Google is working on a way to search audio online starting with podcasts

If you’re looking for anything text-based, Google’s the place to go. Need an image? No problem. Video? You can probably find it. But what if you’re looking for audio?

For example, let’s say you’re looking for something that was said verbatim in a news clip, a video or increasingly, a podcast. Unless those words have been transcribed into text, there’s no way to find what you’re looking for. If there only some way to search through audio.

Google is working on it. This is from

Google’s new podcast strategy is designed to make audio a first-class citizen, alongside the text, image, and video results you are used to seeing.

“Right now Google is really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.

“The way that we’re approaching the problem fits really nicely with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Podcasters are creating so much useful content. We can help make it more accessible by helping people find it when they need it or when they want it, and working to integrate it seamlessly as you live your life.”

There are a lot major implications of podcasts becoming more prominently featured by Google.

  • There will be a lot of people who click on a link that answers their search query and begin listening to their first podcast ever.
  • Podcasts that show up based on people’s search could lead to a broader diversity of shows being discovered and listened to.
  • Search algorithms have the potential to help podcasters find exactly the type of listener that will love their show.

Why does this matter? For new listeners, the current podcast ecosystem isn’t always as friendly or accessible as it could be. Listening happens predominantly inside dedicated podcast apps, and the process can be loaded with friction. It may seem easy once you get the hang of things, but imagine if you’ve never listened to a podcast. Having to download an app, figure out search inside that app, and subscribe to a show before you can start listening might be a lot to ask.

In short, what Google is doing has the potential to supercharge discovery for you.

Keep reading.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38320 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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