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Google Transcribing Podcasts for Search Engines

Google Podcast Transcribing and searching

People have been telling me I have a face for radio for decades, but I’m sure they meant to say voice for radio or in the digital age, podcasts. The Google Podcasts app automatically transcribes podcasts for searching on the app and the company is expanding that for search results.

This means podcasts are now tools for SEO and ranking. Who wants to start a show?

The Rise of Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for many years. Popular podcasts have dedicated followings and make lots of money, but the majority of them are people who just wanted to talk about their hobbies, business, etc.

As computers got smaller and audio equipment became less expensive, podcasts took off. You didn’t need a studio and expensive microphones to create a good podcast. There are podcasts about every subject imaginable from ghosts to yak fur. (I’m not sure if there is a podcast about yak fur, but there should be and called “Yakkity Yak.”)

There are thousands of podcasts available online and through apps like Google Podcast, but how can you leverage them for SEO?

Google Podcasts and Searchability

Podcasts are audio files, so Google bots don’t “see” the content when they crawl your site. If you have the title and other information on your site, they could use that, but the hour-long conversation is lost to them.

As I’ve written about before, Google wants to provide searchers with the best information available. They want sites with lots of great information to satisfy E.A.T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness).

Podcasts would be a great way to show that, but there was no way to search by content except by title, etc. Google Podcast wants to change that.

If you have a podcast on Google Podcast, it’s now automatically transcribed. People can now search by content and the app bots search the content and provide you matches. For example, you’ve got a podcast about…hmm…I don’t know…yak fur and the podcast is titled “10 Great Yak Hacks.”

The title has no information about the hacks themselves, but the transcription mentions the perfect way to braid yak hair to make them feel pretty, then people searching for yak hair braiding will see your podcast.

It was great for the app, but Google is never one to go halfway.

With the app in full swing, Google now has all these transcripts and they keep growing. The company thought why not add these to search results, too.

There are a few things to remember before you go podcast crazy. The transcription services are automated, so there isn’t a person doing it. Therefore, the transcriptions won’t always be perfect. Also, not every episode will be transcribed, according to Google.

Search Results and the Yakkity Yak Revolution

The goal of making these available on search results is twofold. It allows searchers to get even more accurate results in a new form and it improves the discoverability of the podcasts. It’s a win-win.

You’ll even be able to play the podcasts from the search results page. How cool is that? For example, if there is a sudden influx of searches for yak braiding, then the podcast can be seen and listened to by a much higher population of people.

For business and website owners (outside of the yak niche) it means podcasts related to your business and expertise can be seen in search results. The goal is to get them back to your site and hitting the buy button to get to your shopping cart. Consider whether or not podcasts can help you build new content and reach new conversions on your site.

Brock Cooper

Brock has been doing SEO, Social Media Management and Marketing for seven years and has watched the industry shift and change, providing a unique perspective to clients. Brock is the recipient of two Associated Press awards and the Richard A. Laymon President's Award for Service by the renowned Horror Writer's Association. When he isn't scouring the Internet for the latest in SEO info, Brock enjoys writing short stories, teaching his wife and children the importance of Dr. Who and writing articles for various entertainment and video game sites.

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