Navigating the Google Video Mode Update (for Better Ranking!)

The Google Video Mode update was just unveiled yesterday.

Google’s recent expansion of its video requirements signals a pivotal shift for content creators and marketers. As Google updates its criteria for video content, understanding these changes is crucial for maintaining visibility and engagement.

In this post, we’ll dive into the world of the Google Video Mode update, its new video content guidelines, and discuss effective strategies for optimizing your video content.

Kim Cooper
Director of Marketing, Amazon Alexa

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Optimize Video SEO

What Is Google Video Mode?

Video Mode is a feature that Google has implemented to display video results in its search engine:

Google Video Mode

To be featured as a video result in Google, the video must be the key content of the page and have appropriate video settings. This primary criterion ensures that only pages where the video is the main portion of content are displayed as video results. Hence, Google Video Mode improves the visibility of pertinent videos, facilitating user interaction with multimedia content.

Implementing the new requirement, which includes verifying the compatibility of video resolution with Google’s Video Mode, is anticipated to fully roll out within the week.

The Basics of Google Video Mode

Google’s Video Mode is designed to enhance the user experience by providing quick access to relevant video content.

Video carousels, for instance, display a vertical or horizontal carousel of videos at the top of the main Google search results page:

Google Video Mode in the SERPs

These videos are selected based on their relevance to the search query and other criteria determined by Google’s algorithm. Users can scroll through the carousel to view different videos and click on them to watch the full video on the video category page.

Google Video Mode in the video SERPs

Video previews and snippets play a significant role in delivering a seamless user experience, especially when a platform lists multiple videos:

  • Video previews provide users with a glimpse of the content of multiple videos before they click on them, allowing them to assess their relevance and quality, and check for any video or audio delays.
  • Video snippets, on the other hand, offer a visual preview of the video content, enabling users to quickly determine if the video is pertinent to their search query.

The inclusion of video previews and snippets in Video Mode leads to a more interactive and efficient search experience for users.

Video Thumbnails and Impressions

Video thumbnails serve as the first visual representation users witness from videos in search results. They offer viewers a quick overview of the video, allowing them to get an idea of what the video is about before clicking on it. The image quality of these thumbnails can be influenced by the camera settings used during video production.

Video thumbnails impact on user impressions

Choosing a suitable thumbnail is important because it can significantly affect the video’s click-through rate and view count.

Google only displays video thumbnails when a video is the main content of a page and belongs to a relevant video category.

Thus, having an appealing and pertinent thumbnail can draw users’ interest and motivate them to click on the video.

There is some evidence to suggest that attractive thumbnails are one of the most influential elements in increasing views and engagement – by 15% – on platforms such as YouTube, especially when browsing through the video tab.

YouTube itself says that 90% of the best-performing videos have custom thumbnails – indicating that if you are customizing it, it’s likely to be more interesting or appealing.

Indexed Videos and Visibility

Google indexes videos by analyzing the video content, including audio settings, and creating an index of the parsed information, thus enabling the video to appear in search results.

Once a video is indexed, it may be featured in web search results as a Video OneBox, which is a grouping of videos related to the search query.

A Google OneBox is a type of search result that provides information directly in the SERPs without having to click through to a website – such as when you google the time and it appears at the top:

Google OneBox

The OneBox for video results can drive more traffic to YouTube videos.

Factors that may negatively influence the visibility of video indexed on Google search include:

  • Being outside the viewport
  • Being too small or too tall
  • Not being prominent enough
  • Content quality
  • Internal linking
  • Orphan pages

Addressing these factors and verifying that your video content has suitable audio and video settings is key to improving the visibility of indexed videos in search results.

It’s also advisable to monitor the performance of your video content using tools such as Google Search Console, which we will discuss in detail later in this blog post.

Understanding the Google Video Mode Update Guidelines

Now that you better understand what Google’s Video Mode is all about, let’s dive into the updated guidelines.

Key Changes to Video Content Requirements

One of the most significant updates to Google’s video content guidelines is the stipulation that:

The video now must be the main or primary content on the page to be eligible for video mode.

This change is aimed at prioritizing videos that are the focus of the page to make sure that search results accurately reflect the user’s query and interests, while those that are not the primary focus will be less prioritized.

Google provides a few examples of page types where the video is not the primary focus of the page (i.e. what not to do):

  • A blog post where the video is complementary to the text rather than the primary content of the page
  • A product details page with a complementary video
  • A video category page that lists multiple videos of equal prominence

In addition to this change, Google has also recently updated its structured data related to video features in search results – including Google Search, Google Discover, video search results, and Google image search results – offering new recommendations that impact how videos are displayed.

Here are some key points about the structured data for video update:

  • New recommendations for specifying the date and time a video was published: This helps Google provide more accurate information in search results.
  • Updated guidance on using SeekToAction structured data: This allows you to tell Google where timestamps typically go in your URL structure, so that Google can automatically identify key moments and link users to those points within the video.
  • Introduction of BroadcastEvent structured data: This allows you to mark up live streams and other broadcast events.
  • Greater emphasis on using Clip structured data: This allows you to mark up specific segments of your video that cover distinct topics:
Clip structured data for Google Video Mode

These updates are designed to help Google better understand the content of your videos and provide a more relevant and informative experience for users.

