Google’s John Mueller says Web Stories may be rolled out to search results in additional countries if more sites start publishing them.
Mueller states in the Google Search Central live stream from January 15 that this applies to all search features.
A site owners writes in asking Mueller if there’s any information about Web Stories coming to search results in other countries.
Web Stories are currently supported in search results in the United States, India, and Brazil. The site owner wants to be prepared for when Web Stories are supported in their country.
What we ended up learning from Mueller is site owners can directly influence Google’s decision to roll out search features in other countries. They can do this by laying the groundwork in advance.
I’ll explain what that means in more detail in the section below.
Site Owners Can Influence Google Search Changes
Site owners can expedite the roll out of new search features to their country by utilizing before until they’re officially supported.
For example, there are types of structured data markup that Google supports as rich results in some countries but not others. To name one, there’s the new Home Activities markup that’s supported in the US only.
If site owners in other countries start using unsupported markup, Google will notice it and take it as a sign that support for the markup should be rolled out more widely.
Here’s Mueller’s quote about this:
“With regards to us turning on individual features in individual countries, sometimes that’s a matter of working out the policies and working out the technical details.
Sometimes it’s also a matter of us being able to look into the data from the country and say: “Oh, lots of people are already implementing this structured data, maybe we should just turn it on.”
So in that regard if you’re tempted to try something like this out I would say go for it even if you’re not seeing all of the advantages yet.”
As it relates to Web Stories, site owners can prepare for an eventual roll out by creating and publishing them now.
Mueller explains that Web Stories are no different from normal web pages in terms of how they’re crawled and indexed.
The only thing that will change when further support is rolled out is how they’re displayed in search results and Google Discover.
Any site owner in any country can create and publish Web Stories right now. They’ll still be indexed in search results, but will not be displayed the way they are in the US. Here’s an example of what Web Stories look like in US search results:
“I don’t have any information on when new features will launch, particularly web stories in Australia. With web stories it’s important to keep in mind they are normal pages too, so you can already adopt and use these web stories on your web site and we will crawl and index them like normal pages.
When we start to show them more visibly you’ll see them a little bit differently in search results. You might see them more prominently in Discover as well. But essentially you can go in and implement these already.”
For more on getting started with Web Stories see these resources:
- Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin Officially Released
- Google’s 7 Tips for Web Stories & Video Series
- Google Web Story Strategies & SEO Best Practices
See the full discussion from Mueller in the video below: