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Podcasts on Google Searches: It’s Live!

A long time coming.

For the most part. From The Verge:

Google’s new podcast-focused search results have arrived in desktop browsers, after being announced earlier this week at Google I/O 2019. Searching for a podcast now shows you its three most recent episodes which can played directly in Google’s web player on podcasts.google.com. The functionality works across both desktop and mobile. It’s especially useful on iOS where a dedicated Google Podcasts app is yet to be released, as 9to5Google notes.

Here’s how it looks like:

Notice how the functionality pops up below an Apple Podcast link? Wuh-oh, that’s potentially awkward.

The feature appeared to have gone wide this morning, and I trust podcasters everywhere are poring over how it works. From what little I’ve tinkered with it, the functionality seems to be a little inconsistent — but that’s par for the course with anything new, and with the search engine world more generally. In any case, I’ll leave other podcast writers and bloggers to list out the mechanics of how this works, how it doesn’t, how it should, and so on. I’m not good on that stuff, anyway.

I’ll string this together with a few other developments for a broader analysis-column-take next Tuesday, but some thoughts (that I also shared on Twitter) for now:

  • Is this a big deal? Sure, maybe. Will this change everything? Why not. What about Apple tho? What about ’em. Point being: let’s sit back and see what happens.
  • This is gonna really mess with how people title shows now, huh? Like, what happens if your show title also happens to be a common phrase, proper noun, or something that someone else uses. SEO warfare, baby.
  • I do like the fact how this emphasis the atomic unit being the episode… though as somebody pointed out over Twitter, it doesn’t really work when you Google podcast episode titles.