Google Podcasts, the company’s podcast library app, is beginning to make audio content even more valuable and accessible. As reported by Android Police, Google Podcasts has started to automatically transcribe podcasts which will allow them to be discovered more easily and by a wider audience.

Placing a podcast’s transcription in the metadata of a website will create similar results as if it were written in plain view. For example, if you were to search “how to invest in real estate” on Google, you would be presented with a plethora of blog posts, articles, reports, and more that will answer your question. With Google’s implementation of automatic transcription in their metadata, in addition to search results written in plain text, you could now begin seeing podcasts that discuss your query in the search results, even if those podcasts did not provide any written content (like show notes) of their own.

The move isn’t a huge surprise, since Google has been using similar technology on YouTube with it’s automatic captioning, so it was only a matter of time before this was introduced to podcast content. Many podcasters have long-awaited the day when their audio content could be automatically “heard” and indexed by the Google search engine, without having to provide any written content.

Discoverability has always been an issue for podcasters, according to Search Engine Land. This is one reason why virtually all podcasts include some form of written description, known as show notes.

What does this mean for the future of podcast show notes?

Show notes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! While automatic transcribing may help index content that would have been previously more difficult to find, a transcription is no substitute for concise, SEO-optimized podcast show notes.

After all, podcasters have always had the option to manually transcribe their episodes, although in our experience, many do not. It seems to be much more ideal to spend that budget on quality show notes. Not only do these help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but for those preferring written content, a properly written article will be much better to interpret than a long-form word-for-word transcript.

We hope that this new feature from Google will help the already flourishing podcast space to grow even more!