Podcast

Podcast search result You can enable your podcast to appear in Google Search results and Google Podcasts, along with individual episode descriptions and an embedded player for each. This feature is available through the Google Search App for Android (requires v6.5 or higher of the Google Search App), Google Podcasts app, Chrome for Android , Google Home, and Google Assistant.

Guidelines

Terminology: A podcast is an audio program that consists of one or more episodes.

To be eligible for inclusion in this feature, you must do the following:

  • Expose a valid RSS feed describing the podcast that conforms to the RSS 2.0 specifications as well as the feed requirements described below.
  • The feed must contain at least one episode that conforms to the requirements given on this page.
  • The podcast must have a dedicated homepage with the attributes described below. The homepage must have a <link> pointing to your RSS feed.
  • The homepage, the RSS feed, and any non-blocked audio files must be exposed to Googlebot; that is, they must not require a login, and must not be protected by robots.txt or <noindex> tags.
  • If you want your podcast to appear in Google Play, you should also read the Google Play Music podcast RSS feed specifications. The RSS specifications for Google Play Music and Google Search are complimentary but not identical, so if you enable support for one, you neither prevent nor enable support for the other.

It can take a few days for any additions or changes to your feed or homepage to be updated in search results or the Google Podcasts app. For more information on how to expedite this process, see Update a podcast.

RSS feed requirements

You must expose an RSS feed describing your podcast. This RSS feed should conform to the RSS 2.0 specification, with additional tags and values as described in the following section. Some of these tags are podcast-level, and some are episode-level.

If you use any tags defined by either the Google Play or iTunes extension, be sure to include the appropriate xmlns attributes in the <rss> tag at the top of your feed, as shown here:

<rss version="2.0"
     xmlns:googleplay="http://www.google.com/schemas/play-podcasts/1.0"
     xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd">

Here is an example of a podcast feed with two episodes that lives at https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/rss/podcast.rss:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:googleplay="http://www.google.com/schemas/play-podcasts/1.0"
     xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd">
  <channel>
    <title>Dafna's Zebra Podcast</title>
    <googleplay:author>Dafna</googleplay:author>
    <description>A pet-owner's guide to the popular striped equine.</description>
    <googleplay:image href="http://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/img/dafna-zebra-pod-logo.jpg"/>
    <language>en-us</language>
    <link>https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/</link>
    <item>
      <title>Top 10 myths about caring for a zebra</title>
      <description>Here are the top 10 misunderstandings about the care, feeding, and breeding of these lovable striped animals.</description>
      <pubDate>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:00:00 GMT</pubDate>
      <enclosure url="https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/audio/toptenmyths.mp3"
                 type="audio/mpeg" length="34216300"/>
      <itunes:duration>30:00</itunes:duration>
      <guid>dzpodtop10</guid>
    </item>
    <item>
      <title>Keeping those stripes neat and clean</title>
      <description>Keeping your zebra clean is time consuming, but worth the effort.</description>
      <pubDate>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT</pubDate>
      <enclosure url="https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/audio/cleanstripes.mp3"
                 type="audio/mpeg" length="26004388"/>
      <itunes:duration>22:48</itunes:duration>
      <guid>dzpodclean</guid>
    </item>
  </channel>
</rss>

Podcast-level RSS tags

You must include the required tags for your podcast to be eligible for display as a rich result or in Google Podcasts. You can also include the recommended tags to add more information about your content, which could provide a better user experience.

Required tags
<item>

One or more descriptions of individual episodes. You must have at least one <item> element in the feed. For details on markup used to describe episodes, see Episode-level RSS tags.

<link>

Fully-qualified URL of the homepage of your podcast. Be sure to test that the homepage is accessible to Googlebot using either Fetch as Google or the Mobile-Friendly Test.

<title>

Name of the podcast.

Recommended tags
Author tags

The author(s) of the podcast. You can provide an author by using one or both of the following tags:

<googleplay:author>...</googleplay:author>
<itunes:author>...</itunes:author>

Examples: "Example Corporation" or "Dafna Smith".

Category tags

The general topic of the podcast to be shown in the Search results. The category must be in English and & must be provided as &amp;. You can provide a category by using one or both of the following tags:

<googleplay:category text="..."/>
<itunes:category text="..."/>

Description tags

A plaintext description of the podcast, which is shown if the user clicks for more information in Search results. HTML tags are ignored and the description is truncated to 1,000 characters. If present, the description should generally agree with the content on the podcast homepage, but need not be an exact copy of that text. You can provide a description by using one or any combination of the following tags:

<description>...</description>
<googleplay:description>...</googleplay:description>
<itunes:summary>...</itunes:summary>

Explicit tags

If present and set to yes (case insensitive), this tag indicates that the podcast contains explicit material. You can also tag individual episodes with this property for finer-grained control. You can indicate explicit content by using one or both of the following tags:

<googleplay:explicit>yes</googleplay:explicit>
<itunes:explicit>yes</itunes:explicit>

Image tags

An image to associate with your podcast. It must not be blocked to Googlebot. You can provide an image by using one or any combination of the following tags:

<googleplay:image href="...">
<itunes:image href="...">
<image>
  <link>...</link>
  <title>...</title>
  <url>...</url>
</image>
<language>

The two-letter language code of the podcast as defined by ISO 639-1.

Episode-level RSS tags

You must include the required tags for your podcast to display in search results. You can also include the recommended tags to add more information about your podcast, which could provide a better user experience.

