Until recently, searching for a podcast on Google would surface individual episodes that you could quickly start playing. That’s now being replaced by a podcast directory in Google Search.

On mobile (in the US), searching for a type of podcast — e.g., “news podcast” or “comedy podcast” — will surface a new card. “Podcasts” starts by letting you filter results by app/service availability (Spotify or Google Podcasts), country (US, UK, etc.), and other topics: business, history, law, technology, health, etc.

Shows are surfaced in various carousels, like Popular podcasts, Established podcast series, and Politics. Tapping one brings up a card with cover art and links to listen in Spotify and Google Podcasts. You also get a “Visit Website” shortcut. 

Podcast recommendations are based on what’s popular or trending in Google products, what’s mentioned across the web, and what’s new.

You then see a description, genre, release frequency, and average episode duration. This is followed by the three “Latest episodes.” You get the title and description, but cannot tap to jump into that episode, which the previous Google Podcasts integration allowed. You can swipe through shows/pages to quickly browse.

Show suggestions are personalized (if you’re signed in) based on past searches and browsing history, saved podcasts, and your podcast preferences.

According to Google (via TechCrunch), this directory of sorts is officially called “What to Podcast.” Overall, it’s similar to movie and TV show recommendations in Google Search.

The search engine needs a generic feature like this even as YouTube is rumored to get more dedicated podcasting features. YouTube will presumably be surfaced as a podcasting service in Search down the road.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com