How Google Training Helps Your Podcast To Have Better Topic Search Results?
We’re excited to bring you three things. One is this Google Training that I have from a top-level Google News Lab Initiative that they have going on. I want to talk a little bit about guesting and Tom’s going to share a little bit of his trip to Podcast Movement and leave some time for your questions and coaching. I was lucky enough to attend a training session with the Development Manager at Google News Lab. His name is Nick Whitaker and this was specifically for journalists.
This Google News Initiative that they have going on at Google is to really help journalists understand how to use Google, how to use high-level advanced Google Search but also how to get their news seen. How to get valuable and good original content seen. They said that their goal is to understand exactly what people mean and give you what you want on the search side of it, which means that they also have to spread valuable original information. They have basics if you’re not really up on a lot of Google things. We have a Google expert and SEO expert on but the basics of it are that they have four things that they’re watching on content in general.
The fact that it’s good and it’s original is number one. The fact that it’s sticky, which is an undefined thing. They didn’t go into great detail on what makes it sticky. I get the impression it’s basically that this is something that isn’t trendy in and out, that it’s more lasting. It’s going to be searched for by many people. There’s a broader definition of sticky but the third thing is that it’s engaging. People are engaging with the content, they’re clicking it, they’re listening to it, they’re watching it, they’re using it and they’re reading it. All of those things are what they define engaging. Their new fourth initiative on it is that its smart device-capable, which has all of us at a benefit.
Those of us who are using our voice, we are at a greater benefit to that. I asked Nick Whitaker that question at the end of it, which was, “Is search being ranked higher for voice now like our podcast getting ranked and other things?” He said, “It is a little early on in their process of how they’re working. They don’t have a complete guide to how it is but we can rest assured that the voice capability, the voice recognition of what’s being set on our podcast is actually going to be a part of the search capability in the future.” That’s why it makes it more valuable and the kinds of things and the kinds of training that I’ve received here are going to make it more valuable to you to make sure that Google starts ranking that for you. That’s where we’re bringing it out.
There are a few things that I want to make you aware of. They have actual news training that is for journalists. I know not all of you are journalists. That’s not the purpose of your podcast and not all of those things. I barely consider myself a journalist and yet I’ve written over 200 articles on an Inc. column. The one that I want you to pay attention to is this one called NewsInitiativeWithGoogle.com/training and that will take you to their journalist training. You do not have to be a licensed registered journalist. I don’t think you even have to do that to be able to utilize this training. They want those that are writing blogs that are providing content and information out there to understand good practices of fact-checking, how to use Google Search and how to use all of these things to make sure that your information is getting ranked and getting out there. There is some really valuable information. There are 55 lessons there and a lot of them are really short. You probably could pick and choose what you want.
The other thing is that they put out some news flash and information on @GoogleNewsInit, which is the Twitter handle. It’s in the testing world and before it becomes a news lab video or a lesson, it’s probably posted up and being worked on in their medium, which is the medium Google-News-Lab. That’s where they put short content, short information and little bits and pieces and blogs before they make it into a full-force piece of content that is on their lessons. Following some of these things can really help you. I found that the YouTube channel is way better than anything else that they have and they have Google News Initiative YouTube channel and it’s where they’re hosting the videos that are on the news training anyway. It’s a lot easier to navigate.
There are a couple of things that we’re all not using on Google that he made us aware of that are really valuable. Google Scholar, Scholar.Google.com, there’s a lot of white papers and a lot of information. When you’re looking for something and you’re like, “I have data for this or there’s probably a research paper out there.” I utilize this one a lot in my column for some articles I did. The person who put out the white paper that I utilized the information from, which was specifically weighted on retail market trends, found it before I even had a chance to send the article to them. They found it because it came up in Google Alerts. If you don’t have a Google Alerts set, you should.
