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 One amazing news from Google I/O 2019 was that Google would soon start showing podcasts in search results – Audio SEO. “Soon” cropped up to be very soon, as I’m already viewing these results in search engines. So, here’s a search for the podcast, MozPod:

Meanwhile, the feature is so interesting, and the detail that the important result comes to Apple while the episodes come to Google is compelling. However, the data out of I/O pointed to something more compulsive– that Google might soon be indexing podcast content and displaying audio clips in search results.

Does Google transcribe audio content?

At present, is this feasible? Yes, it is. I know that Google has provided us with a speech-to-text service as part of the Google Cloud Platform since 2017, which has, up to now, been going through some iterations and upgrades. Earlier this year, Android Police chalked up source code modifications that have pointed out that Big G was proactively transcribing a few podcasts on the Google Podcasts platform.

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I got confirmation of this capability in the broader Google ecosystem.

When it comes to a search engine, I have even got evidence of this capability in it; however, in such a different medium. In April 2017, Google was interestingly testing suggested clips in YouTube videos. Have a look at a current example from a search for “how to learn adobe photoshop”:

It’s worth noting that the “Suggested clip” is marked in the blue box, starting from the 0:22 mark. What’s interesting in this search is that variation that doesn’t produce different videos in some scenarios, but they generate different clips within the same video. Nonetheless, here’s the result I got back for “how to learn the adobe photoshoot” (just including the definite article “the”):

This time, the suggested clip is 83 seconds long and starts from the 0:28 mark. It’s clear from a few suggestedclips that the feature is still in its beginning. Still, it’s not easy to figureout that Google is up to effectuating this feature dynamically without developinga transcript of the audio portion of these videos.

Why start with a video? When it comes to Google, it just makes the important points. Though, YouTube is a planetary system to the pleasant great of Google Podcast and yet comes with an extremely sturdy infrastructure backing it. If Google can provide results based on the audio portion of a video, it can return results based on the audio files.

How would audio surface in a search?

The podcast extensions seem to be decided starting points that bring in automatic transcription and full-text (full-audio)search – both of which have been in the works by then. When you can search within Google Podcasts, nonetheless, take that search capability to expand to typical Google searches.

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Regarding audio SEO, the big question is whether Google will give back audio content directly or use transcribed text. In most cases, returning audio clips might perfectly match the searcher query. If you’re searching for a drama series or something you’ve got a word in a podcast, returning the original is a much greater experience than just returning the plain text. Undoubtedly, the great benefit must be to voice devices like Google Home. Even though showing up with audio might fill a content gap for voice devices and render a bridge that directs into the full podcasts and other non-text content.

How many podcasts do I need to Start? Audio SEO.

We are in the middle of a mini-podcast improvement, and an audio search can stir up that improvement even though it is apparent that Google can make changes by and by and test them for months or years. Are you already creating a podcast and hoping to turn it out in the search results? Now, you’ll need to show it in the search result to make sure you’re part of the Google Podcast ecosystem and are adding and updating the currently available metadata. 

To get that content transcribed, you don’t need to do anything specific rather than having the clean audio in a format Google could process with. Meanwhile, you have to think about how your audio content is designed. But it’s difficult for Google to weigh up the free-form content even if it specifically owns a place. Is the subject of your podcast and each episode obvious? Is there a structure where a machine can go over questions and answers with a fine-tooth comb? Are there brief takeaways? Is there a summary at the end of each episode?

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Audio SEO would be all about treating the audio content in a more arranged and intentional way. However, broader Google’s evolution across several devices also intends that we should figure out what type of content caters to our audience’s needs. Is the user finding out text, video, or audio? Each method satisfies a different need and a different device in the broader search ecosystem.

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