Required tags
<enclosure>

Fully-qualified URL of the episode audio file. Audio files with the following extensions are supported: aac, m4a, mp3, ogg, wav. Episodes will only appear in search results if the majority of the episodes are supported audio file formats. Ensure that these files are not protected by robots.txt files, and are otherwise available to Googlebot.

<title>

Title of the podcast episode.

Recommended tags

Description tags

A description of this episode, to show in search results. HTML tags are ignored, and the description will be truncated to 200 characters. You can provide a description by using one or any combination of the following tags:

<description>...</description>
<googleplay:description>...</googleplay:description>
<itunes:summary>...</itunes:summary>

Explicit tags

If present and set to yes (case insensitive), indicates that the episode contains explicit material. You can indicate explicit content by using one or both of the following tags:

<googleplay:explicit>yes</googleplay:explicit>
<itunes:explicit>yes</itunes:explicit>
<guid>

A permanently-assigned, case-sensitive Globally Unique Identifier for a podcast episode. Should be unique and unchanging over time, scoped to this podcast. GUIDs are compared to indicate which episodes are new. If a <guid> tag isn't specified, the file URL in the <enclosure> tag is used instead.

<itunes:duration>

Duration of the episode, in one of the following formats:

  • [hours]:[minutes]:[seconds]
  • [minutes]:[seconds]
  • [total_seconds]

In the first two formats the values for hours, minutes, or seconds cannot exceed two digits each.

<pubDate>

Publication date of the episode, in RFC 822 (section 5.1) format.

Homepage requirements

Your podcast must have a homepage that clearly describes what the podcast is about. The homepage cannot have another <link type="application/rss+xml" rel="alternate"> element on it. The homepage must be available to Googlebot at the exact URL specified in the RSS feed. The homepage must have the following HTML element somewhere in the page code:

<link type="application/rss+xml" rel="alternate"
      title="Your Podcast's Name" href="Your podcast's RSS url"/>

The HTML element must contain the following required attributes. You can also include the recommended attributes to add more information about your podcast, which could provide a better user experience.

Required HTML attributes
href

URL of the podcast's RSS feed.

Recommended HTML attributes
title

Short descriptive title of the podcast.

Here is an example of a minimal homepage for the RSS feed example above. It must be located at https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/ in order to comply with the RSS feed's definition.

<html>
  <head>
    <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Podcast"
          href="https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/rss/podcast.rss"/>
    <title>Dafna's Zebra Podcast</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1>Dafna's Zebra Podcast</h1>
    <p>Most people don't realize that zebras actually make fabulous house pets.
    They're clean, well behaved, and always well dressed. In this podcast series
    we talk to zebra lovers and zebra experts to get to the bottom of this amazing
    striped animal.</p>
  </body>
</html>

Podcast management

Once your podcast feed has been parsed by Google, you can use Google Podcasts and other tools to manage your podcast episodes and feed in Google products.

Preview

You can preview how your podcast may look in search results in the Google Search App on Android. The preview tool generates a QR code, which you can scan on an Android device to see the experience. Previewing a podcast requires v8.0 or higher of the Google Search App, even though the experience is available on v6.5 or higher.

Preview

Update

Google Podcasts automatically checks for updates to feeds that we find on the web, often as quickly as five minutes. To ensure the update takes effect as quickly as possible, you can use Google PubSubHubbub hub to ensure updates propagate as soon as possible. For example, when you change your show’s description or release a new episode. Enter your feed URL in the Topic URL field and click Publish. If your feed complies with the guidelines, your podcast should be available within a week.

To avoid the manual process of entering a URL, you can automate the process with the PubSubHubbub API.

Remove

To remove an episode, simply unpublish it from your RSS feed. Depending on a variety of factors, the change may take effect in as little as five minutes or—in the worst case—as long as a couple days.

To remove a podcast or episode altogether, you can block Google by using one or both of the following tags, which may take effect within a couple of days:

<googleplay:block>yes</googleplay:block>
<itunes:block>yes</itunes:block>

These tags prevent the podcast information from appearing in Google Search, Google Home, the Google Podcasts app, and Google Play Music results. These tags don't affect the visibility of the host page in Google Search.

Another option is to block Googlebot from the RSS feed, which may take effect within a few weeks. To remove content from Google's services under applicable laws (such as copyright infringement), follow our legal troubleshooter.

To drive more traffic to your podcast from your site, we recommend adding a button to your site with the Google Podcasts app logo that opens directly to your podcast in the app. You can generate a direct link to create the link URL. You can also download the Google Podcasts brand assets to use our logo as a button on your site that links directly to your podcast.

Generate direct links Download brand assets

Monitor

When a user streams or downloads an episode of your podcast, the episode is obtained directly from the URL specified in the episode’s <enclosure> tag of the RSS feed. You can distinguish Google Podcasts from other podcast players by looking at the user-agent HTTP header:

  • Track requests from Google Podcasts by looking for the regular expression \b(GoogleChirp|GSA)\/.
  • To split out analytics for Google Podcasts on Android from Google Podcasts on smart speakers, look for the following regular expressions:
    • Google Podcasts on Android: \bGSA\/
    • Google Podcasts on smart speakers: \bGoogleChirp\/

Troubleshooting

If your podcast isn't appearing in Google Search or Google Podcasts, try the following steps. Note that Google doesn't guarantee that every podcast will show up in Google Search or Google Podcasts.

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