We have Google Alerts set for podcasts and we’re always getting news and information about what’s being posted on there and it comes on a weekly basis. You should at least do that on your main content. You might get too much information so you do have to narrow it in, dial it in and be specific about what you’re looking for and it takes some time. If you’re not seeing anything coming from your Google Alerts, maybe it’s too narrow. If you are seeing too much information on your Google Alerts, you definitely need to qualify it and narrow it down for yourself. I find that podcast information is still not as broad because there’s not as much information being posted in what is considered Google Alerts News.Google is smart enough to know where you stopped. Click To Tweet
Google Scholar is a great place though to get that information, to begin with. You can actually have some real stats if you don’t have it personally in your business, which had been operating under this understanding of some of the stats that are out there. I also like to do it because I like to update my stats. I’ve been citing the same stat for several years that 86% of consumer purchases are bought or influenced by women and I haven’t updated that stat in a really long time. I went to go look it up and make sure it was. It’s 87% and I’ve updated my number. If you’ve been operating in business and in a speech that you’ve been giving for a while or simple data and you’d like to update.
The Public Data Explorer is super great. I was really shocked at a depth of information. The demographic you can dial it down into and the geographic location you can dial down to. This is basically every public database that might be coming from waterboards in Temecula. You can get that detailed information. If you’re looking for that public data and you can do it by any country in the world, by any locale, it’s a very interesting slice and dice data. There are lots of visualization and it’s really useful.
Google Trends are my next one because a lot of people don’t use this really well and I want to make sure that you are aware that this is here. This is where you can explore what the world is searching. This has already put in the location of the United States but you can change it to any country in the world. What I thought was really interesting was doing this example that they have here where you’ve got Kim Kardashian versus Taylor Swift. The geographic breakdown of where people are searching for Taylor Swift versus Kim Kardashian. Thinking about that, if you have two types of topics you want to compare, should I use this term or should I use that term? That’s the thing that I thought was an interesting idea of how to use the latest stories and insights that the data that you have going on here and type in a search term or topic and being able to do both. If you’re saying, “I use this term but somebody else used that term.” I had somebody switch on me the term marketing funnel into sales journey. Are people really talking about that? Would that make sense or is it going to confuse people? Should I use a different term?
This is where it’s a good place to compare those two and their growth trends. That’s one of the things that you can clearly see. For example, football, you can pull it in and you can see the growth of football as a sport and American football, which is a totally different term, soccer versus football. You can see the growth trends over time. It’s showing in 2009 and 2010. You can look at how much it’s growing. You are getting this and you are getting the growth trends. We saw a little spike over it in June 2014 and I think that has to do with the locale of where the World Cup was at that time. You get little spikes in it and that starts to generate a larger world interest. You can see that California is number two because we have huge soccer leagues here. You can see that the interest in football is growing in both ways, both American football, and football.
You can look at these things and look at them side by side, in subregions, there are lots of metro cities. You can also look worldwide at this. Especially, we have a lot of our podcasts tracking high in Brazil, Africa and the Netherlands. We can look at those countries in specific and see, “Why is our topic growing there and how can we generate more podcast content that would be useful to those countries?” We found that some of the best listeners on our 3D print podcast, for instance, are from Brazil and Africa. Why is that? It’s because they have very little information there. If we can provide them more information that creates higher, valuable and more useful users. That’s why I like the opportunity to do that. I want you guys to be aware that it’s really useful and really visible.
The most interesting thing about incognito window is they were saying you should shut down your Chrome entirely, be logged out of Google, start a fresh Chrome session and open an incognito window. It’s the only way none of your results be tainted by your own personal browsing. Which means you also have to make sure you’ve disabled the auto log-in because every time you open up Chrome it auto logs in. I usually do this, especially when I’m doing Amazon searches for my product clients. I would open up an incognito window and open up Amazon so that Amazon isn’t cooking me. That would still work because it doesn’t matter or so I thought but if it’s sending me search results based on my preferences, that would be bad. We definitely don’t want that to happen. You need to log out of Google if you’re not on Chrome. I would think that because Google owns Chrome, that it probably doesn’t occur on Firefox but it may have its own issues with serving you up stuff that you are doing. It would be a good practice.
