Google wants to change how people discover audio content in search results.
In a recent interview, Zach Reneau-Wedeen of Google’s podcast team details the company’s plans to prioritize audio in the same way it does text, images, and video.
”Right now Google is really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.”
One of the ways Google plans to make audio content more searchable is to incorporate podcast metadata into search results.
That means, in addition to podcasts showing up when the title is searched for, podcasts could also be returned in search results when topics and/or people are searched for.
This would involve Google creating a way to learn what each podcast is about, and understanding the content of specific episodes.
”This is something Google has done extremely well for text articles, as well as for images and even more structured data such as maps. We can help with audio, too. It has the potential to help people find the best content for them in that moment, better than they can today.”
In a future where audio content is indexed like text it could open up an entirely new category for marketers— audio SEO.
If audio SEO became a thing it could give way to new forms of audio content altogether, such as spoken-word versions of articles, or short sound clips answering specific questions.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead to podcasters repeating words over and over again in attempt to rank for certain keywords.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!