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Podcast SEO: Playable Episodes Now Show Up in Organic Search Results

How did your podcast audience find your episodes? Most users explore a podcast app’s top lists, click on placed ads, or engage with influencers and brands on social media that are cross promoting their latest episode. Who wouldn’t want to listen to their favorite celebrity’s daily opinions on trending hair care? Or maybe your audience is full of ‘80s true crime fanatics.

Whoever listens to your content, their experience just got easier. For marketers, especially those creating B2B podcasts, this new experience can help.

Last week, Google announced and rolled out a new opportunity for brands and subscribers. So, listen up! (See what I did there?)

Podcasts Now Index in Google Search Listings

Many marketers and developers tuned in for the Google I/O conference last week. One of the search updates we can expect to see (and are already seeing) within Google is indexed podcasts.

This Google Podcast feature means searchers will be presented with podcast results based on the content of the episodes, not just the titles. This is due to having transcripts available. Not only that, but Google will allow users to listen to the podcast within these new results.

Playable Episodes in Search Results Engage Audiences

More and more, Google is engaging searchers within results, making it easier to find answers. Jobs results aggregate local listings so users can review positions before applying. Schema markup showcases recipe images and ingredients for an easy experience finding the right dish.

Simple indexing web results are getting pushed further and further down the first page. In a recent search for episodes of Serial, we were presented with Playable Episodes, popular videos on YouTube and other sites, People Also Ask suggestions, then a list of only six website links, then Related Search tiles of podcasts.

podcast results in google playable episode

These Related Search tiles of podcasts directed us to an overview page on Google with playable episodes at the top again, further enforcing users to listen within Google Podcasts.

related podcast results

What This Google Podcast Update Means for Savvy Digital Marketers

It’s not clear yet whether Google will be offering analytics with this new feature. The impact on podcast apps is unclear as well, as Google offers easy listening experiences without leaving the search engine. This also impacts Google Home products with podcasts being found via voice search.

The benefit is that this Google update makes it easier for your target audience to find and preview your podcast content. That makes them more likely to become loyal listeners who lead to new business opportunities.

What we do know, is how to help you implement necessary features to be eligible for ranking in the Google Podcast section. Brands looking to be eligible within Google Podcasts must expose a valid RSS feed that describes the podcast. There needs to be a minimum of one episode within the feed. Your podcast will also need a homepage that links to the RSS feed, all of which must be exposed to Googlebots. There are various other steps and requirements within the RSS feed, including podcast-level tags and episode-level tags. And honestly, we can’t blame them. If Google can’t find the highly-structured information, how can we expect it to index?

Leave the RSS feed coding to our in-house developers so you can keep making audio gold for your listeners. Reach out to Element, we’d love to hear from you (and hear your podcast).

If you’re looking to be competitive in the growing world of rich content with videos, podcasts, and more, we have a team of results-obsessed content creators in our agency with some pretty great ideas.


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