The Lowdown on the Latest Apple Podcasts Updates: Here’s All You Need to Know

The Lowdown on the Latest Apple Podcasts Updates: Here’s All You Need to Know

The past few weeks saw Apple roll out a few notable algorithm changes in their podcasting directory. Primarily, the move is aimed to clean up less-than-noble techniques some podcasters used to significantly boost their show’s rankings.

If your podcast has been rejected or (in worst case scenarios) removed from Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), it is likely due to Apple’s efforts to get rid of keyword stuffing both in the title and additional information related to the podcast.

Not everyone may be aware of it but apart from being a directory, Apple Podcasts also function as a search engine. As such, many podcasters resort to keyword stuffing to ensure they come up in Apple Podcasts searches when listeners look for relevant keywords.

Now, Apple is cracking down on podcasters who are utilising this tactic and will warn and eventually remove existing podcasts found violating said terms.

To warrant your show remains in good standing in Apple Podcasts, we’ve gathered all the relevant information you need to know about the new updates.

Author Tag and Title

Check your podcast title and author tag. If you’ve included unnecessary words in your Podcast Title or Author field, consider removing the nonessentials a huge step in the right direction.

For instance:

Show Name

Instead of

  • A Better You – Lifestyle, Health, Fitness, Zen, Spirituality and how to bring all those into your life with The Dude”

Shorten it to

  • A Better You With The Dude

Instead of

  • The Unofficial StarWars Podcast – We talk all things Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Wookies — if you like movies, SciFi, and space travel then this is for you

Shorten it to

  • The Unofficial Starwars Podcast

Author Tag

Akin to the Title field, the Author field is where keyword stuffing can be highly evident. Apple is also looking into this and might remove podcasts that are in violation.

For instance:

Instead of

  • Mary Marketer — Blogger, YouTube personality, and Social Media guru

Shorten it to

Instead of

  • Perry Podcaster — Author, Kiteboarder, Father, Dog owner, and Lover of a good latte

Shorten it to

  • Perry Podcaster

No Episodes or Broken Feeds

Apple will also be removing those podcasts that are without any episodes, alongside those that have technical issues. Also, your podcast can disappear from areas within the Apple Podcasts if no new episodes are added. To ensure the validity of your feed, you can use the following feed validators:

Podcast Cover Images

While it’s common knowledge that Apple requires a square podcast cover image (between 1400x1400 to 3000x3000px in size), many are unaware the use of trademarked logos is forbidden.

In other words, the use of words or logos like iTunes Store, Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Apple, Inc. or any other third party podcast aggregators can get you the boot. And oftentimes, without any warning.

Other Relevant Updates

Apple can also remove or reject podcasts that:

  • Have content that are regarded as misogynist, homophobic, or racist.
  • Have explicit language but explicit tag is not set to yes.
  • Contain explicit language in their descriptions, titles, and subtitles. No explicit language should also be indicated in the show notes.
  • Have references to profanity, violence, and illegal drugs in the artwork, episodes, or title description.
  • Have content depicting violence, illegal drugs, gore, hate, or graphic sex.
  • Third-party trademarks or content that are not legally authorised.

What to Do if Your Podcast Has Been Removed

If you are guilty of either show title or author keyword stuffing, make the necessary changes and resubmit. If it has been removed because of technical issues, resolve the problem and use Podcasts Connect to resubmit.

If your violation will not allow you to resubmit your podcast, fix the issue, change your RSS feed URL, and submit it as a new podcast.

Summing Things Up

For many, the new changes implemented by Apple can be very beneficial for the podcasting community. With the playing field levelled, it’s easier for podcasts with great content to shine as opposed to getting outranked by shows that use shady techniques to get ahead in the rankings.

What’s your take on the new changes implemented by Apple? We’d love to hear from you!

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