It’s not a Google product. We really don’t know the answer. My recommendation would be to do that to be sure because that’s how you know it’s going to be the cleanest approach into a private browsing window. A couple of little minor things on this. Google Images has a library for your graphic visuals so they can track your images and see those things. Make sure you’ve got your posting as many original images as you can, making sure you’re tagging them. Making sure that they are Google searchable and that they’re tagged the way you want them to be. I see a lot of people, they put their tags as a description of what’s in the image. You don’t need to do that. You can put your web site’s name. If you want that image to appear so that they’re associated with either the topic or you, go ahead and do that because it doesn’t matter. That’s how it’s going to pop up in search results.Google wants to be the dominant source for you to be able to find your podcast. Click To Tweet
I see this happen a lot with product images, people type these weird descriptions but they don’t search like that when they’re looking for something. They search on a topic and they’re looking for an image that is such and such as Coca-Cola logo and they’re looking for that specific thing. You want to have the tags match what you think people actually search for or how you want to appear when they search for something. These are some things that people make the mistake of. We put our name Feed Your Brand logo. If we forgot the word podcast logo, what if somebody typed in podcast logo or podcast cover art? Those kinds of things are searchable. If you want to appear under those types of things, you need to expand your alt tags.
I wanted to mention some things about guesting. I’ve been referring some really top-level potential guests to people. People with very high visibility and high ranking. They might have their own radio show on CNBC or different things like that. I’ve been referring them to choose some of our podcasters for when I see there’s an appropriateness to show. It’s also because I think that you could use a boost of someone with some higher value than you coming on your show so that you draft off their audience. This is why we recommend guests. I’m not going to do it just to do it. I do it when there’s a good match and that there’s a good reason for it.
I’ve been getting some weird emails that what I would call not recognizing the value that’s in that. I really want to make sure that when you look and evaluate someone as a guest on your show, that it’s not just a fit. It’s important for you to really take a look at someone. I’ve seen it where they email back and say, “We’re not taking guests,” I know it’s not true and they know it’s not true. They’ve replied that way to someone who is a high-value author or speaker. It does your show a disservice to say that because if they can look it up and say, “They’ve done interviews before,” that makes you look bad. I really want to make sure that if it’s not the right time for you, be respectful about it but recognize that you value the fact that this guest has come forward to you.
I’d also like to say if any of you are not interested in having us suggest a guest or make an introduction to a guest for you, let us know. We thought we were offering a free service when we think we have someone appropriate for you. One of the people that rejected a guest we suggested was actually not somebody we work with but somebody I met at Podcast Movement. Her response was so disrespectful. I was shocked and when I went to look up her show, it isn’t even that high ranking. She would have greatly benefited from agreeing to it. I want to make you aware of that because people come to me every single day because I write a column and a lot of times it’s not a right fit for my column because my column is all about innovation. If I can’t do that, I’d like to say, “This is a great story or great guest or this would make a great article, I can’t write it. Who can I refer you to?” A lot of times all of your shows pop into my head and I go, “This would be so good for this show. They could use this high visibility and ranking in the backlinks that could come from that.” I’m always thinking about that when I’m referring. If you don’t want that for whatever reason, let us know. If it’s too overwhelming for you, let us know. If I can help you, I would really love to.
There are two major podcast trade shows every year. There are more than two but the two biggest ones are Podcast Movement. The one I went to, there were 2,500 people there. Last time, there were 1,500. That alone speaks to the continuing growth of the industry. The other one is Podfest. I’ve been to both and what I want to say about Podcast Movement is it’s a little bit bigger and a little bit more corporate feeling of a show. It’s highly produced and it’s a more expensive ticket. If you buy early, it can be cheap but it’s typically $400 or $500 ticket, not even the VIP level. It’s higher than that. It’s a little more corporate show and bigger keynote guests.
The final keynote was Terry Gross of Fresh Air, which is an NPR program. It was an amazing talk about interviews because she is a major interviewer. I recorded every session I was in, audio recorded and I know they provide the recordings but it ends up being six months later and I’d get frustrated waiting that long when I want to review something again. I recorded every session I attended and we had other clients who were there. Scott Carson, Dan Zitofsky and Wendy Stevens, those are all other Brandcaster clients. We all went to different sessions so we could record as many as we could and I’m collecting all the audios and I’m also going to have them transcribed and make those available to all of you. I know it’s research and a lot of stuff to go through but you can look at some of the topics and see maybe there’s one or two that you’d be interested in either listening to or reading the transcript of. That will be made available to you hopefully sooner rather than later. I have to collect all of them from everybody but we’re all committed to doing it.
