Buzzcast

Is Audacity spying on you?? + The truth about Podcast SEO

July 16, 2021 Buzzsprout Episode 56
Buzzcast
Is Audacity spying on you?? + The truth about Podcast SEO
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Kevin returns to talk about the new Buzzcast YouTube channel, an update on the new Apple Podcasts app rollout, and what really matters when it comes to SEO in podcast listening apps.

Watch the video of this episode on our new Buzzcast YouTube channel!

Links from this episode:


Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.

Kevin:

There were some panicky conversations happening in Facebook Like I'm gonna delete it, I need to find us.

Alban:

pause for a second, you're stressed out that an app is paying attention to you is collecting data about you. So you ran to Facebook to let everyone know how upset you were. This app was steady crash reports. The entire time Mark Zuckerberg is like pulling every piece of data he can out of you.

Travis:

Today on Buzzcast more news about Apple podcasts updates, bugs and are they actually bugs? And then audacity? Is it spying on you? Should you stop using it? Is that a reason for you to stop using it? If it is spying on you? But first one you got to get out of the way? Who is filling in for Kevin this week? It is Kevin. Kevin is back. Welcome back to the show. Kevin hope you enjoy your nice property

Alban:

sure that joke got like cut from the outline and he just right.

Kevin:

That's what happens in our in our pre show. Travis is like I'm this is how I'm gonna open the show. And we're like, no, that's not great.

Alban:

That's not the get we gotta get a different.

Kevin:

Well, you're right, Travis, it worked perfectly landed.

Travis:

Travis goes rogue takes things in his own direction. Well, it is good to have you back. Kevin, we're gonna have to make sure to get you to talk more than normal this episode. Because people people missed you.

Kevin:

I saw the the takeover episode, they talked about how I don't talk all that much.

Unknown:

And you know,

Kevin:

I mean, that's true in, in life in general. I'm not a big talker. But I'm a really good listener. And I hope when i when i do have something to say I put it out there. I just I'm more of an internal processor, the next ternal which doesn't make for a great podcaster. But I'm learning. I'm trying and hopefully we'll all get better together.

Travis:

What a wonderful way to kick off Episode 56 of Buzzcast. Which is also cool. We've been doing this for longer than two years. Now.

Alban:

I remember when we started thinking that this is probably going to last like three episodes.

Kevin:

Now I never I never thought that I never thought that.

Alban:

Yeah, I just was thinking like, Man it every two weeks, we're going to keep up with it. And we have. So that was good. I just remember thinking like that is a lot. And we started getting a little listener base. And it's taken a definitely a long time to grow. But now we've got people listening. And I think this is locked in. Not

Travis:

just listening, watching. So something that we haven't announced yet on the show is that we now have a Buzzcast YouTube channel. So if you just listen to the audio episodes, you shouldn't have noticed any difference over the last several months, but we actually started taking the recordings of the video of us doing this podcast and putting them up on our Buzzsprout youtube channel. But now we've spun it off. And now Buzzcast has its own YouTube channel. And that's that benefits us in a few ways. Number one, it's when it comes to YouTube. Google likes putting you in a box and saying this is the kind of content that you serve up. And so having one hour videos, next to five minute videos, was causing some some unnecessary issues. But then in addition to that, by having Buzzcast as its own YouTube channel, we can now take advantage of the comments and like building community through you know, those of you that subscribe, they're like subscriber only content we can create. And so it's just going to allow us to serve you guys better to get questions, feedback, interact with you. And so that's something we're excited about. And so, if you have been watching this on YouTube, welcome to the YouTube channel. Glad to have you here. And if you just listen, consider checking out the YouTube channel. Then you can see Alvin's awesome shirt that you know he's he's wearing from when he went golfing yesterday and his buddy splashed him with mud. Please that was the story that Kevin came up with before we started recording. And so so you can find that on the new Buzzcast YouTube channel.

Kevin:

Now Alvin when you are not Alan Travis, when you say it was causing some issues for YouTube, unpack that a bit for me like does that mean that YouTube was having trouble figuring out like when to recommend us or who to promote our content to because it didn't understand what type of channel we were.

