Google’s John Mueller Confirms Core Updates Apply to Discover

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Google’s John Mueller says it’s common for broad core algorithm updates to impact Discover in addition to web search results.

Google sees Discover as part of search results, rather than a separate component. Since Discover is part of search it uses a number of the same quality algorithms, Muller says.

That means changes to Google’s web search algorithm will impact Discover. Or, as Mueller puts it, updates to Google’s search algorithm “commonly” impact Discover.

Mueller’s statement is clearer than previous messaging around Discover and core updates.

Google’s help document suggests core updates may affect Discover. Now we know it’s almost certain.

This is a topic of discussion in the Google Search Central office hours stream held on January 22. An SEO named Chandan Kumar asks John what the relation is between Search and Discover.


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Kumar notes when his referral traffic from search is impacted by a core update there are fluctuations in Discover traffic at the same time.

Mueller then explains how Search and Discover are one and the same. Here’s his response.

Google’s John Mueller on Core Updates & Discover

SEOs and site owners have been told by Google up to this point that core algorithm updates “may” affect Google Discover.

Now there’s no question about it. Core algorithm updates do impact Discover and the likelihood of it happening is common.

Mueller says:

“We do use a number of the same quality algorithms in Discover as we use in web search. When a broad core update happens in web search it’s very common that you would also see changes in discover as well. So that’s certainly not totally unrelated.”


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Discover is part of Google Search, Mueller goes on to say. Although it exists outside regular search results, it’s not an independent entity.

Content in Google Discover comes from the same index as web search. That’s important to note because other Google entities like Shopping and News have their own ways of grabbing content.

For SEOs and site owners that means there’s nothing extra to do in order to get content included in Discover. If the content is in Google’s search index it’s eligible to be featured in Discover.

“We see discover as almost a part of search. So it’s not something that we would say is completely independent and uses separate algorithms and everything. It does include a lot of similar things. Also the content, of course, is based on what we crawl and index for web search. It’s not a separate index or anything like that.”

Hear the full question and answer in the video below:

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