At I/O 2019, Google confirmed that it’s indexing podcasts to surface audio alongside text and video Search results. Podcast search is now available on Google.com and coming soon to Google Assistant.
Google’s new podcast search uses more than just titles and show notes to surface episodes. Rather, the company is transcribing audio to understand “what’s being talked about on a podcast.” The goal is to make “audio a first-class citizen across Google,” with Search offering you relevant links, YouTube videos, and podcast as results.
This lets you search for a topic on Google.com and get back a “Podcasts” carousel with individual episodes. According to the company, there are more than two million podcasts on the web today. Clicking opens the show in podcasts.google.com online to begin playback. On Android, this will open the Google Podcasts app, which has its own homescreen icon.
Queries right now need to include “podcast,” but Google notes how that won’t be necessary in the future. Podcast search is available today in the US and already live on our end.
“Later this year,” the new search is coming to Google Assistant — which will bring the lookup tools to smart speakers — and Google Podcasts for web, including the Android client and iOS for a more integrated experience.
For example, when you ask the Assistant for podcasts about a certain topic, such as “Hey Google, play a podcast about Marie Curie,” it will suggest relevant episodes for you.
Google also announced an upcoming ability that lets publishers specify what platform (apps, websites) you can listen to their podcasts on. This can help discoverability for content that requires a purchase or paid subscription.
More about Google Podcasts:
- ‘Auto Downloading’ episodes is enabled for some Google Podcasts users
- Google Podcasts for Android begins rolling out sleep timer
- Google Podcasts is available on desktop web with playback and syncing
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