Google Discover: uses, applications and challenges in the digital journalism of Spain, Brazil, and Greece [journal article]


Purpose: This paper constitutes the first academic study to be made of Google Discover as applied to online journalism.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper constitutes the first academic study to be made of Google Discover as applied to online journalism. The study involved conducting 61 semi-structured interviews with experts that are representative of a range of different professional profiles within the fields of journalism and search engine positioning (SEO) in Brazil, Spain and Greece. Based on the data collected, we created five semantic categories and compared the experts’ perceptions in order to detect common response patterns.

Findings: Our results confirm the existence of different degrees of convergence and divergence in the opinions expressed in these three countries regarding the main dimensions of Google Discover, including specific strategies using the feed, its impact on web traffic, its impact on both quality and sensationalist content and on the degree of responsibility shown by the digital media in its use. We are also able to propose a set of best practices that journalists and digital media in-house web visibility teams should take into account to increase their probability of appearing in Google Discover. To this end, we consider strategies in the following areas of application: topics, different aspects of publication, elements of user experience, strategic analysis and diffusion and marketing.

Originality: Although research exists on the application of SEO to different areas, there have not, to date, been any studies examining Google Discover.


Digital media, Google Discover, search engine optimization, online journalism, mobile news, personalized news, web visibility, Google

1. Introduction

Search engine optimization (SEO), understood as the set of practices that helps ensure the content of a given website appears among the leading results of search engines such as Google or Bing (Veglis and Giomelakis, 2020), has become a key business strategy in digital journalism for increasing audiences (Carlson, 2007). This reflects the fact that search engines help users select the most relevant content in response to their queries (Machill et al., 2008) and, it is for this reason, as well as a result of the hypercompetition among the information industries served by the Internet, that the digital media have become so dependent on SEO (Lopezosa et al., 2020).

This growing dependence has been responsible for an increase in studies of the web visibility of the news media and the publication of highly insightful reports on the application of SEO in journalism, most notably Giomelakis & Veglis (2016) and Charlton (2016), who confirm that much has yet to be done in enhancing both SEO and journalistic routines; Dick (2011) and Smyrnaios & Sire (2014), who highlight the need to promote an optimal convergence between the best possible journalism and the best possible SEO; and Lopezosa et al. (2021) and Pedrosa & de Morais (2021), who describe practical SEO techniques applied in newsrooms.

This growing body of studies concerns itself with the visibility of the news media on digital platforms; however, their web visibility is subject to constant evolution. In fact, today, we find users are also consuming information via other channels, including, for example, Google Discover (Google, 2020a), a smartphone service that offers its search results based on what it considers to be a good match with user interests and profiles rather than on keywords related to a specific query.

This evolving situation highlights a clear research gap that this study seeks, at least in part, to fill. Specifically, our primary goal here is to examine the characteristics of Google Discover from the point of view of how it affects journalism and to present a diagnosis of its impact in, and optimization for, the news media of three countries: namely Brazil, Greece and Spain.

To achieve this primary goal, we set ourselves the following specific objectives:

1) Survey the opinions about Google Discover, as applied to digital journalism, held by SEO experts from Brazil, Spain and Greece working in the digital media and in consultancy firms.

2) Determine the degree of perceived agreement among the professionals from the three countries regarding the role played by different dimensions of Google Discover as applied to the cybermedia.

3) Identify, based on the findings to objective 2 above, the tasks that journalists and the media’s in-house web visibility teams are carrying out or should be carrying out in relation to Google Discover and propose a set of best practices.


Useful link


Lopezosa, C., Giomelakis, D., Pedrosa, L. and Codina, L. (2023). «Google Discover: uses, applications and challenges in the digital journalism of Spain, Brazil and Greece». Online Information Review. DOI


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Appendix A. Interviewees Brazil 
InterviewedCompany/websiteProfessional profile
Edward Matsukipageantry.orgOwner and editor
Raphael Targinodwih-saopaulo.orgcontent producer
Yeska Dias analyst
Lana, content producer
Jessica Martinsenbypost.itseo manager
Diego Content Strategy, teacher
bianca lopezcyberlabs.aiSEO expert editor
Suzamara Bastos de
Nathalie Ayres de, content producer
Daniel Goncalves manager
Julius, journalist, freelancer
(until February 22:
Senior SEO Content Analyst
Larissa media
Mariane Abreupress.licontent editor
isadoraonthemap.comTechnical SEO Analyst
Erin Mizutagreenparkcontent.comLatam content head
Paul Victor
Luiz Claudio Ferreiranewsagency.uniceub.breditor-in-chief, journalist, professor
Giselle Whitemetacareers.comVertical Marketing Manager

Appendix B. Interviewees Spain 
Interviewedcompany/websiteProfessional profile
Ignatius Head of Digital Marketing and SEO
Ruben webmaster, seo and speaker
AnonymousIndustry leading sports newspaperSEO
David Ayaladavidayala.comSEO, Entrepreneur, Trainer and Streamer
German Barrientos  SEO Consultant
Jose Luis Casesrankia.comInterim Head of Product, Engineering and SEO
Miguel CEO & SEOManager
Silvia Fernandez-Medinapublisuites.comCMO of Publisuites
Jorge Franganillohttps://ub.eduSEO teacher
Alonso Gallego Abadas.comSEO
Rocio Garcia Algorargalgora.comSEO and personal brand consultant
John Gonzalez SEO consultat
Katy Lemaelpais.comEditorial SEO
Alvaro  Audience Development and Head of SEO
Alvaro PenaIsocialweb.comHead SEO and co-CEO
Bruno Ramosagenciaseo.euSEOManager
Alvaro Rondonalvarorondon.comSEO Consultant
Alvaro  Entrepreneur, promoter and SEO trainer
Clara (now in El
Oscar Toral and digital analysis

Appendix C. Interviewees Greece 
Interviewedcompany/websiteProfessional profile
Lia GasoukaLiberal.grSEO expert
AnonymousLeading news site & newspaperSEO Expert/Executive
George KoiliarisProtothema.grWeb Technology Officer & SEO Manager
AnonymousLeading digital media/publishing groupSEOManager
Tilemachos PapangelouBetter Collective GreeceSenior Editor & SEO Content Manager
Alexandros GeorgakakisSleed e-business & digital marketing agencyDirector of Operations
Konstantinos ZaliarisLiquid Media/Gazzetta.grSports journalist
AnonymousLeading daily broadsheet newspaperStrategy & Content Consultant
Dimitris Andreadakisdigital challenge web agencyHead of Growth
Angelos sinadakisSocial Mind digital marketing agencyGerente general
Kyriakos ZeniosGreek Internet Marketing (GIM) agencyHead of SEO
AnonymousPhilip Morris InternationalSEO Manager
Lazaros PapadopoulosHolder GreeceSEO Manager & Head of Strategic Planning
AnonymousHellas DirectSEO Specialist
AnonymousWeb agencyContent Manager (SEO)
Thanos bertesPlanetMarketingHead of SEO
Vicky tiakoudiGreek Internet Marketing (GIM) agencySenior PPC/Digital Marketing Manager
Augustinos PaschalidisBestPrice.grHead of SEO
Georgios FerentinosNovibetHead of SEO
Orestis PiskioulisUnibox – Advanced Digital Marketing AgencyPPC manager
Chrysopigi VardikouSelf-employed/No Mobbing at Work organizationMarketing Strategist