A major search shift is happening right now for podcasts.
According to a recent Search Engine Journal story, Google is changing the game for podcasts by creating space on results pages for podcasts complete with a slider just like videos.
Think about that – Google now affords PODCASTS the same real estate, importance, and influence as YouTube videos!
How It Looks
Take a look at this recent Google SERP (mobile) for the phrase “Social Geek”:
B. The second position is an Urban Dictionary definition for Social Geek. Yeah, I like that.
C. The third position is the podcast publishing platform used by Social Geek Radio. After 10 years and nearly 500 episodes, I guess it pays to post a lot of content.
D. Now comes the new stuff: a slider for podcasts, just like the familiar YouTube slider that appeared back when Google started indexing video content. This podcast slider shows my most recent episodes of Social Geek, including a killer conversation with Angela Coté about the DNA of a great franchisee!
This slider is the key – when you click on any episode, you’re taken to Google Podcasts to play the show, NOT to the podcast’s website or other platform.
Podcast listening is now the same as booking a flight or ordering pizza right from the SERP and never going to a brand’s website or any other space.
What It Means
What will this mean for Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and other podcast platforms?
They will maintain their current users and continue to grow. Many podcast listeners have developed their own habits and have a preferred place, channel, or app to use. I’m an Apple Podcasts guy myself, as are the majority of Social Geek Radio’s listeners. And lately I’ve been enjoying Pocket Casts and some other newer platforms. If you’re a long-time podcast consumer, you will not likely move away from your comfort zone where you’ve set up your subscriptions and can work the :15 reverse or :30 forward buttons like a pro.
But with new podcast listeners – a group that is growing like crazy! – this is probably not great news for Apple, Spotify, and the others. The familiarity that everyone has with searching via Google will make it very easy for new podcast consumers to Google a topic or a specific show that a friend recommended and hit play without ever going to another site.