What are Google Web Stories?
You may have already seen 'stories' on the internet and certainly be familiar with the format of them on social media. At the top of both Instagram and Facebook, you'll see a carousel where you can scroll horizontally through the latest stories shared by people and brands that you follow.
Stories are a format of scrollable pages that you can tap through, that can blend a combination of video, audio, images, animations and text to create a more dynamic experience than a simple image or video social media post.
Why do we need Google web stories, when we already have Facebook and Instagram stories?
Google web stories look very similar to social media stories from the likes of Instagram and Facebook, however, they have one huge advantage, Web Stories can appear on Google.
Web stories are effectively web pages. Each page within a web story has it's own metadata behind it and therefore, If you create a web story with the correct metadata, you can potentially have your web story featured on Google, just like you would an actual web page.
This is one huge, stand-alone feature that potentially gives Google web stories the upper hand over its social media rivals.
"Google Web Stories can appear on Google across Search, Google Discover, and Google Images."
According to the website 'What's new in publishing' "Google Discover, is used by 800 million people each month across Android and IOS devices." and Google is beginning to show it's web stories on Google Discover.
At the moment, Google Web Stories are only visible on the carousel on Google Discover in the US, India and Brazil, however, that shouldn't mean you should ignore Google web stories in the UK, as most Google releases happen first in the US before rolling out here in the UK.
If you start creating your brands Google Stories now, when it does roll out in the UK you have the chance of having your content ready and waiting to be featured before your competitors may even be thinking about creating web stories.
Where can I create a web story?
If you are an experienced developer you can even build web stories from scratch.
Why are web stories good for SEO?
As mentioned above, web stories can feature their own metadata per page which means that you can target specific keywords. Because these pages feature across various Google Search results, it gives you the opportunity to feature your web story where people are searching, just like Organic search results that we currently see on Google.
Why not just use Instagram or Facebook stories?
Although many people have been using social media web stories for a while, these are only visible within the platform that they have been created in. Whereas by using Google web stories you can gain visibility across the Google search network and expand your reach to a much bigger audience.
How to use Google Web Stories
Create your Google web story using WordPress plugin, Make Stories, Newsroom or develop your own via coding.
Make sure that the web story uses valid AMP using the testing tool here - https://search.google.com/test/amp
3. Verify the metadata.
To enable your web story to be visible within Search Engines you need to include metadata.
There are a few other key requirements to make sure your web story has the best possible chance to get indexed.
Your web story must include -
Poster portrait source (696 X928)
At least 5 pages
No more than around 200 characters per page, this is roughly the length of one tweet.
Lastly, make sure you add you web stories to your website and sitemap to give them the best chance of getting indexed by Google.
Google web stories are fairly new, the rollout to include them within search results means that if you are trying to improve the SEO of your website then using web stories could be another way to feature your website on Google where your potential clients are looking for a business just like yours.
For more help with SEO in Cornwall contact me, Amanda White, for consultation, advice and sometimes just a natter and a cup of tea.