Google and Video Search - Improve your SEO

30.07.2014 11:28

Video Rich Snippets: What’s Happened & Where Did They Go

courtesy Vzaar Online Video Hosting Service

Read the article at the Vzaar site

Over the past few days it seems there’s been a change to how Google shows video results. There’s been a significant drop in the number of rich snippets shown in the SERPS. Just take a look at the numbers from MozCast:


Whereas we used to see videos coming up in the main web search like so:

Old Video Rich Snippet

The video thumbnails have now been removed:

New Video Search Result

So what’s going on?

It’s difficult to say right now exactly what’s happened and what the future holds for video search results. The SEM Post did manage to get a quote from a Google spokesperson saying, “We’ll continue to show video snippets where it’s most relevant.”

A few different theories are doing the rounds…

1. User Experience Improvement?

Google recently removed authorship photos from the search results. Google’s John Mueller explained this as Google trying to clean up the visual design of search results and create a more consistent look across devices.

And now it seems like video thumbnails are going the same way too.

Could this be Google trying to de-clutter the search results? Maybe.

2. White Listed Domains?

SEER Interactive have pointed out that SOME domains are still showing video rich snippets. These include YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo and NYTimes (full list here.)

Most of these sites are media and video destination sites. It may be that Google has white listed these kind of sites and those that are on this list will have video snippets in the future.

Some have suggested that the preferential treatment of the Google owned YouTube is a move to drive more traffic and thus ad revenues. But before we jump to conclusions on that one let’s remember that there are others on this list here that aren’t Google owned.

So what now?

Well, the picture is still murky – how exactly is Google determining what is the “most relevant”? The truth is, it’s early days and we simply don’t know – yet. But rest assured we’re trying to find out.

In the meantime – don’t panic!

And definitely DON’T stop sending your video sitemap…

Video pages are still ranking highly

The disappearance of the video rich snippet may be only a cosmetic change. From what we’ve seen, pages with video on them are still ranking highly. The thumbnail may be gone, but the result is still there so it’s important to keep telling Google that there’s a video on the page and what it’s about. Now that searchers don’t have the visual cue that there’s a video on the page, it may be worth trying out some new titles and descriptions that explicitly tell the searcher this is a video result instead.

Video rich snippets now in video search tab

Video Rich Snippet in Video Results Tab

We’re all in the same boat here so make sure you don’t put yourself at a disadvantage and stop with your video seo efforts – you still need to be visible in that tab.

Is this the end for video rich snippets?

Only time will tell. We’re keeping an eye on things (but if you do have any additional information do let us know). Whatever the future holds we’ll respond appropriately.