Google has announced that it will do its best not to display teaser-based web stories on Google Search and Google Discover. The company said the editorial ecosystem is experimenting with new ways to create rich stories on the Internet, but based on what has been seen, users do not want teasers to ask them to click to see the full story, no.
What are web stories?
Web stories came to life in 2018 under the name of AMP Stories. It is essentially the same as Stories on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but it appears on the Google Discover tab of the Google mobile app:
Google defines Internet stories as a way to “immerse your readers in full-screen experiences and load them quickly”. One of the benefits of storytelling on the web is that “it can be shared and integrated on the Internet without being limited to an ecosystem or closed platform,” added Google.
Many bloggers, media, and publishers use stories from the web to attract visitors to their websites.
Paul Bakaus of Google Bakul said: “One or two pages of your blog will not tell the reader a satisfactory story, so Google will try not to show it to users.” This means that Google will soon stop displaying articles on the Internet-based on suggestions from Google Search and Google Discover.
In the ad, Google gives examples of what you can and shouldn’t do:
• A list of products inspired by stores and links to places to buy them.
• A short version of a recipe with all the ingredients listed, with more detailed one-click instructions.
• The story of a page that mentions a recipe in the title, but only a few photos with links to the site.
• A list of beautiful cities in Europe, but with only one city and one photo. See the blog link for updated information.
Interestingly, Google’s example of the Web Story recipe in the poison above is a ‘no’ to the statement. This raises the question of who should limit an opinion and how publishers strike a balance between offering free content through stories on the web and encouraging their own properties.
Why the change. Paul added: ‘Unfortunately, this is not what users tell us, this is not what they want. Instead, web stories are best if they tell a complete story and are not used to “tease” other content.
“Readers don’t like being forced to click on a blog post with a link to read it,” he added.
Google doesn’t want you to create a story on the web to benefit from Google Search or Discover ratings, but it does send the user to your site when the user enters content in the Internet Stories format.
What about monetization?
The ad focuses on the ‘elephant in the room’, which means that many publishers use Web Story teasers to drive traffic to their profitable properties. The message invites publishers to ‘think about users who use [web stories] and how Google sees them’.
The ad reminds readers that Google Web Stories offers ads on the Google Display Network: “You can win stories on the web with ads on the page”.
Paul recognizes that he may not go beyond making money on his website, but that progress is being made in this area. He said: “A well-optimized blog post can make even more money today, but the ad networks are expanding and expanding their integration with Internet history, so you should see the full CPM and rates improve over time.”
Interestingly, Google cites the user experience of jumping to story pages on the Internet while offering its own advertising products as a solution. Do Web Story users prefer ads over organic content on the platform?
Publishers are already struggling with the evolving search and social media ecosystem, and small bloggers and publications are making more money from the site than Web Story ads.
Because we care.
Many publishers have experimented with stories on the Internet and are facing a lot of pressure and positive user engagement. Remember that if you create an example or story on the web that requires users to click on your site to read the full story, Google may soon stop showing your stories on the web in Google Search and Google Discover.
It is also important to note that the alternative to Internet teaser stories is to buy ads between pages to compensate for the teaser content removed from search and discovery lists. Many publishers may need to adjust their strategies to accommodate this change or find an alternative for storytelling on the Internet.