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The new paradigm of Google search: Shorts, Visual stories & now YouTube Podcasts.

Imagine it’s 2024, you are evaluating your SEO strategy & looking at the growth in organic traffic from different keywords, their CTRs, and conversion rates. While your competition, in addition to looking at all the metrics that you are already looking at, is also evaluating Organic plays, swipes, completion rates, clicks, traffic & conversions (yea, maybe not last click conversion but surely last non-direct click or these formats playing some role in your attribution model to give you more sales.

The sheer opportunity these new formats can open up for brands is cavernous.

One of the most common challenges SEOs face is the time it takes for their organic results to show up, it can range anywhere from 3 months to 12 months depending on how competitive the keyword is. But a part of this challenge is also because of the fact that search has been largely limited to textual results or at-most video results.

With advent of new formats, SEOs may have an opportunity to counter this challenge. So far, the way these new formats have behaved, they take lesser time to rank compared to traditional text based results. Visual stories, Shorts are taking anywhere between 7 to 30 days to start showing up. Although a part of this ranking gain could also be because of less competition as of now, but the shelf-life of short form videos and stories is less, hence the most optimised ones, should contnite witnessing gains at a momentum faster than traditional text search.

What’s up with Shorts?

Pls pls pls, do not replicate Instagram reels content to YouTube shorts. These platforms are native to different audience mindsets. If Reels is about catching up on trends, shorts have to be around solving user problems. What tos, how tos, when tos will still be an important genre for shorts. The traditional practice of doing keyword research, otpimising content for it, will still be core to shorts.

Have a look at the Google search result page for ‘chicken recipe’. Short results take more real estate on google search, adding the propensity of users to click on these results.

If you are defining your SEO strategy or are looking for ways to scale up, start shooting reels around the searches for which you want visibility.

Are visual stories similar to Instagram stories?

Yes and no. Yes because they look similar to Instagram stories & at the end of the day they have to be narrated in story telling format. No because they do no live for 24 hours, they are not only visible to your followers, in fact, Google visual stories are visible to anyone who makes a relevant search. For ex., a search of ‘watermelon’ shows visual stories embedded on Google search result page.

Watermelon google search

How relevant is this for a site like Healthifyme to drive consideration? IMO, super relevant.

Visual stories are also referred as Web stories and are also visible to users in the ‘Discovery section‘ of Google search app.

YouTube Podcasts..whhaattt..??

YouTube’s taking its next steps into podcast hosting, with some users now able to access a dedicated podcast page in the app, which will eventually enable podcasters to feed their shows straight into YouTube, adding another promotion surface for their content. As reported by 9to5Google, YouTube’s podcast page is now available to a small subset of people, providing a full overview of podcast content in the app.

YouTube has confirmed the test, explaining that:

“The podcast destination page on YouTube helps users explore new and popular podcast episodes, shows and Creators, as well as recommend podcast content. It’s currently available in the US only.”

YouTube Podcast screen.
YouTube Podcast screen. Only visible to limited users in US.

Soon, your google search may suggest relevant podcast options that will help podcasters (& indirectly brands) to catch users at varied intent levels.


Google search is changing fast. Not only major algorithm updates but also addition of new formats. And its good for search overall. It is great for users as they have options the way they want to consume results and its fantastic for brands (specially the smaller ones) as by doubling down on quality content across platforms can help them get tons of relevant traffic.

If SEO is the core of your digital strategy, start working on the new Paradigm of Search now.

By the way, if you need help or a deeper understanding of these, we are covering it in our next A to Z of digital Marketing masterclass. Sign-up and I hope to see you on Saturday.


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