Travis:

So when we first started looking at doing video podcasting, one of the things that we noticed about other video podcasts on YouTube is typically they would create separate channels for those podcasts. And so you'd have like mkbhd does tech reviews. They're like 15 to 20 minutes, deep dives of mobile phones and stuff like that. So then when he created a podcast, he didn't put those podcast recordings on his main channel. He created a separate channel for that podcast because they're like 4045 minute content. And then he also created a clips channel like a third YouTube channel for clips of the full podcast episodes. And that was something that we saw across virtually across the board for people That we're familiar with using YouTube and using YouTube to grow their audience that when they started video podcast, they would create dedicated channels to it. When we started experimenting with Buzzcast, as a video podcast, we weren't really sure if it was something we're gonna stick with for a long time. And so it's like, well, let's test it by just putting it on our existing YouTube channel that has 60 plus 1000 subscribers. And then we noticed that once we started doing that, and then also started putting albums, bonus interviews, on the YouTube channel, that the organic reach dropped, that the number of people YouTube was recommending our videos to dropped, the newer videos, the older videos, were still getting picked up in search results and things like that. So those are still performing. But recent videos, for whatever reason, weren't reaching as many people. And so we suspect that there's a linkage there. I mean, we're kind of trying to read the tea leaves and see like, what is Google and YouTube want us to do? But the prevailing theory, and the advice that we see a lot in the YouTube community is YouTube, like saying this channel delivers this kind of content in this packaging. And so once they feel really confident about that, they're more likely to surface your videos to people that haven't subscribed to your channel yet. So in a nutshell, that's, that's what we think is was going on.

Kevin:

Yeah. And so this being one of the huge differences between podcasting and the open podcast ecosystem, and YouTube in the video world, and then kind of controlling it and being the main distribution source is that you like live and die on YouTube by the algorithm, right? Like, if they're not promoting your, your materials, you're not going to go anywhere.

Alban:

Yeah, there's two sides of it. One is, they bring you people who've never heard of you. But then they also decide if the people who've actually subscribed to your show, get to see it at all. So it's pretty common for Buzzsprout. You know, we have 64 65,000 subscribers, for a video totally initially be shown to 1000 of them. And often, we've promoted that video ourselves through newsletter and social and other places. So YouTube often is like, Yeah, I don't really think many of your subscribers really want to see this. So in podcasting, it's a very different question. Because Yeah, they Apple podcasts and overcast and Spotify didn't really do anything to help us get Buzzcast the podcast in front of new people, but they at least do us the kindness of showing everybody our content every time we put out a new podcast. And so that I

Kevin:

think those like taking the strengths of both, right and combining them together is what we're trying to do and what we're trying to teach, which is use YouTube as a great marketing channel to help people discover you. But do your best to build your audience as a podcast, because when people subscribe to your podcast or follow your podcasts, not only will they be more loyal? And is it more intimate and more convenient for them to listen to you, as long as your content works in audio only format. It also is a guarantee that they will get all your episodes as you push them because you're not relying on somebody else in the middle saying, I know you just published a new video and somebody follows your channel. But we don't think this is the most interesting thing for them.

Alban:

We've seen the positive side of this for the Buzzsprout conversations videos we put out that I think we I mean the first one I recorded, we just kind of did it on a whim. And then we saw it actually started getting recommended in the algorithm pretty well. We were like, oh, people want to watch our long interviews where I like overly stared at my camera for a really long time to have like a serial killer vibe. But the algorithm liked it. people watched it. Jordan Harbinger had a ton of really good comments and a ton of insight into the podcasting industry. And it was like a good way of testing that podcast idea. If we if it was a podcast, we would have had to start a podcast and then start promoting it for months to really know whether or not there was something there. It was really nice that YouTube pretty much picked it up right away. It was like yeah, this is a show that people will want to watch and we were able to see all that data pretty clearly.

Travis:

And before we get too far into the episode. Do we have anything going on next month? I know we're gonna be a podcast movement. Are we doing anything special there?

Alban:

We are going to podcast movement in Nashville, Tennessee. I think it's August 3 to sixth. I'm super excited about it. I haven't been to a podcast conference since right before all the lockdowns with COVID so it'll be great to see everybody again. We are doing to I think Buzzsprout is a whole lot like for talks between we're doing a podcast primer we're doing I have a talk Thomas talk on his on a On a talk as well. So got a lot going on, very excited for everyone who comes. And I think Wednesday night or Thursday, I think we're still locking in the actual date, we're going to have like a Buzzsprout mixer. So we'll send something out, I'm sure the email, anybody who's going to podcast movement is invited to come if you're on Buzzsprout, and we'll probably have drinks and food and hang out with everybody. So to be will have some updates. Alright, so we've got a lot of follow up. And I just have this all under the header of Apple podcasts, because there's a lot happening with Apple podcasts. And we can kind of just jump right into it. First, there's an apple podcast bug that has been fixed. For a long time we were running into this issue with podcast, that descriptions weren't really showing up, right? We would see it and we didn't know if this was, you know, long term if this was their goal or not. But there weren't links inside of the apple podcasts app. They weren't showing up, right? Unless you put in like a naked URL, which was, you know, kind of a bummer. We were really hoping they're going to pull those out. And a lot of the formatting options weren't there. For a long time, we really had no clue where this was going. I'm sure. Kevin or I probably sent out some snarky tweets or something. Like Come on.

