In this blog post, we are going to give you 5 of the top podcast search engines to check out:
In terms of being a listener, the benefits of a good podcast search engine are pretty obvious. You get to quickly find a podcast that you are probably going to love. 😍
As a creator, understanding what podcast search engines are out there is super important for you too. In order to grow your audience, you have to optimize your discoverability. To optimize your discoverability, you have to know and understand the top podcast search engines.
👉 Be sure to check out our new Podcast Search Optimization tool for help with this task! 👈
Quick Note on Listening App Podcast Search Engines
In this blog, we are only going to focus on podcast search engines found outside specific listening platforms. 🕵️
Obviously Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker (iHeart), Audacy (AudacyInc) and similar platforms each have their own podcast search engine. The purpose of these podcast search engines is to help users find audio content on that particular platform. FYI- Users tend to rate Spotify the highest out of this category.
Without a doubt, this kind of podcast search engine is super important. It just isn’t what we happen to be covering in this specific blog post. ✍️
Obviously, our Podcast Search Optimization is designed to include these search engines since Spotify and Apple Podcasts are the top platforms where people listen to podcast episodes.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s dive in! 🤿
Listen Notes has trademarked the phrase “The Best Podcast Search Engine,” and arguably it is. It searches the whole internet for podcasts based on whatever keywords you input. Results are listed by podcasts and by episodes. 🏆
Listen Notes is super transparent. Its founder lists all the software he has used to create the service, etc. Visit the question and answer section and enjoy reading all the practices, policy, product management, and support involved in creating a podcast search engine.
All public RSS feeds and available podcast metadata. 💻
Listen Notes offers a lot of services and products beyond just search results:
Similar Podcasts Explorer 🤝
Input your couple favorite podcasts and Listen Notes’ Explorer will recommend you other similar podcasts you’ll probably enjoy.
Recommended Podcasts 👍
Listen Notes’ “Best Podcasts” list is made by its staff. Its “Curated List” is created by outside media.
Keep your finger on the pulse through Listen Notes feed. It shows all the actions taken by community members, live.
Listen Notes’ Lab is a super nerdy page for programmers who are into creating amazing things with podcast data and those of us who like to test them out.
Using Listen Notes as a basic podcast search engine is absolutely free. 🤑
Listen Notes does offer a Premium Membership for $11.80 per day. With the Premium Membership, you get unlimited search queries, advanced search filters, access to podcast contact info, and much more. You can also pay a little extra to get alerts whenever a podcast mentions your selected keywords.
Listen Notes also sells API plans and datasets (although there is a free option for light users).
Podsearch bills itself as “the easiest way to discover podcasts on your favorite topics.” Rather than being laser-focused on keyword searches, its approach includes a lot of browsing options. But of course a keyword search still a backbone of it all. 💪
Podsearch does not disclose what exact content it searches. 🤷♀️
Beyond just the keyword search, Podsearch offers several browsing options:
Categories, New, and Top 📇
On Podsearch, you have the option of browsing three different kinds of lists: Podcasts by categories, new podcasts, and top podcasts. Podsearch does not disclose how they choose what podcasts are “top” podcasts.
With the MyPodSearch tool, you select categories that interest you on a list. You also have the option to input up to three keywords. Then the tool will suggest podcasts to you based on that information.
Using the PodSearch podcast serach engine is free.
If you are a podcaster and want to guarantee your show will be listed, you have to pay $4.99 per month (that is $1.25 per week). 👀
If you are an advertiser, you need to contact PodSearch to pay a fee to advertise on episodes, on their website, etc.
Podchaser describes itself as a database and “platform made for and utilized by listeners, podcasters, and creators.” It started as just a conversation on Reddit and is now a global company. 🌎
Its keyword search results are organized into podcasts, episodes, credits (production crew), and users (accounts on their social platform). Podchaser is known for its community platform and social feed– users can recommend podcasts, ask people to be guests on their episodes, etc.
It is not clear exactly what content Podchaser bases its searchers on. 🤔
While Podchaser does have a podcast search engine function, its platform is broader than that:
The first thing you see when you go to Podchaser’s website is its main feed. The feed shows what other Podchaser members are up to. You also have the option to create your own specialized feed if you create an account with them.
Browse by Category 👓
Rather than just keyword searching for you new favorite podcast, you can take a virtual stroll through podcasts, browsing them by category. Podchaser a ton categories to chose from.
Curated Lists 🧑🍳
True to its social concept, Podchaser has a robust curated list feature. Users can publicly share their curated lists, allowing others to peruse their choices.
Podchaser is free to use, including creating an account.
Podchaser Pro is the paid portion of Podchaser. Basically it is for major marketing agencies to gather info on podcasts including contact info, target audience, social reach, and more. There is no listed price for this product, you have head to their website and schedule a demo first. 📆
Goodpods is another well-known, internet podcast search engine. Started by siblings Ken and JJ Ramberg, it helps you discover find your next favorite show or episode. 🤓
It is not clear what Goodpods searches in order to produces its results. 😳
Other Offerings 👨👩👧👦
Goodpods has a robust social platform so friends, family members, and even strangers can recommend a podcast or episode for you. Not only you do you have your own feed, but you have the ability to join groups, make comments, directly recommend podcasts to other users, etc.
Using Goodpods, including making an account, is free. It’s not clear how they make their money. 💵
Yes, we did say at the beginning of this blog post that we were not going to review any podcast search engine that was limited inside a specific listening app (Spotify, Apple, etc.). And technically YouTube is a podcast listening app now. 🎧
But when you are writing about search engines, you just can’t leave out Google. Since YouTube handles the podcasts for Google now, we had to include it.
Youtube’s search engine searches all the content on YouTube. Its algorithm, or what it uses to rank the results, is based on two main things. ✌️
First is the relevance of the title, description, and video content to the search term. That is where keywords come in.
Second is the performance and engagement of video (yes, YouTube podcasts must have video, not just audio). That is because YouTube (and Google) guess how good an episode’s content is by how many people have watched it and interacted with it (follow, rate, review, etc.). 📈
Obviously YouTube has a lot of different offerings besides just its podcast search engine capabilities so we won’t even start to dive into them. 😅
Using the YouTube search function is free to everyone.
YouTube makes its money through advertising (and probably through Google’s entire data market machine). ⚙️
How to Pick the Best Podcast Search Engine for You
Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out podcast search engine is the best one for you. Let your answers guide your pick!
How Does the Search Work? 🛠️
Some podcast search engines don’t let users learn what content is included in their searches and how they prioritize the results. In some cases it is possible that they are boosting a certain podcast or episode based on if the creator is paying them to. A little transparency on data practices can go a long way.
Could this Have Been a Newsletter? 📧
You know the whole meme of “this meeting could have just been an email”? Well, for some folks that’s how they feel about podcast discovery sites and newsletters. There are lots of great industry newsletters out there to help you discover your next favorite audio sensation. If you are into reading about new podcasts more than searching for them, you may want to go this route instead
That’s all for us today! As always, enjoy the podcasting journey. 🚀TOFU
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