Podcasts

Overview

Podcast search result You can enable your podcast to appear in Google Search results along with individual episode descriptions and an embedded player for each. This feature applies only to searches in the Google Search app v6.5 or higher on an Android device or on Google Home. We hope to add support for Chrome on Android soon.

Guidelines

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

In order to index a podcast, 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 elements 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.

Note that it can take a few days for any additions or changes to your feed or homepage to be updated in search results.

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">

Podcast-level RSS tags

The following table shows which podcast-level tags you must or might define in your podcast's RSS feed to support appearing in search results.

Tag Description
<title>

[Required] Name of the podcast.

<link>

[Required] 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.

<item>

[Required] One or more descriptions of individual episodes. You must have at least one <item> element in the feed.

<googleplay:author>
          OR
<itunes:author>
[Optional] The author(s) of the podcast. Examples: "Example Corporation" or "Dafna Smith".
<googleplay:image href="...">
          OR
<itunes:image href="...">
          OR
<image>
    <link>
    <title>
    <url>
</image>

[Optional] An image to associate with your podcast. It must not be blocked to Googlebot.

Examples:

  • Extension image element:
    <googleplay:image href="http://google.com/google_podcast_cover_art.jpg"/>
  • Standard RSS image element: When using the standard RSS <image> tag, it must contain a <title> that is the same as the <title> element in the homepage and a <link> element pointing to the podcast homepage.
    <image>
      <link>href="https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/"</link>
      <title>Dafna's Zebra Podcast</title>
      <url>http://google.com/google_podcast_cover_art.jpg</url>
    </image>
<googleplay:description>
          OR
<itunes:summary>
          OR
<description>
[Optional] 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, it should generally agree with the content on the podcast homepage, but need not be an exact copy of that text.
<language> [Optional] The two-letter language code of the podcast as defined by ISO 639-1. Examples: "es", "it"
<googleplay:category>
          OR
<itunes:category>

[Optional] The general topic of the podcast, to be shown in the Search results. Must be in English, and must be URL-encoded. Example: <googleplay:category text="Games &amp; Hobbies"/>

We recommend using one of the following categories:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Comedy
  • Education
  • Games &amp; Hobbies
  • Government &amp; Organizations
  • Health
  • Kids &amp; Family
  • Music
  • News &amp; Politics
  • Religion &amp; Spirituality
  • Science &amp; Medicine
  • Society &amp; Culture
  • Sports &amp; Recreation
  • TV &amp; Film
  • Technology

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

          OR
<itunes:block>
    yes
</itunes:block>

[Optional] If present and set to "yes" (case insensitive), prevents the podcast information from appearing in Google Search, Google Home, and Google Play Music results. Does not affect the visiblity of the host page from appearing in Google Search.

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

OR
<itunes:explicit>
    yes
</itunes:explicit>

[Optional] If present and set to "yes" (case insensitive), indicates that the podcast contains explicit material. You can also tag individual episodes with this property for finer-grained control.

Episode-level RSS tags

The following table shows which episode-level tags you must or might define in your podcast's RSS feed to support appearing in search results. The tags shown here are standard tags, but the necessity and behavior is specific for appearing in Google Search results.

Tag Description
<title>

[Required] Title of the podcast episode.

<enclosure>

[Required] Fully-qualified URL of the episode audio file. Audio files with the following extensions are supported: aac, m4a, mp3, ogg, wav. Example: <enclosure url="https://www.example.com/podcasts/dafnas-zebras/audio/toptenmyths.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" length="34216300"/>

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.

<googleplay:description>
          OR
<itunes:summary>
          OR
<description>
[Optional] A description of this episode, to show in search results. HTML tags are ignored, and the description will be truncated to 200 characters.
<guid> [Optional] 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 will be used instead.
<pubDate> [Optional] Publication date of the episode, in RFC 2822 (section 3.3) format. Example: <pubDate>Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 00:00:00 EST</pubDate>
<itunes:duration>

[Optional] 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 2 digits each.

Examples:

  • <itunes:duration>1:10:00</itunes:duration>
  • <itunes:duration>10:00</itunes:duration>
  • <itunes:duration>1800</itunes:duration>
<googleplay:block>
    yes
</googleplay:block>

          OR
<itunes:block>
    yes
</itunes:block>
[Optional] If present and set to "yes" (case insensitive), this specific episode will not appear in Google Search, Google Home, and Google Play results. However, it will not block any episode-related information appearing in a web page from appearing in Google Search results.

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

[Optional] If present and set to "yes" (case insensitive), indicates that the episode contains explicit material.

 

Feed example

Here is an example of a single-episode feed of a podcast 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>

Homepage requirements

Your podcast must have a homepage that clearly describes what the podcast is about. It must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 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"/>
    • title (optional) - Short descriptive title of the podcast.
    • href - URL of the podcast's RSS feed.
  • 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.

Homepage example

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>
    

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