Google no longer allows users to directly listen to podcasts from search results, which may signal a shift towards promoting podcasts on YouTube.
Users won't be able to access podcast episodes directly from the SERPs anymore because Google has covertly removed integrated podcasts from search results.
Podnews was the first to notice this alteration, and a Google representative later confirmed that the removal was deliberate.
A feature that was introduced in 2019 that allows users to listen to certain podcast episodes without leaving Google will be impacted by this change.
Although consumers cannot directly access podcast episodes from the search page, Google will still link to them in search results.
Users will instead be sent to the podcast's host website.
According to a Google spokeswoman, the decision to eliminate embedded podcasts from search results was taken to improve user experience.
Despite Google's lack of notification, the removal of embedded podcasts from search results isn't shocking given that the Google Podcasts app hasn't been updated in 18 months.
Searchers who frequently utilise the feature will probably be disappointed by the change.
However, since users will no longer be able to get podcasts through a simple search, this shift may lead to more people subscribing to them.
The elimination of embedded podcasts from search results by Google may be a part of a bigger plan to phase out the Google Podcasts service.
The app may be on its way to the Google cemetery given that there haven't been any updates for more than a year.
This does not, however, suggest that Google is completely giving up on the podcast sector.
According to a Bloomberg article from 2021, YouTube was looking to employ someone to manage its podcasting operation.
This shows that Google is committed to improving the YouTube podcasting experience and that it might not want to engage in direct competition with itself in that market.
According to a 2022 survey by Edison Research, Spotify is the second-most popular platform for podcast listening, closely behind YouTube.
Having said that, it makes sense why Google prioritises YouTube for podcasts.
It's important to note that YouTube attained this degree of fame despite not having a dedicated podcast category.
Prior to August, there was no dedicated podcast category on YouTube. Users had to manually look for them.
Google will probably turn its attention to YouTube if it stops supporting its Podcasts app. This might indicate the release of a YouTube Podcasts app.