Kevin:

No more snarky. They were questioning what's happening.

Alban:

Yeah, I was definitely concerned that it was intentional. And we were seeing Apple say, Hey, you know, you can't link to your, you know, to your payment page from Apple, you know, some apple apps, I was afraid we were going to see you can't link to your podcast stuff if you don't have an apple podcast subscription. Turns out that was a oversight. We actually had a customer for us an email from Apple saying, Hey, we're working to solve this issue. And a few days later, the issue is done.

Kevin:

This is Apple, this is how the apple operates. And I do really love everyone the apple team, but it's hilarious, because what does it been like three months, that this problem has been persisting? And we've been tweeting, and we've been emailing, and we've been talking to everybody else in the industry. And Apple has been like radio silence like nothing, no comment. And then they hundreds and 1000s of emails I'm sure they've gotten in that time. And then they've responded to somebody and said, Oh, yeah, we're aware of it. It'll be fixed in and then the next day, like links work.

Alban:

On there's a probable amount of anxiety. I don't know. But they

Kevin:

don't talk about stuff until it's ready. Like, Oh, I know, apples Mo, like when it's ready, we will tell you before then we've got no comment. And so, I mean, I think it's, it's sometimes it's frustrating. And it's it's hard to operate in that world. But it's like if you know, apple, this really shouldn't be a huge surprise, right?

Alban:

Well, where we're on the other end, I think that's probably why I work here and not Apple, also, Apple would never offer me a job. That's another big piece. But when we have like, the stats, all of a sudden are delayed by an hour. And now we're, we're on like Twitter, like, hey, stats are delayed here. Oh, we're working on it. Here's the update, it's gonna be another 15 minutes. Here's another update, kind of like constantly talking with our customers. If we had a big, something pretty big that was changed, or possibly broken. And we end you were like, no matter what, do not acknowledge it. Don't talk about it for three months, I would be in counseling, anxiety disorder, it would be like, I don't think I could do it. It'd be way too much stress. Because I'd be like, feel like I was constantly just ignoring people. So I feel for everybody who's on the support team, who had to kind of be like, Oh, thank you for the info.

Travis:

So yeah, so that's the first first bit of news, the links work. Formatting works. If you had like bullets, and like paragraph breaks, it's not just like one massive jumble of letters, like the old Spotify app, if you guys remember that the yoji. Spotify was the original, no, no formatting, just Wild Wild West, whatever you throw in there, it don't matter. We're gonna repurpose it and do whatever we want with it.

Alban:

There's actually one wrinkle that when I was testing this before, the show that I realized, there's if you just searched for a show, and you just look at the description, there's no links still does all the formatting. But the links, you know, actually like the HTML links, I don't know how like naked URLs, look, how they work, but the actual clicking on words to go to a link, those are not showing up. That I could totally see being intentional, that you don't know what this podcast is. You're just kind of reading about it. Maybe Apple doesn't want you just clicking on random links and who knows what website you show up on. So when you subscribe when you follow, or you download an episode, then you all that's when you'll actually see all that formatting. So if for some reason, maybe you like me, use a third party app to listen to podcasts. And then you go check your own show on Apple podcasts. And you're all of a sudden, like, no, this isn't fixed. Go ahead, subscribe to this show. And then look at it. Because that's, that's how your listeners are actually experiencing the episode.

Kevin:

Right? And so I would recommend, one of the things you asked about are before you follow the show, do the links work and HTML links do not. And you asked about like for URLs, do they work they do. And so for any link that's important, or that you think you might want somebody to be able to click on even if they're following your show or not, you should go ahead and add the.com to the end of that. So you can still write things like whatever this show is hosted on Buzzsprout. But if you put buzzsprout.com, then it will actually be a link

Travis:

not HTTPS, colon slash don't have to have the https colon slash slash,

Kevin:

it's really looking for like a word and dot extension. So I've seen a lot of those, like wondery just published their whole catalogue as a Apple podcast channel, and you can subscribe to it and stuff. And I was looking at a lot of their shows. And it looks like as part of that, setting up that channel, they went through and updated all their episode notes, show notes, whatever you call them, descriptions. And they not everything like when you follow you do see more links. But it seems like the main ones like to the I don't know, I guess there's a doctor death. And they're doing a TV show or something and like the links to the TV show stuff like that they were intentional about going in there and putting the.com or the slash or whatever. But you don't have to do the prefix stuff. HTTP, HTTPS. That's not necessary.

