Glossary

Crawl
Google crawls (visits) RSS feeds and web pages using software called crawlers. Google uses the FeedFetcher user agent to retrieve RSS feeds.
Duplicate feed
If Google thinks that several RSS feeds describe the same podcast, only one will be served; all the other feeds are considered duplicate feeds. Read more.
Feed group or feed cluster
A group of one or more feeds that Google thinks describes a single show. The members of a feed group are chosen by Google. Read more.
Google Podcasts surfaces
All the Google services, apps, or devices where a user can search for and listen to podcasts. For example: Google Search, the Google Podcasts app for mobile, and Google Home. Read more.
Index, Google index
The Google index (sometimes called the index for short) is Google's list of known podcasts (and web pages) that are served to users. The verb index means putting a podcast (or web page) into the index after it has been found and parsed: After Google crawls an RSS feed, if the feed has no errors, Google indexes the feed, and it can then be served to people searching on Google.
Served feed
The RSS feed served by Google Podcasts for a given show. This is the feed that Google considers to be the most representative feed for that podcast in the podcast's feed groupRead more.
Show
A show describes a podcast available to listeners on Google Podcasts. A show on Podcasts Manager represents a specific show on Google Podcasts, and exposes listening data about that Google Podcasts show. See More about shows below.
Verified feed
served feed for which someone has verified ownership. Verifying ownership of a feed is required to add a show to Podcasts Manager, and whenever the served feed for that show changes, if the new served feed hasn't already been verified by a member of the Podcasts Manager show, a show member must verify ownership of the feed in order to see any data from the new feed.

More about shows

You create a show in Google Podcasts Manager in order to monitor your show on Google Podcasts. You create a show in Podcasts Manager by verifying ownership of the currently served feed on Google Podcasts. Here is a summary of the differences in the term show when used on Google Podcasts versus Google Podcasts Manager:

  Google Podcasts Google Podcasts Manager
Definition A podcast that listeners can play or subscribe to. The entity in Podcasts Manager that corresponds to a show on Google Podcasts.
Uses Provides a means for listeners to find, play, or subscribe to podcasts and episodes on many Google services, including Google Search, Google Assistant, and Google home. No management capabilities for the show owner (no concept of a show owner). Provides listening statistics for the corresponding show on Google Podcasts. Also provides limited management capabilities for the show on Google Podcasts.
Ownership The concept of ownership doesn't apply to shows on Google Podcasts. A user must prove ownership of the served feed in order to create or claim the corresponding Google Podcasts Manager show.
How created

A show is created in Google Podcasts when Google finds and reads an RSS feed for a valid, unblocked podcast that it does not already know about. Google can find an RSS feed in one of two ways:

  • Through normal crawling of the web
  • When someone explicitly tells Google about the feed.

A Google Podcasts user proves ownership of a served feed on Google Podcasts. The Google Podcasts Manger show is then permanently created, and associated with that Google Podcasts show, even if the served feed changes.

How defined One or more valid and unblocked RSS feeds that Google thinks describe the same podcast. One (and only one) of these feeds is served on Google Podcasts. Learn more When a show is created in Podcasts Manger, it will always be associated with the same show on Google Podcasts, even if the served feed changes. However, if the served feed changes, a user of the Podcasts Manager show must verify ownership of the newly served feed in order to see any data from that feed. Learn more

 

Here's an example of a show being found and served on Google Podcasts, then being claimed on Podcasts Manager.

Google Podcasts Podcasts Manager
1. Google has not yet found the feeds; the show does not exist on Google Podcast.

Google Podcasts show: None

List of feeds*:

  • myshow_2019.xml
  • myshow_top10.xml
  • myshow_2020.xml
Podcasts Manager show: None
2. Google finds the feeds, chooses one of them as most representative of the show, and serves that feed.

Google Podcasts show: My Show

List of feeds*:

  • myshow_2019.xml
  • myshow_top10.xml
  • myshow_2020.xml Served feed
Podcasts Manager show: None
3. User claims ownership of the feed in Podcast Manager, creating the associated show on Podcasts Manager.

Google Podcasts show: My Show

List of feeds*:

  • myshow_2019.xml
  • myshow_top10.xml
  • myshow_2020.xml Served feed

Podcasts Manager show: My Show

Feed history*:

  • myshow_2020.xml Served feed
4. New feed appears, and Google decides that this feed is a better representation of the show. If Google had decided that the currently served feed was still the most representative, the served feed would not change.

Google Podcasts show: My Show

List of feeds*:

  • myshow_2019.xml
  • myshow_top10.xml
  • myshow_2020.xml
  • myshow_2021.xml Served feed

Podcasts Manager show: My Show

Feed history*:

  • myshow_2021.xml Served feed
  • myshow_2020.xml Previously served feed

* The feed group for a given podcast according to Google Podcasts is not public.

The verified feed history for a show in Podcasts Manager can be seen by anyone with read access to the show. The Podcasts Manager group is a subset of the Google Podcasts surface group, and consists of all served, verified feeds since the show was created in Podcasts Manager.

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