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Google search just got smarter at finding podcast episodes

A man wearing headphones on a platform
(Image credit: Pexels/Burst)

Over the span of Google Search’s decades-long lifetime, new and convenient features have been constantly implemented to help provide more immediate information and links for popular search types, and now the tech giant is giving that same treatment to podcasts.

Announced today on the Google blog, users searching for a podcast via Google will notice an extra section show up among their regular search results, displaying a carousel of individual podcast episodes that are available online.

The function works when using search phrases such as “podcasts about space”, or “true crime podcasts”, and Google claims that “soon, you won’t necessarily need the term ‘podcast’ in your search to see episodes”.

(Image credit: Google)

If you’re wondering how Google is able to find these episodes – even if the title isn’t necessarily part of the search terms – it’s because the results are “based on Google’s understanding of what’s being talked about”.

As reported by Android Police earlier in the year, the company had begun transcribing podcasts found on its native Google Podcasts service, in the hope that the metadata will be useful for search results. Today, we’re likely seeing the results of this.

You can’t currently listen to the podcast direct from the search results, it will instead click through to the Google Podcasts web app, but support for third-party apps and websites that may hold exclusive rights to a podcast will be supported in the future, greatly increasing the potential search results.

The blog post also mentions that the tech giant will be bringing the same functionality to Google Assistant later in the year, as well as the dedicated Google Podcasts for web, from which you’ll be able to also listen directly to the episode from the search result.

English language users in the US are the first to receive the feature, but if you don’t yet see it in your search results, it’s safe to assume it will be with you soon as the global rollout process is currently underway.