Alban:

Yeah. All this assumes, though, that people actually download your episodes and listen to them, which is not something you should always assume. So that blank above is fixed. But a new bug may be still out there for Apple podcasts. Sounds like it bout the end of May. And there's a new Apple podcasts app on May 24. So it's probably about then there seems to be an issue with some auto downloads and Apple podcasts fail. And so people don't actually see the episode show up in their app. And so this is translated to a, I think, what do we see 27% drop in Apple podcast downloads, month over month. So from what may the you know, that month of May, and month of June. And we've definitely seen this in our Buzzsprout Global stats, significant drop in Apple podcast plays. And we are pretty confident it's related to this. Bug Kevin, you kind of were talking earlier about how it's kind of in a way, not totally a bug.

Kevin:

So all podcast apps operate a little differently, some of them will automatically download episodes that you subscribe or follow and queue them up so that when you're ready to listen, there's no waiting. Or if you want to listen on a plane or a train or somewhere where you might not have strong connectivity, it's ready to go. And Apple podcasts was one of the apps that did that for you. And I think by default, it would always try to keep like the three latest episodes. But if you hadn't listened to any of them in the past 30 days or something, it would stop auto downloading, it had some defaults in the app, and they were pretty reasonable. And then you could change your default. So you could say no, I want the latest five episodes and download them all whether I'm listening or not, or whatever, you can change some options in there. Well, all those options, they might have been tweaked a little bit, but they came into the new version of the apple podcast app. Unfortunately, they didn't work. And so the auto downloading even though it had some defaults, and you can change things, some people were experiencing a bug where it was an auto downloading even if you had it turned on and so that did impact download numbers. But if somebody clicked and listened to the episode anyway, then it would still register as a download. So it's it's it did impact numbers overall. And we're not sure if that's is that an indication of a bunch of episodes get downloaded an apple podcast that people never listened to. or RP and this is probably some percentage of that is that people rely on the notifications and I don't have clarify clarification on that. I don't know if you do Alban but I don't know if the notification system continued to work even though the auto downloading didn't. My hunch is that know that they did? weren't getting notifications.

Alban:

That's mine, too. I don't know. I don't know that for sure. Since I don't use Apple podcasts I use overcast, though. I mean, obviously, these are totally unrelated. I ran into some issue with a couple podcasts on overcast, not downloading automatically. This may be two, three weeks ago. And I was like, oh, why'd they skip a week? And I didn't look. And then a few days later, I was like, you know, they didn't put out another episode. And then I went and just went to the feed and pulled and Yep, now those two episodes were there. And then I downloaded them.

Travis:

And it's important to recognize overcast uses the apple API to pull episodes in, or at least they did. I don't know if now they're using podcast index,

Alban:

they use both. I think this is totally unrelated. This has nothing to do with the same bug. I was just trying to run. I was just remembering like, the process for me was, I assumed the bug was not in the app, and the notification settings. The bug was my podcast host people that I listened to, had just decided not to release one and didn't let anyone know. And so I think that that we've got a little of like column A and column B. In this 27% drop. Yeah, there's some percent for sure, that are people who probably weren't listening. And they continued to not listen, when the upsets didn't download. And then I think there's some there are probably the group that I would be in that don't see the download, go, oh, man, there's not an episode. And then they just move on with their life. So I, I know that the way that Apple language was about this, listening is unaffected, which I think is I'm not 100% sure, if I would, I mean, if you want to listen, it's unaffected. But the prompt to listen is affected. The issue can reduce download numbers reported by third party hosting providers like Buzzsprout, and will be resolved with a software update in a couple of weeks. So they put this out a little while ago, on the first so two weeks ago, that tells me like, we need to we're going to be waiting for a new version of iOS, I think before this bug is resolved seems like some stuff Apple can update in the app, just fix at any time. And then some stuff kind of needs the software update. So this looks like a software update one. And I think we're going to be waiting, you know, at least another week or two until we see some other cool stuff, I'm sure for Apple podcasts, but also getting downloads back to where they were, we don't

Kevin:

have a ton of details about the bug. It doesn't seem like it's affecting everybody feels like it's affecting some. And I don't know if that's like, I don't know if that means just some phone some devices. Or if it's just some podcasts, like if there's, but we don't have any clarification on that. So we're continuing to test and look around. I think the biggest impact would have been in I don't use Apple podcasts as my daily podcast player. But I do know that when you go to the listen tab and Apple podcasts, they have an up next they sort of like auto build a playlist for you. And I think that's based on the most recent episodes from podcasts that you follow. And I don't know because my phone doesn't I can't seem to replicate this behavior of it not out of downloading all the episodes that all the podcasts that I follow seem to have two or three episodes queued up. Yeah, as as I would expect. So if anybody's out there who listens and you know, has run into this bug on your end, we'd love to hear about it. I'm really interested in if it's populating the what's next, even if it's not download or Up next, even if it's not downloading the episodes in the background.