They have different tracks of seminars or lectures, you might call them sessions. They had a creation track, a monetization track, a technical track that’s mostly for people that are editing their own stuff. They had all these different themes of tracks and there was actually almost too many interesting topics going on at the same time. At any given time, there were literally six different sessions going on and there was only three or four of us and anytime go into different ones so we didn’t get all of them. The biggest trends and things that I found most interesting and you may be interested in as well as the strong increase in smart speaker use. This is the Amazon Alexa, the Google Home, and Apple with a Siri device, it’s coming on strong, too.
I don’t have one, we’re an Alexa house, but smart speaker use is going way up and it is expanding the listeners who use it and who are also listening to podcasts for the first time. There are different people. Even though some of us listen to podcasts on our smartphone and also use Alexa. What I’m saying is these smart speakers are expanding the number and the people that are listening to podcasts. The market is growing faster, especially in youth-oriented podcasts. One of the people, he actually is the organizer of Podfest. His name is Chris Krimitsos and he’s another good friend of another Brandcaster, Dustin Mathews.Advertisers are gaining faith in the idea and realizing the focused nature of podcast audiences. Click To Tweet
Chris has some podcasts coming out for a very specific age range from five to eleven years old. It’s about the kids’ daily jokes and our kids love to ask Alexa a joke every day. He’s created a podcast for kids tapping into that. Interestingly also enough, Pat Flynn, who is one of the earliest podcasters, most well-known, he also gave a keynote with his son who’s eight years old. They’ve started a new podcast but it’s the two of them. they published the entire series at once and it’s out there. It was basically talking about life issues, a parent-child, father-son appropriate life issues at that young age. There’s a trend toward youth podcasts in general.
I have a call with a new teen who’s joining our group of podcasters. We also have a couple of organizations who are nonprofits but they’re going to have their teen entrepreneurs set up the podcast themselves. They’re going to do all of that. They’re going to strategize it, they’re going to figure out what they want in a podcast, they’re going to set it up and they’re going to run it like a radio station on a college campus. I love that they’re going to be invested in doing it themselves that way. We’re working with them on that as well. I love that it’s a growth area.
The podcast with Pat Flynn is called All Of Your Beeswax, basically saying nothing’s off limits for the kids, ask questions and learn and all that. Besides the smart speakers, there’s a lot of trend data on this. There was a keynote by Edison Research and also a keynote by Nielsen. The latter has been seriously tracking podcast trends, advertising trends and more importantly podcast listener data. Meaning people listen to podcasts of this genre and that genre and other genres, what kinds of things do they buy? How do they buy them? There’s a whole report that I got and I have it in a hard copy and in a PDF. We will make that available to you as well.
There’s a lot of trend data on podcasts and all of the listener data and also the trends in consumers. If you want to try to understand podcast listeners and they really qualified these podcast listeners and how many podcasts they tend to listen to. The number of podcasts people are listening to in general’s gone up from a maximum of five to a seven. The listening audience continues to grow tremendously. If you’re getting into podcasting, you’re not late to the party, you’re still ahead of the curve is what the overall message was. The data I pulled for a client who’s going to do an international podcast was that there are 500,000 active podcasts worldwide and it was in seventeen languages was the active area. It’s growing worldwide as well. There are a couple of countries we are not seeing any growth and China’s one of them for very obvious reasons but there are some countries that are not. For the most part, it’s growing a lot in Latin America.
Edison Research had a lot of other very interesting data. These two organizations seem to respect each other and be complementary. There’s a little overlap in the data but a lot of complimentary stuff. This is going to segue into the Google subject. Edison Research was of the opinion that to double the number of podcast listeners worldwide, they don’t see it doubling very quickly without new content being created. There’s no high-quality crap content. That was stuck in my mind. There’s no Roseanne Show that is high quality and almost trashy content. There’s no reality TV Jersey Shore type of thing. He’s like, “When that happens in podcasting, you’re going to see listeners ship jump in completely different demographics.” They said in general podcast listeners tend to be more affluent, more intelligent.
