Google's John Mueller advises website owners not to expect every web story they post to show up in Discover.
Google Discover has its own web story carousel added last October. However, only selected content is used.
Adding a web story carousel leads some people to assume that publishing a carousel will automatically result in visibility in Google Discover.
At least that's true for one website owner who submitted a question Mueller answered during the SEO hangout for Google Search Central that was recorded on Feb. 19.
The website owner asks: "How long does it typically take to view a web story in Discover after it's created?"
The short answer is – it depends.
See the section below for the full answer.
Read on below
John Mueller of Google on Web Stories in Discover
When it comes to content, whether it's a web story or any other type of web page, the speed at which it is indexed can vary.
Content can sometimes be indexed quickly and sometimes it can take a while.
Additionally, Discover doesn't show everything in the Google search index.
Google Discover is different from web search as a whole.
Mueller describes Discover as "another level" above web search, where Google is more selective about what is displayed.
In his words, Google is "extra careful" about what is displayed in Discover because users aren't looking for anything in particular. The idea is to recommend the most appropriate content to each user based on their current interests.
Read on below
Some web stories may take longer to be recommended in Discover. However, unlike stories on other websites, there is no shelf life for web stories. A web story stays published as long as a website owner wishes it to be.
But it can also happen that a web story is never shown in Discover, says Müller:
“The answer is: it depends. Unfortunately. Sometimes we can capture content very quickly after it's created, crawl it very quickly, and index it very quickly. Sometimes it all takes a lot longer.
Discover, in particular, is another tier because for Discover we want to make sure we are recommending something that is really suitable for users. Since users are not specifically looking for anything, we need to be extra careful with the content we display in Discover.
In particular there it can happen that it takes a little longer before it is displayed in Discover. Also, there may be times when it never shows up in Discover. "
Web site owners cannot tweak a web story to be recommended in Discover as they can tweak a web page to do the same.
Google Discover impressions and traffic are known to be unpredictable. It's great when you get steady traffic from Discover, but it's not something to depend on.
If your web stories aren't showing up in Google Discover or Search Google, you may need to fix it.
Use Google's AMP testing tool to check that your web story is valid. The tool will detect any issues that are preventing the content from displaying on Google's web story carousel.
Hear Mueller's answer in the video below:
Read on below