Overview

Podcast hosting service users

If you are using a podcast hosting service, such as Libsyn or Anchor, your service may handle the technical aspects of posting your podcasts on Google for you. However, you should read this guide to confirm whether your podcast is on Google, and how you can customize things to perform a bit better on Search.

Understanding the RSS file

Every podcast is defined by an RSS feed. An RSS feed is a text file that provides the important details about a podcast, including the podcast name and description, the names of the episodes and audio file locations, and more, using a very structured format. This file is posted at a public URL, just like a web page, where Google (and all podcast players) read it to understand a podcast and its episodes.

The RSS file is typically hidden from you

When you use a podcast hosting service, you won't have to generate an RSS file yourself. Instead, the hosting service provides a simple way to define your show's name, description, episodes, and more. Behind the scenes, the hosting service creates and updates your show's RSS file. Typically you won't see your RSS file unless you make a special effort.

Here's an example of a simplified interface page on a service, and the corresponding RSS that it generates and posts. Note how the show name, contact address, show description, and logo file are shown in the hosting service interface, and recorded in the underlying RSS file.

Hosting service interface
(What you see)

Underlying RSS file
(What you don't see)

Show settings

Show name:

Contact address:

Description:

Site logo:
🦓
Change logo...

...more settings...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0"
    xmlns:itunes=
    "http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd">
  <channel>
    <title>Dafna's Zebra Podcast</title>
    <itunes:owner>
        <itunes:email>dafna@example.com<itunes:email>
    </itunes:owner>
    <description>A pet-owner's guide to zebras</description>
    <itunes:image href="https://example.podcastserver.com/dafnas-zebras/img/zebra.jpg"/>
    ... more settings ...
  </channel>
</rss>

 

Most, if not all, of the information needed by Google Podcasts in an RSS file can be configured in your podcast's settings pages on your hosting service. For example, your podcast's name and description are easy to specify or update.

Some settings, though, might be a little harder to configure, and you'll need to do a little research on how to set these values, or you might even want or need to set them directly in the RSS file. For example, the owner email address, or the location of your podcast's home page. When Google Podcasts needs a special value in your RSS file, our documentation will tell you what you need, and you can search your hosting service's documentation to learn how to read or update this value.

Get Started

Here's a summary of how to get your podcast on Google:

  1. Create a good homepage and associate it with your podcast.
  2. See if you're on Google Podcasts. If not, get on Google Podcasts.
  3. Help listeners find your show.
  4. Monitor your podcast listening data.
  5. Manage your podcast on Google. Many of these tasks might be managed through your hosting service's site.
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