Travis:

Yeah, drop us a comment in the YouTube video on our new channel. That'd be a great way to hear from you guys. Yeah, if you're seeing that behavior and happen to use Apple podcasts Now a couple quick hitters before we move on, about podcast Connect, there are two small changes that Apple has made to the podcast Connect platform regarding, you know, paid or freemium, subscription base podcasts, and some of the verbage there so album, what are the what are the changes they have made? To make it easier to know when you're setting up like that you're doing it correctly.

Alban:

Remember, when we filmed the video on setting up a subscription, there was one part where it's like, do you want to start a new podcast or add an RSS feed? And then it's confusing for people because probably the first thing you do when you start a new podcast is you upload your shows to a host like Buzzsprout. And then you submit to Apple podcasts. So when you see that start a new podcast, you're probably thinking, Okay, I'm just going to go ahead and click that because I'm starting a new one. And that was a little confusing because what Apple wanted you to do is say I already have an RSS feed and that's where the files are because this is a podcast. available everywhere. It's not exclusive to Apple. So they've clarified that a bit more. And I believe the default is actually, I already have the RSS feed. And then the other option is like start a paid Apple podcast subscription. So they've cleaned that language up. You have to imagine, you know, Apple hears hundreds and hundreds of emails for every time somebody gets confused. So I'm excited to see that change. And then the other one is, back when the brand new Apple podcast Connect came out, there was a lot of talk about the iTunes API that drives a lot of podcast apps, a lot of podcasts apps actually look to Apple to say, Hey, I know you're already screening all these shows to make sure they're appropriate. They're not copyrighted, they are actual podcasts. And Apple has always allowed people to get that list for free. And then there were some bugs there. And there was a question about whether or not they would turn that option off. Looks like they're fully committed to that being an option long term. There is now the default is, if my podcast is an apple podcast, it's also available for other apps to see. And you can turn that off, but it's the default is that it's on. And it's kind of a buried setting. So if for some reason you really want it only available on Apple, which some podcasters actually do, then that's how it all works out. So two updates, both well accepted by all of us.

Travis:

So literally, on if it was hours, or maybe a day after we recorded the last episode of Buzzcast a ton of stuff hit the news wire about Audacity. And so we want to make the news wire

Alban:

I don't know what do you what do you call it when new thing out PR press releases about like audacity purchased by Muse due to Doom breaking news,

Travis:

audacity is spying on you? Well, I mean, that's what everybody was saying. So like a lot of the podcast editor groups, like Facebook groups that, that we're a part of, like people that are really plugged into, like the software side of podcasting, we're raising this this big fuss about audacity is new privacy policy. So just to catch you up to speed real quick. audacity was created as an open source, open source audio editing platform that people could contribute to similar to Wikipedia. And it was like this constantly evolving and growing piece of audio editing software that people from around the world, you know, developers from around the world could tribute to, then they got purchased by a company called move the name of the company news news, like the like the British rock band, so they acquired Audacity. And then, as a part of that acquisition, as as they started implementing some new changes. They updated their privacy policy, and that's where a lot of people got spooked wondering, okay, what is what is really going on? What is this company Muse doing? Why is the word Russia showing up? And what are they actually collecting? So Alban kind of get us up to speed on what the privacy policy update was all about. And then we'll just kind of take it from there and talk through should you keep using Audacity.

Alban:

I mean, without going into, like, all the details, there's stuff in there about, they actually get your IP address, especially looks like in relationship to bugs and crash reports and issues. IP addresses are held for 24 hours, but IP addresses can pretty close identify you, you know, they often don't maybe get the device, but they can get, okay, this is a person in this house or at this coffee shop kind of thing. So your right to feel a little weird if people are collecting your IP address. And there was a lot of other language, though, I know this to be pretty boilerplate. I think a lot of people saw like, we will only disclose this to third parties, if we are legally obligated to or it's in the if there's a crime. And so people are thinking, Oh my gosh, are they sending my audio files and like scanning them to see if like I committed a crime and then they'll turn me over to the thought police if like, whatever I said was not acceptable. I think the fear level got jacked a little too high. And I think it's fair to bring it back down. That's pretty normal. Like if a court orders you to turn something over to help solve a crime. Yeah, you have to turn it over. Which is just standards can be in every privacy policy you've ever not written And just clicked through and accepted the terms of service. So I'm not too worried about that one. But the concerning piece is that it was open source software, and then it was bought by a company. So it's not like the software is now copyrighted by this company. But the main version of audacity, which everyone was contributing to is now controlled by a company, that at least there were hints that they had interests of trying to figure out how to monetize it, or sell audacity,

Travis:

well, and specifically to use data from audacity as users as something they could sell in the same way that social media apps sell information to companies to make money.

