Doing SEO for Web Stories is tricky says John Mueller


Google’s John Mueller sheds some light on Web Stories

Google Web Stories are a type of visual content (stories) that combines video, audio, graphics, animation, and text to create an interactive viewing experience. People can see Google Web Stories in a Google search, in Google pictures, or through the Google Discover app, in addition to watching them on your website.

But how do you do SEO for Web stories? A user raised a query related to this in one of the English SEO Office hours on the Google Search Central channel.

Here’s the question:

“We recently added Web Stories to my website, which is focused on marketing a destination. The good news is, I got thousands of impressions on them. The bad news is that it drove my overall clickthrough rate down to 0.5%. I am worried that this low clickthrough rate is going to affect my search results for the whole website.”

Low CTR for Web Stories will not hamper search rankings

John Mueller assured that having a low click-through rate (CTR) for web stories won’t negatively impact search result rankings.

“It will not affect the search results for your website. So that’s the first thing to be really clear about. It’s not going to be that some pages have a very low clickthrough rate, therefore we will rank this website lower. That’s not how it works”, said Mueller.

Following that, John also stated that optimizing web stories from an SEO standpoint might be difficult.

“I think, with Web Stories themselves, doing SEO for them is sometimes tricky, because there’s very little text on them. So if you’re getting impressions for them, then you’re already doing some really good work”, said Mueller.

How to do Keyword Research for Web Stories?

John Mueller explained how difficult it is for Google to provide detailed information about Web Stories as there is very little textual information available. Web Stories are, however, included in Google Search Console as normal landing pages. This may help you get some information or data for optimizing your web stories.

“So we include them in Search Console, and as normal pages as well. So there’s a little bit of information there. But I do think it’s challenging, just because there’s so little textual content on these Web Stories. And from a search ranking point of view, we almost need to figure out a little bit better how we can recognize this small amount of information in a Web Story and rank them appropriately”, said John Mueller.

Internal linking using Web Stories

Google recommends adding internal links from web stories that point to other pages on the website. This would help users navigate to other pages on the website if they land on your web story.

John Mueller’s recommendation:

“I mean, one of the things I would also recommend doing is making sure that you embed the Web Story as well within your website, so that there are links from the Web Stories to the rest of your website too. Well, the advantage there is, if people go to your Web Story, then they can still move on to the rest of your website.”

To learn more about web stories, you can visit Google’s developer docs here.

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Doing SEO for Web Stories is tricky says John Mueller