Google announced that it will try not to show “teaser” based Web Stories in Google Search and Google Discover. This is a new policy change and Google said the ecosystem has been experimenting with new ways of creating rich Web Stories but based on what it has seen, users want to see the full story without being asked to click through to read the full story.
What are Web Stories. Web Stories came to life under the name of AMP Stories back in 2018. Google defines Web Stories as a way to “immerse your readers in fast-loading full-screen experiences.” You can “create visual narratives, with engaging animations and tappable interactions,” using Web Stories. “The Web Story format (formerly known as AMP Stories) is free and part of the open web and are available for everyone to try on their websites. They can be shared and embedded across the web without being confined to a closed ecosystem or platform,” Google added.
What is changing. Paul Bakaus from Google said “one- or two-page teaser for your blog post doesn’t tell a satisfying story to a reader, so Google will do its very best to not show these to users.” That means that Google will soon stop showing “teaser” based Web Stories in Google Search and Google Discover.
Why the change. Paul added “unfortunately, from what users are telling us, this isn’t what they want. Instead Web Stories are best when they tell a full story and aren’t used to “tease” other content.” “Readers don’t like to feel forced to click through to a connected blog post to finish reading,” he added.
In short, Google does not want you to create a Web Story with the intent of taking advantage of its ranking placement in Google Search or Discover but with the aim of sending that user to your own web site, when the user wanted to see the content in the Web Stories format.
What about monetization. Google does have Web Stories ads in the Google Display Network, this is new, Google added this last December. Paul did admit that it might not work as well as when you monetize your own site but advancements are being made in this area.
Paul said “well-optimized blog posts might still make you more money today, but ad networks are working on building out and expanding their Web Story integrations, so you should see both CPMs and fill rates improve over time.”
Paul posted this video explaining the change:
Why we care. A lot of you have been experimenting with Web Stories and seeing a lot of positive user engagement. Keep in mind, if you are producing “teaser” or short Web Stories that require you to read the full story not in that Web Story format, then Google might soon not show your Web Stories in Google Search and Google Discover.
About The Author
Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.