In one of its recent blog posts, Google announced the inclusion of web stories- previously known as AMP stories, as a new feature in Google Discover update for all Android and iOS users. Google called these web stories on Discover to be an immersive experience that contains within itself some of the best visual content from across the world directly on the top of the “Discover part of the Google app.”
This Google Discover update is currently available to users in the United States, India and Brazil and Google said that it “intends to expand Web Stories to more countries and Google products” in the future.
The current consumption of these web stories is 800 million people per month.
To browse these stories, one has to simply tap on a story on the shelf and the screen changes to a full- screen mode. One can just swipe left or right or click and reach a completely different web story carousel. In India, the Web Stories will be available in Hindi and English.
Why is it useful?
The content of the Web Stories on Discover can be created by anyone whether a creator or a publisher. And the person who posted the story will have a full charge over it. As Google said, “Story authors are in full control of monetization, hosting, sharing and adding links to their Stories” One can also share these stories in the form of a link on other platforms and browsers. This makes these stories different from other social media platforms. Thus this Google discover update will lead to increased traffic offering a very large audience for the story publishers and creators.
Google also collaborated with many diverse groups of publishers from the US, India and Brazil to work on the visual and immersive stories.
How does it work?
As per Google data, more than 2000 publishers have already given out Web stories on Discover, that are indexed by Google. With the right technical knowledge, coding stories is easier but to make this process smoother for other users, Google has released extensions to make it user- friendly in the new Google Discover Update. For example, You can just drag and drop a Web Story editor for WordPress and use the default template to insert your content. Web stories can also be created within minutes using the features from MakeStories and NewsroomAI.
A guide on how to create these Web Stories successfully can also be found on the Stories.google website and on YouTube.
Things to keep in mind
Google has also released a policy page for Web Stories on Discover. The stories you create need to follow the Google Discover norms. In case of violation, the stories can get permanently removed, especially from the richer experience section. Copyrighted content is a strict no. Usage of less number of words is advised. Use animated and visual content. Very low-quality images will not be accepted as it kills the immersive story experience of the users. Other such tips and rules can be found on the Web Stories policy page.
Here’s How to Set up Google Web Stories-
Here is a guide on how you can set the web stories to appear on Google.
Where to find these stories
- On Google Discover App- Web stories appear on the Discover app in Android and iOS in the United States, India, and Brazil like a carousel on the top of the feed
- On Google Search– When someone types something, the related web stories appear in a grid view from various publishers. This feature is only available in the US.
- On Google Images- Web Stories appear in images as well with a web store icon.
There are two ways to get started-
1-The first option is for the people who want to create stories without any coding and are comfortable using default templates. Click on any Story Editor Tools and get started.
2- The second option is for the people who are into coding and are familiar with creating AMPs. Make sure you use the Chrome Developer Tools for smoother functioning.
You need to have a valid AMP for the story to give the best experience to users and adhere to policy norms.
Use the Web Stories Google Text tool, the URL inspection tool to check validity.
For your web stories to appear on Google, you need to provide all the metadata. For this refer to the full list of metadata. Make sure your story appears the right way in the Web Stories Google Test tool and fulfills all the required fields criteria.
After verifying and posting, make sure to check whether the story is indexed by Google or not. For this, click on the Index Coverage Report or Sitemaps report. In case the story is not indexed, add your URL directly to the Sitemap. Also, make sure that the URL is not blocked by the Googlebot