Alban:

I understand that that was what people were concerned about, I think the actual fear that could be legitimate is that they were using information, they would use information, like the average person who downloads audacity uses it three times a week, in the process of selling, what they just recently bought. The wrinkle here is that open source software is like, what maybe what you said, Wikipedia is kind of closed, a lot of people are working together to write a book. And there's one person who's the publisher, who's actually like printing the books and handing them out. But the words would not be copyrighted. And so anybody could do that. And so they do control the, you know, the actual printing of the book and handing it out. But that's not stopping anyone else from in open source software, forking The, the code base and saying, All right, we've all been working on writing this book. And now it looks like this news company might be doing something we're not okay with. Whether or not it's legitimate or not, just putting that aside, the open source community can always just fork it. And there's seems to be a ton of response that they're going to they have. And there will just be audacity, and audacity, tailors version or something.

Kevin:

And just to be clear, in the open source software world, when Alvin says fork something, it just means make your own copy and develop your own version of it from there. So Muse might have some changes that they want to make. But at any point, somebody can step back in the code base, like before they made those changes, make a copy of it, and then distribute it however they want, because the code is open and available for anybody to use and build upon. And then there's a whole bunch of fun stuff that goes in and can happen when that happens. But somebody's in charge of the project, right. So usually what happens is somebody will create a fork, they'll do some enhancements, and then they'll submit those changes back to the master branch, and then whoever's in charge of the project can say, that's something we want to accept them to the main product, or we don't. And so when you don't, that's when you end up with a whole bunch of different versions of something. And you can pick and choose whatever flavor you want. But there's always one main thing. And that's what Muse bought, and is now in charge of. And so they get decide what goes in and what goes out. And one of the things that they put in was some changes to the privacy policy, and the fact that they are going to collect a little bit of information about how you use it, it seems like most of it is diagnostic information, which is pretty normal for software to collect when you use it. But the norm recently, especially in the apple world has been that has been you've been able to opt in or out of providing diagnostic information. If you set up an iPhone lately, if you set up any software through the Mac App Store, you'll see that they have to ask your permission now, but that's an apple guideline, before they can you can request diagnostic information or crash reports from a user they have to say yes, you can send that data us does not or audacity and us as the owner don't have to follow those rules, because they're not distributing it as an app or through the app store. They can just do it however they want. People are a little concerned about that. Overall, I think this is actually great that people care, right? privacy is becoming more and more of something that people are starting to think about. And we should be cautious whenever software that we're using or websites that we're visiting or podcasts that we're listening to are collecting information about us. It's good to have a general understanding that this stuff happens. And we should we should be informed on what they're collecting and why they're collecting it. Right. So I think it's great that people are asking these questions. We probably don't need. Like, there were some panicky conversations happening in Facebook Like I'm gonna delete it. I need to find this.

Alban:

pause for a second. Yeah, you're stressed out that an app is paying attention to you is collecting data about you. So you ran to Facebook to let everyone know how upset you were. His app was steady crash reports the entire time Mark Zuckerberg he's like pulling every piece of data he can out of you so that he could serve up like the world's most targeted right back to you. The The worst offender of this is Facebook. So if you're really concerned, which I think is a good thing, maybe consider reducing your Facebook or maybe eliminating your Facebook use

Kevin:

good point. But it's happening a lot in the podcasting world as well. There's there are some other I don't know if I want to whatever, I don't care. There are 19 is really big. And the targeting megaphone, which is on by Spotify is really big in the targeting, I should say, if I'm gonna say who owns megaphone at Spotify, who owns 19 is now Amazon. They just bought them. They're in the targeting. So they're trying to figure out everything they can about everyone who's listening to a podcast, so they can target ads, as precisely as possible. Yeah, it's not great. And so I say, Yeah, like, ask the questions, figure out which data you're sharing who you're sharing it with. And we should all have boundaries and lines, and maybe at some point, government regulation around the stuff. But the use case, it's not abnormal. Just because it's not abnormal doesn't mean that we should totally accepted with open arms. So let's keep having the conversations. Although at this point, from what we've heard, what we've seen and read about, it just seems like it's mostly diagnostic information, which is not being commercialized yet. And so that's kind of a, you know, that's like Level One is, are they commercializing or trying to monetize my personal data are using it to impact or affect my buying decisions to advertise to me to target me? They're not doing that yet. That sounds like right now. They're just collecting the information. For the purpose of making the software better. Let me say this as, as a general, good advice morning from somebody who's in software development. Don't unless you know what you're doing. Unless you're a software developer, unless you understand open source software, unless you trust whoever's pointing you to a URL or a download, do not go out and search for third party or variant forks of audacity that promise no use tracking, all right, because what can happen is, since it is an open code base, anybody can take that they can put whatever they want in it, and then they can compile it and put it on a website that says this is a you know, the best version of audacity to use use this one. None of them are official. And when they're not official, you don't know what's in there. And so these forks are great for people who want to go back in the codebase themselves. They want to remove anything that they don't like they want to compile a version for themselves, and they want to distribute it to maybe some of their friends. But just doing a general Google search. And trying to find a variant of audacity that doesn't have this tracking in it is a pretty dangerous game to play. And

