Google Podcasts Manager Unlocks Podcast Search Performance

Oct 14, 2020 • 7:11 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google launched Google Podcasts Manager, which is basically the search performance reports and analytics for how well or poorly your podcasts perform in Google Search. You can set it up for your podcast at podcastsmanager.google.com/about.

Google Podcast Manager gives you a look at your podcast performance in Google Search, specifically showing you plays by day, impressions by day, CTR, minutes played, your top episodes, device breakdown, top search terms, top discovered episodes and much more.

To set it up, you need to go through a few steps. I was able to skip the verification step, I assume because I have already verified this domain in Google Search Console.

Step One: The RSS Feed:

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Step Two: Preview the Feed:

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Step Three: Send Verification Code:

I was not asked for this

Step Four: Verify Ownership

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Then you are set:

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I was immediately brought to a screen with stats coming soon. Google wrote "This show is currently not available on Google. Once it becomes available, data will be collected."

Here is a screen shot that shows this data I mentioned above, click on it to enlarge:

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Here are some definitions on the metrics:

  • Meaningful play: When a user listens to an episode (or segment of an episode) at least once for more than 5 seconds in a single Pacific Timezone (PT) day. Meaningful plays are grouped by user, day, and show (or segment, depending on whether you are counting total plays or plays of a given segment). Therefore if a user listens to the same episode twice on a single day, it is counted as 1 play; if a user listens to the same episode on Monday and again on Tuesday, it is counted as 2 plays.
  • Total plays: Total number of meaningful plays for an episode. Multiple listens of the same episode in the same PT day are counted as a single meaningful play.
  • Play time: Total played minutes of meaningful plays. Multiple listens of the same episode segment in the same PT day are counted only once.
  • Episode name: Episode title declared in the RSS feed.
  • Episode duration: Average length of the episode, including ads or other dynamic variations, as streamed or downloaded by all listeners.
  • Plays in first 30 days: Total number of meaningful plays for this episode in the first 30 days after the Published date. Repeat listens in the same day are ignored.
  • Average played: Average percentage of the episode listened to by all listeners.
  • Published: Episode publication date declared in the RSS feed, which may not reflect when Google first found your feed and made it available on a Google Podcasts platform.

There is a much larger help document on this report over here.

Arudea from Google also shared these tips on how to optimize your podcast for Google Search:

Google Search continues to be an important and growing discovery mechanism for podcasts. Podcasters always ask us about how to optimize podcasts for Search, and while the guidance is similar for all surfaces where users listen to podcasts, there are a few things we wanted to call out that are particularly important for Search:

  1. Include detailed show and episode metadata: The show description and episode descriptions help us deliver more accurate search results and provide users with more context on the contents of an episode. Of course, follow general best practices for adding useful and relevant descriptions.
  2. Make sure your podcast’s webpage and RSS data match: If you have a web page for your podcast, make sure the following data match the data in the RSS:
    1. The title of the podcast show’s webpage and the title of the RSS feed match.
    2. The HEAD element of the podcasts show’s webpage contains a ‘link rel’ element that points to the RSS feed, and that the RSS feed in turn contains a channel link element whose value matches the URL of the show’s webpage More details here.
  3. Include cover art: We recently changed our guidelines to make cover art images in your podcast feed required, rather than optional. More details are here.
  4. Allow Googlebot to access your audio files: We recommend making sure that your audio files, the actual mp3s within your RSS feed, are able to be crawled and accessible to Googlebot. While this is recommended and not required, if we can crawl your audio files, it allows our technology to use these files to understand the entirety of the podcast. This allows us to surface this podcast to users for a broader range of topics, as we understand the full context of the episode, and aren’t limited to the description. More details are here.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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