When Google Met Podcasting


When Google Met Podcasting

According to Fast Companyin March 2018, Apple surpassed 50 billion podcast downloads.

The interest and growth in podcasting has taken a sharp upturn in the last couple of years when you consider these numbers:

  • In 2014, there were seven billion podcast downloads.
  • In 2016, there was 10.5 billion.
  • In 2017, it went to 13.7 billion.
  • Just one year later we sit at over 50 billion all time ever downloads and streams across Podcasts and iTunes.

Much has changed since Apple launched its native podcast app back in 2005, possibly the biggest of which is Google’s announcement that they are ready to take on the podcast landscape.

This is huge news to anyone who has ever picked up a microphone. It means that, finally, Google will be treating podcasts as premium citizens in the Google landscape; meaning, your podcast episodes can be indexed and used for ranking on your website (see, told you that was big news!).

So, given all the rumblings in the ‘podverse’ regarding what this all means, I thought I’d add my two cents worth to the mix from a business point of view.

In this article, I’m just going to talk about the really big hitter … Google.

Google’s original mission was, “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” When you consider that, you can see how podcasting would fit very nicely into its charter. Until recently though Google was ‘deaf’. It relied on show notes or other text-based content in order to recognise the hard work being done by podcasters.

With this announcement coming from Google’s Podcast Product Manager, Zack Reneau-Wedeen, “Our team’s mission is to help double the amount of podcast listening in the world over the next couple years”, you can almost feel the podcast ground shifting beneath our feet.

Globally, according to Fortune magazine, Apple held 15.2% of the smartphone population at the end of 2017. Yet iPhone users are 10x more likely to be listening to or creating podcasts. In part, I believe this is due to Apple’s decision to include a native podcasting app from the early days, while Android users need to navigate to find podcasts through a quagmire of various disjointed apps or websites.

Google’s decision to begin indexing podcasts means that episodes will begin to feature more frequently in peoples’ web searches. Which in turn means that you will be able to click directly to a podcast episode via a Google search.

What that really means for podcasters is this: Your show, and your specific episodes, are about to be exposed to an entirely new audience of people.

Future Google projections are that, with the assistance of your podcast metadata, Google will be able to search within your episode. So, topics, people or subjects mentioned within your episode will then begin to rank as people continue to search for those topics.

That, my podcasting friends, is a game changer.

There is so much more to come, and I’ll continue to update you as more information comes to light. For now though, if you are a podcaster or you’re considering starting a podcast, here’s what you need to be considering:

  • Are your show notes and supplemental materials clearly outlining your episode topic and subjects within? Are you making it easy for Google to index not only your text but your show as well?
  • Do you make each episode easy to consume as a ‘one off’? Considering you may be reaching millions of new potential listeners, could they listen to episode 32 of your show and understand it immediately? Or does your show have assumed prior knowledge?
  • Have you got a dedicated homepage for your podcast? Part of Google’s ranking requires your podcast to have its own page. Read all of Google’s Podcast
  • Have you listed your podcast with Google Play? No? You should probably prioritise that one, see Google’s Add a podcast using an RSS feed.

Lastly, from a commercial point of view, it’s time to up your game with your own podcast. Be ruthless, get some clients and associates to listen to what you have created and to give you some hard truths.

Is your content compelling? Are you editing and producing your episodes? Is your podcast a good representation of your brand? If all of that sounds a little overwhelming, but you see the long-term potential in a podcast as part of your overarching marketing strategy then maybe it’s time to call in a professional to help.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Renee Hasseldine

    Wow! As a podcaster, I’m super pumped about this news. Thanks Tracy!

  • Sandra Muller

    I am about to create my first podcast. Google indexing the podcast is something I’d never thought of. This is great news 🙂

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