Google rolls out revamped podcast search tools

US users can filter show results by platform and click through to listen

Google has started rolling out a number of new podcast search tools in the US, according to a report by TechCrunch, including third-party listening and personalised recommendations. 

The new features from Google come after the platform officially shut down its playable podcasts feature, which allowed users to listen to shows from within search results. 

According to TechCrunch, searching for generic terms like ‘comedy podcasts’ will recommend popular shows in a box near the top of the search results. Clicking on the titles will bring up details such as the show’s description, average episode length, and a list of the latest episodes to listen to. Google has also integrated buttons into these sections that launch the podcast via third-party platforms. 

By default, this includes Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and the show’s own website (if applicable), as well as more listening options - such as Google Podcasts - hidden behind a drop-down. While Spotify told TechCrunch that the ability to launch podcasts in its app directly from Google search results has been active for more than a year, the ability to do so with Apple Podcasts is newly-launched. 

In addition to being redirected to third-party platforms, users can also narrow down show recommendations by using filter option to find specific genres and limit results to shows only available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

This appears to be the first incarnation of the company’s ‘What to Podcast’ feature, which was brought in to replace podcast carousels in search results and will offer more personalised podcast recommendations tailored to the user using data from their Google accounts’ browsing and search history, saved podcasts and podcast preferences. The functionality is currently rolling out to users in the US on a staggered basis, with potential for more markets to be added over time depending on success.