Alban:

much creepier or Yes,

Travis:

actually malicious. And if you want to enter into the wonderful world of non destructive editing, then you can check out software like the scripts, or GarageBand, or Hindenburg or Logic Pro, essentially anything except for audacity, which will let you easily go back and undo mistakes after you've saved the project. It makes it easier to edit podcasts. So if you have some budget to go out and get a nicer software, audacity, it does work. But there are other software's that are much better. And we have a bunch of resources on our blog. So we'll leave a link to that in the show notes. If you want to go and check out those other software's to see if that could be a better fit for you

Alban:

got a bunch of discount codes inside of Buzzsprout if you want to try and if I'm out. That's right. That's right. It's not just not sponsored by Hindenburg or descript. But maybe it should be because there's a lot of there's some discount codes in there.

Travis:

So the last thing we want to hit on, before we wrap up, this episode of Buzzcast is podcast SEO sounds really fancy and promises a lot search engine option optimization being that you create something once you put the right words in it. And then the internet just starts showing it to people in your sleep, then you just magically grow your audience. So in theory, it sounds wonderful in practice with podcasts, that it can leave some you desired. And so over at pod news, James Cridland did a big deep dive of podcast listening apps like Apple podcast, Spotify overcast, and looked at their search practices. So when someone searches something in the app, what information are they actually using to populate those results? So, Kevin, do you want to kind of look through this chart that they put together looking at what information is used by podcast apps to search for data and and kind of what it means for podcasters that are looking at podcast SEO as a marketing tool.

Alban:

Can we give credit to mark Steadman real quick because he's, he's actually the one who wrote it. James Kirtland, that contributor so I want to make sure that we give him the credit points. Thank you,

Kevin:

Mark. All right. So yeah, it was I didn't get a chance to process the whole article yet, but I'm looking at this this chart and what we're talking about it before this episode, I thought this was really interesting. They put a chart together for how many listeners use podcast apps. That search for these specific tags and then they go down all the different tags. And so it can get a little technical if you don't understand how an RSS feed is structured. But there's there's things that what they call the channel level, channel level is for the podcast overall. And then there's things at the item level, which are specific to an episode. So just to make it simple, I will just say about the podcast, like the podcast title, or I'll say an episode title. And there's no surprise on kind of the big ones, which is that the podcast title 100% of the apps are using the podcast title to surface search results. And 96.7. Pretty much 100% of these podcasts apps are also using the episode titles to surface search results. No huge surprise there, it starts to get a little bit interesting after that, because the podcast description, almost all the apps will use that as well. So if you put good information about what your podcast is about in the podcast description, they will use some keywords that they kind of pull out of your description to try to surface you. But almost none of them will do the same thing at the episode level. So if you're writing all these great show notes, for your episodes, in hopes, like if you're if you're writing them as a service to your listeners, fantastic, and I think that you should continue doing it. But if you're writing them in hopes that people are going to search for some of these terms that you're putting in your episode notes. It's 4.3%. And which was like, mind blowing to me, I knew it wasn't hugely important, but I didn't know that almost no apps, search the description of episodes, I thought it was really interesting. We know that author is big author seems to be big on the pot, the podcast level, and almost 100% of the podcast level, about 50%. On the episode level. I think I got one of these stats wrong earlier. Did you guys catch that? I said almost 100% of the podcast description, but it's actually 58% of the podcast description. So podcast descriptions are important. But episode descriptions are not when you're talking about search, an author is important on both. So if you just say the Buzzcast podcast mean it if at the podcast level, if we just say the author is Buzzsprout, that's totally fine. Then we can go down in the individual episodes, and we can list who's on the episode. So for this one, it would be myself and Travis an album. But last week, it wouldn't have me it would have tombak. So hopefully somebody who's searching for Tom book podcast episodes, and at least half of the podcast apps would have surfaced that episode, which is which is pretty interesting.