Implications for Content Creators and Marketers

Google’s latest Video Mode update presents a unique set of challenges for content creators and marketers. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Increased Competition: With video content gaining prominence, there’s a surge in competition. Creators must now craft more engaging, high-quality video content to stand out.
  • SEO Adaptation: The update requires a shift in SEO strategies. Optimizing for video search becomes crucial, necessitating new skills and approaches.
  • Technical Requirements: High-quality video production demands technical expertise and equipment, posing a challenge for smaller creators and businesses.
  • Algorithm Understanding: Keeping up with how the new video mode influences ranking factors is key for visibility, requiring continuous learning and adaptation.
  • Platform Diversification: Relying solely on traditional search optimization isn’t enough. Creators need to diversify across multiple platforms where videos are consumed.

Content creators and marketers need to adjust to these new guidelines to protect their brands and implement successful advertising strategies.

Let’s take a look at the best ways to do this.

Optimize Video SEO

Strategies for Adapting to New Video Requirements

Developing a comprehensive strategy for optimizing your video content is key to successfully navigating the Google Video Mode update. This includes:

  • Integrating video as the main content
  • Ensuring relevance
  • Creating engaging video content
  • Optimizing for visibility

Let’s discuss each of these strategies in detail, providing practical tips and techniques to help you boost your video content’s performance in Google search results.

Integrate Video as Main Content

Including video as the primary content on your website or blog can notably improve user engagement and search visibility. When balancing text and video content on a web page, it is essential to select pertinent and high-quality media, optimize it for web use, and maintain a balance of media and text with appropriate whitespace.

For blog posts, consider implementing a simple video SEO strategy by:

  • Making the video’s purpose clear
  • Using engaging visuals and storytelling techniques
  • Optimizing video length and format for the target audience
  • Embedding videos directly on the blog post
  • Promoting the video through social media and other marketing channels

By effectively integrating video as the main content, you can provide value to your audience and improve your search visibility.

Ensure the Video’s Relevance

Producing pertinent video content is key to adhering to the new guidelines and attracting user attentio. To make sure that your video content aligns with popular search queries, it’s crucial to conduct keyword research, as you would with any text content.

Recognizing your audience’s objectives, using language and communication styles that your audience uses, and producing content that is consistent with user intent are some of the essential elements for ensuring that video content is in line with user intent.

By creating relevant video content, you can:

  • Improve your search visibility
  • Increase user engagement
  • Drive more traffic
  • Increase conversions

Create Engaging Video Content

Besides relevant video content, you also want to, of course, create compelling video content which will attract people to click through to your website or blog and motivate them to interact with it.

To create engaging video content, it is important to focus on the following:

  • Spark curiosity
  • Hook the audience
  • Make it visual
  • Tell a story
  • Inspire viewers

The quality of your video content also plays a significant role in driving user engagement. Videos with high-quality visuals, visually stunning imagery, and professional editing are more likely to attract and engage users.

Check out these two posts for more help on creating interesting video content:

Optimize for Visibility

Maximizing the visibility of your video content in Google search results is crucial for drawing more viewers and fostering engagement. Be sure you are making relevant videos that cater to your target audience’s interests and helps solve their problems.

Additionally, here are some tips to optimize your video for search engines:

  • Keyword-Rich Titles and Descriptions: Use relevant, searchable keywords in your video title and include a detailed description of the video content with keywords and a link to your website.
  • Custom Thumbnails: Create eye-catching thumbnails that accurately represent your video content.
  • Closed Captions and Subtitles: Include closed captions for accessibility, which also helps with indexing by search engines.
  • Use Tags Wisely: Tag your video with relevant keywords without overdoing it.
  • Engagement Metrics: Encourage likes, comments, and shares to boost engagement metrics.
  • Video Length and Watch Time: Aim for an optimal length that keeps viewers engaged.
  • Embedding and Sharing: Embed videos on your website and encourage sharing on social media.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your video is mobile-friendly, as a significant amount of searches are done on mobile devices.
  • Use Video Sitemaps: Submit a video sitemap to Google for better indexing.

These strategies will help improve your video’s search rankings and visibility.

Google Search Console Updates

Google Search Console is a useful tool for tracking and maintaining your presence in Google search results. By using its video-specific reports and tools, you can gain insights into your video content’s performance and address any issues that may be affecting its visibility and user engagement.

Video Indexing Report: Reasons Why Your Video Is Not Indexed

Understanding why your video may not be indexed by Google as this update rolls out is crucial to address any factors that might impact its visibility in search results. You’ll find the results of this change in your GSC video indexing report.

If your video isn’t the main element of your web page, you’ll see “No video indexed” or “Video is not the main content of the page” in this report, as well as the following issues:

  • Invalid video URL
  • Unsupported video format
  • Unknown video format
  • Inline data URLs cannot be used for video URLs
  • Video outside the viewport
  • Video too small
  • Video too tall
Google Search Console video indexing reports for Google Video Mode update

To make certain that your video content is properly indexed by Google, it is essential to address these factors and implement accurate structured data for your video.

Last Word on the Google Video Mode Update

Adapting to Google’s new video content guidelines and using the power of Video Mode is crucial for maximizing the potential of your video content in the current digital environment.

Don’t let your video content fall by the wayside – embrace the Google’s Video Mode update and optimize your video content in line with Google’s new guidelines. Plus, use tools such as Google Search Console to look for “video not indexed” reports so you can improve your video’s search visibility.

If you need help navigating the Google Video Mode update, Single Grain’s video marketing experts can help!👇

Optimize Video SEO

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