Google Web Stories are nothing more and nothing less than a new visual narrative data format that Google has started to show in USA search results. Their main function is to give users a full screen interactive experience.
Here you can see how it is shown in the Desktop version, though the data format is made taking into account the mobile version. That is why I want to invite you to check this URL from your mobile device so you can judge its content.
On the other hand, the mechanism to create Web Stories is quite simple: using an image editor you can add texts, shapes and images and design them as you like. But in case design is not your thing, do not worry: there are also templates you can use as a base for your Web Stories.
Here you can see the control panel from which you can create and manage your Web Stories:
Benefits for SEO
So far, so good. But you might be asking yourself… What are the benefits of this at a SEO level? Well, this type of content can appear in Google Images, Discover, and even in Google’s mobile app.
We all know the potential of being seen in Discover, with its millions of daily users and the high traffic volume that this can give to your Web on Google search results.
That being said, let’s see how we can find Google Web Stories among SERPs results and in Discover. Moving on, we will see Google’s guidelines to show your Stories on search results.
How do stories appear on Google Web Stories
In order to appear on Google Web Stories, you must fulfill some Google Search criteria. This will make you appear among those results in different ways. For example, Google Web Stories can be shown as a unique result, as you can see below (this functionality is available in all regions and languages in which Google Search is available):
They can also appear in a grid view (this view is currently only available in the USA and in English):
Another available format is the carousel mode (this mode is currently only available in the USA and in English):
You can also find Web Stories in Google Images (this functionality is available in all regions and languages in which Google Search is available):
And lastly, one of the most interesting formats to bring traffic to your Web, Discover (at the moment, this view is only available in the USA and in English):
Enabling the stories in Google Web Stories
In order to show Google Web Stories on Google search, Google Images, Discover and the Google app, you must follow these steps:
- Create a web story with AMP.
- Check that it is valid and ready to be published on Google by doing the AMP test.
- Follow Google Web Stories guidelines.
- Optional: you can add structured data to your Web Stories so Google can understand content better. This way your content can appear in other rich formats, such as Google’s headlines or a host carousel. You must add the structured data according to the type of content:
My advice is to check the AMP guidelines to create attractive web stories.
Guidelines to show Google Web Stories
Here you have some technical guidelines that can help you being successful in Google with your web stories.
- Complete Web Stories: make sure your Web Stories are complete, with all information needed and that they do not look a lot like advertising.
Some examples of what you must avoid are:
- Web Stories in which users must click on links that will lead them to other webs or apps in order to get essential information.
- Web Stories with more than one external link or attached file per page. We must notify users correctly about external links and these files.
- Affiliate programs: if you are using affiliate links on your Web Stories, my advice is to add only a link per story and to always follow affiliate programs quality guidelines.
- Story length: Web Stories must have between 5 and pages, but it is always best to have between 10 and 20.
- Title length: titles must be short, with a max. of 40 characters.
- Text: make sure the text on each page is short (less than 200 characters per page) and that it is centered on just one idea.
- Video: if you are adding videos to your Web Stories, they should always be less than 60 seconds per page. Ideally, however, they should not be longer than 15 seconds. It is also recommended that they have subtitles.
And here we end our post about the new Google Web Stories. I hope you have found it interesting and that you can take advantage of this new type of content that will make a change for sure in the SEO field.