Travis:

Yeah. So I think the big takeaway here is that if you're going to look at search engine optimization, within podcast apps, you really got to focus on making sure that the name of your podcasts is is like really specific and intentional. So it wouldn't be like the Kevin Finn show, it'd be something that people would actually be searching for. And then, if you're taking a lot of time to do show notes, do it because it's helpful for your listeners, not like let me keyword stuff, the description for this episode, in order to get more traction. In less, you're putting those show notes on your website, like your own personal websites, and hoping that Google will show it because that that's a little bit different of a beast, right? So we're talking about SEO within podcast listening apps. But if you're putting all that effort into creating shownotes, because you have a website where you embed your podcast episodes, and you have individual pages and posts for each episode, and you have show notes with links and resources, Google will still look through that and use that for search results. It just won't translate to like Apple podcasts, for instance,

Alban:

one that they showed this was, you know, I think all of us knew this, but may not be clear to the podcast industry, to a lot of podcasts, ders, who are newer is that keywords, you know, I the keywords that you put in for your podcast, are rarely used. We've definitely had conversations internally about removing it from Buzzsprout. Because it's only used by a few podcast apps. I think the exact two it's definitely is not pot Apple podcasts. Player FM and castbox are the two that still use it. People have thought that those keywords are super important. They're really not. You know, the five are your title, your description, and the author at the channel level for the actual whole podcast, and then the title of episodes, and the author of episodes. That's really what you need to be focusing on.

Kevin:

point of clarification. This is for podcast like aggregator listener apps. This is not for your podcast website and how you might get better search engine results in Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo.

Unknown:

Yeah, Google, Google's even transcribing your episodes in the background.

Kevin:

Right. So if you are putting podcast keywords into your RSS feed, and Google's ingesting that, like they may like we don't know the secret sauce of Google and they may or may not be using that I think We ended up taking some of for Buzzsprout. Specifically, we take your keywords and we put them as a meta keyword tag on your Buzzsprout website that you get. So we're not saying, oh, the apps don't use them, don't even bother putting keywords and still put them in there. But just realize that in the listening apps, specifically, they're not, you shouldn't go in with the expectation that whatever keyword you put in, you should be able to search for that Apple podcast. And then your podcast is going to show up,

Alban:

Travis and I have learned a lot from YouTube has been, it can often feel like each of these separate descriptions and titles and artwork and title of the episode name are all working independently. And it's important to remember that they are attracting listeners as a group. So while some of the apps may not be sophisticated enough to search all of these places, your potential listeners are often looking at all of it. So the way we think about it on YouTube, and the way I think you should think about it for your podcast is often they see they search for a term, and you've really got to put it in those, you know, one of those five locations we just talked about. And that term, pulls up the podcast. And then the big thing is your artwork needs to catch their eye. So you want to have some good quality artwork, we've got tons of resources on that. And then when they catch the artwork, then they go to the title. And your title really has to deliver to them what this podcast is about, you know, if your podcast is, you know, the Kevin Finn, or the Alban Brooke show, it's very easy for people since we're not celebrities to look at that and go, I have no idea who that is moving on, and continue. But if you know somebody was trying to find a book review of 1984, and the podcast is, hey, we are going through 1984 in detail and your student, that's what you look for. Perfect. It's right there. So you want to deliver what they're searching for. And then they're going to go and maybe they're going to read that description. Even if it's not, you know, indexed and searchable by one of these apps. People often read that description or at least skim it to go get a better feel for the podcast before they subscribe. So they're not all these things aren't searchable in apps, but they are definitely important in the listener acquisition process. And then like Kevin's reminded us, Google is looking at all of this. So if you have a podcast website, and we really recommend doing that, you are going to have episodes show up all over the web for people who are searching for the thing that you're podcasting about.

Travis:

Yep. And that podcast website could simply be the one that Buzzsprout gives you if you host with Buzzsprout, that those websites were designed in such a way to really be attractive to Google podcasts. And so your podcast episodes will show up in Google podcasts, people can play them directly within the Google podcast, web portal if they search it. And so you don't have to go and create something custom. You can certainly start with the Buzzsprout website. And if you want to add additional features that we don't have, then you could look at Squarespace or Wix or WordPress, to really build that out.

Alban:

And thank you so much to mark for doing that. I we've done some of this testing ourselves in the past. So I know how much work actually went into this very cool blog post that we can link. And if you're trying to figure out who indexes what, this is probably the best resource on the web.

Travis:

Well, Kevin, it's been great to have you back in the fold. Back on back on Buzzcast. For the call to action for this episode, go and subscribe to the new Buzzcast YouTube channel. Even if you just listen to the audio version. You can go and see albums epic golf shirt, you can go and interact with us leave comments what you thought about this episode. The big takeaways, if you use Audacity how you feel about that thoughts on Amazon or Apple podcast if you use that, we really do want to use YouTube as a way for us to create a really fun, interactive community around this show. So that's it for today. Thanks for listening and as always, keep podcasting

Running to Facebook
Apple Podcasts bugs and updates
Is Audacity spying on you?
How to use Podcast SEO