He said podcast listenership is not going to double in the coming years. That was his opinion, then you get the Google guy coming in and his name is Zack Reneau-Wedeen. He’s one of the Google Podcasts founding Production Manager. He was instrumental in developing it. He said he had a very different opinion. In so many other countries like India and English-speaking countries where the Android phones dominate and there aren’t as many podcasts listeners. They’re of the opinion that with Google Podcasts app, they’re making it front and center in their operating system when you have the phone and they’re going to be promoting it more. The podcast audience is primed to double very quickly as a result. That ties into what my Google expert, Nick, said that he expects that searching to happen, that voice recognition to happen and when it does, podcasts are going to get served up like YouTube videos are. Your ranking is going to go up. More people are going to flock to do them because of that.
The other thing that happens because of Google Podcasts app, if listeners listen on that and they are listening to something on their way home in the car on the app on their phone, they stop listening. They go inside and continue listening on their Google Home, the podcast picks up where they left off. Google is smart enough to know where you stopped. The last thing is your podcast episodes are going to come up in Google Search more and higher in search because they’re giving emphasis to podcasts. They want to be the dominant source for you to be able to find your podcast and they’re even going to be doing speech-to-text transcriptions of every podcast. After it publishes, you’re not really going to be able to use it quickly if you want to do for your blog post. It’s a machine transcription but the point is, in the future, they expect to be able to index podcast episodes for what’s said within them.
Your podcast episode would come up for keyword search topics of what you said but Google will get all the benefit of that, you won’t as the podcast owner. What we do with creating your blog post is still going to be very critical for you to capture your own audience and have your own authority for people, your blog posts for the podcast episodes coming up in Google Search and driving traffic to your site. It’s going to become what you’re already doing now with us is going to become even more important in the future. Those are the highlights from the Podcast Movement.
Podfest is a show that’s a little smaller but it’s a more collaborative show. There are professional speakers. We’re going to show and I’m going to speak there but there’s a lot more networking and getting to meet other podcasters and all of the other vendors and businesses. It’s different, a little less corporate event and more collaborative and supportive. If any of you are interested in attending that, you can Google it and get the information. It’s a great one to go to if you’re interested in growing your podcast journey in different ways and meeting other people.
We can shift this to topics you’re interested in. If you have something you want us to discuss in here ahead of time, send us the questions. If you can’t attend live, you can also send us your questions so we can review them and you can also guide us. Are there things that you’re struggling with in growing your shows that we can help you with? If we aren’t the expert, we’ll bring someone in for you. That’s an option as well. We want to make sure that you were out there seeking and working on your behalf to make sure that your shows are the best that they can be. That is the point of this it’s to give you industry information, make sure you’re updated on what’s changing on the site and how we’re supporting you. We also want to make sure that we’re growing your shows with you because we want more successful podcasters. That’s our mission here.
Advertising and podcasting are increasing significantly. There was a lot of panels of advertisers and big-time advertisers and placement. People whose entire profession at a very high level even for highly produced podcasts that are placing ads in podcasts. That’s only going to increase and they’re believing in it more. Years ago, they’d be around a room in an advertising meeting and the salesperson asks, “How many people listen to podcasts?” They have a dozen people, maybe one raises their hand and now when you ask that question, everybody raises their hand. Advertisers are gaining faith in the idea and realizing the focused nature of these audiences and that they’re opting in and wanting to listen to your stuff.
That’s why they listen, that they’re not going to mind listening to ads and they’re going to be more responsive to them as a result. If that’s ever in your future to monetize. I gave a talk on monetization marketing content to commerce model, C2C model. It is a bit of sale because we’re selling them on becoming podcasters, which you guys already are, but there’s a sales module for doing products for people. If that interests you, they’re in the newsletter and you can click on that. You can be on the list to get that one. Thank you for participating.