that Google’s treatment of sites is erratic, illogical, and unpredictable. Absence of logic makes it impossible to understand the issue and how to apply Google Discover SEO.

What is Google Discover SEO?

Good question. I would want to know myself. Apparently, this is described in their Discover Content Policies and in their requirement for E-A-T.

Again, apparently, their search engines learn what users like and suggests new content based on past search activity and interactions with the Google Discover app.

Can you optimize for Google Discover?

The link given above show you more what you should not do, but there are some optimization practices suggested that should help in appearing on a user’s Google Discover feed. But keep reading…

Why you shouldn’t rely on Google Discover traffic?

I think I know the answer, and you will realize this from the text below. Google Discover is a totally unreliable source of traffic. It can ruin your online business overnight.

Do not believe? This happened to me last July which is supposed to be my best month for outdoor equipment sales. The income turned out to be 40% lower than in June, and normally it should be higher. This negative trend continued for the rest of the year until this very moment.

My examples

It is best to show some examples. So see how Google treated my three sites in the past, the screenshots show clicks and impressions from Google Discover feature:

As you see from the screenshots, in the first and second sites, there was a period when I did not have any traffic from Google Discover. So Google did not find my sites worth showing. Note that Google Discover was launched in September 2018, and my sites have been there long before that.

Then Google decided that they were good, and started showing them and I was receiving up to 25% of traffic in one of the sites. But then in the beginning of June 2021, Google decided that these same sites were not worth showing, and I lost lots of traffic in the best season (this is about outdoor equipment).

On the other hand, Google Discover ignored my third sites all the time until June 2021, and from that moment the site has had some minor traffic. Why?

So why such erratic behavior?

I have read their Discover Content Policies and there is nothing there that would justify what they are doing to my sites. I am also aware of their requirement for E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). In the latter, they write “No special tags or structured data are required. Please note that being eligible to appear in Discover is not a guarantee of appearing.”

This sounds fair enough, but…

I wish to stress that I did not change the style in my sites. It is the same as it was before December 2020 when my sites were not worth showing in Google Discover. Yet, after December 2020, Google decided the first two were good, and they appeared in Google Discover. However, the same sites again became worthless for this Google’s feature by the beginning of June 2021.

So I cannot understand why my two sites were good for half a year and them all of a sudden they were not worth showing. Why the third site was never worth showing before June 2021? It is the same now as it was before.

Should you care about Google Discover?

I think it is not worth it. Do your best and add value with your texts, do the usual SEO, and simply forget about Google Discover SEO. This all makes no sense. But there are some who think you should prepare your site for it, here is one lecture about this.

I would describe Google’s behavior as illogical, erratic, and unfair. My guess is I am not the only one, so share your thoughts in the comment box below.

You might want to read more about various similar issues in the category Search Engine Optimization. Thank you for reading.

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