In a world stuffed full of articles and stories, it can be hard to find the stuff that really interests you. As the name implies, Google Discover is one solution to this problem, and you probably already have it.
A Brief History of Google Discover
Google Discover’s origins go back to 2012 when it was called “Google Now.” The idea of “Google Now” was to give you information throughout the day without your input. In other words, Google would do the Google Searches for you.
Google Now could show you boarding passes, upcoming sporting events, calendar events, tracking numbers, and much more. Slowly, Google stripped down the product and moved many of these features to Google Assistant’s “Snapshot.”
Eventually, it was trimmed down to mostly articles from around the web, and it became referred to simply as the “Google Feed.” In 2018, Google officially announced a new name and look for it, and that’s the Google Discover we have today.
What Is Google Discover for?
The purpose of Google Discover is given away by its name. It’s intended to help you discover content from around the web that pertains to your interests. Everyone’s Google Discover feed is personalized to their preferences.
You don’t have to visit a rotation of websites or curate your own RSS feeds. Google does the work for you, gathering stories from around the web that it thinks you’ll be interested in. All you have to do is open the Google app, and you have a smorgasbord of content to enjoy.
Speaking of the app, as of this writing, Google Discover is a mobile experience only. You can use it on an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. It’s not available on the Google mobile site, either. Only the Google app available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store has it.
How Does Google Discover Know What I Like?
Google Discover is personalized for you, but how exactly does that work? First and foremost, Google is tapping into the information you have already given it. That can include web activity, YouTube history, Search queries, and more.
More important than all of that, though, is how you personalize Discover. Think of the Discover feed as an algorithm. It’s only as good as the information it has, so the more you help it along, the better it gets.
At first, you may find stuff that you don’t care about. Just because you searched one time for a Detroit Pistons score doesn’t mean that you’re a superfan who needs to know everything about the team. If you tell Google that you’re not interested in that, it will get better.
How to Personalize Google Discover
Personalizing Google Discover is all about taking action on content as you see it. Stories are presented in the feed as cards, and these cards include controls for fine-tuning.
For example, here’s a card about a Star Wars show. Tapping the menu button brings up a few options. In this example, the topic Google thinks I’m interested in is “Disney+.” I can either tell Google that I’m not interested in that or “Follow” the topic for even more information on it.
Additionally, I can tap the control button and tell Google that I’d like to see “More” or “Less” of this topic in my feed.
Simply put, Google Discover is your own personalized and curated feed of content from the web. If you’re always looking for something interesting to read or watch, it can be a great tool to use. And the key is to help it get better over time.