The rise in demand for video content has started to reflect more in the supply i.e. the search results. Since videos are dominating the internet, search engines are finding more ways to cater to this increasing appetite by enhancing the video results in SERPs.
In a bid to offer the best experience to the user, search engines are tailoring video content and presenting it in the most user-friendly format (or at least trying to).
Let’s take a look at how video content will dominate your search results in 2018:
Suggested clips, aka Featured Snippets, shortens your visual journey and gives you the answer in the briefest possible time.
Google is currently testing this feature in its search results page.
The suggested clip directly jumps to the part for which you put up the query which means that you don’t have to see the irrelevant parts anymore.
For example, when you google “How to fold a shirt”, this is the suggested clip that turns up. The clip starts from 14 seconds mark and the content that you need to see, as per google, is just 20 seconds long. That’s suggested clip for you. The total video length is around 1 minute 28 seconds. This means that the user has to watch only 20% of the actual video.
Watchout: Currently, we are only able to trigger suggested clips largely with “how-to” queries. 2018 may see more of these clips popping up and not just for how-to’s but for regular keywords as well.
Over in the smartphone web, video carousels are making a big splash. You can generally see them for keywords related to new movies.
An analysis done by STAT shows video carousel results nearly doubling in number. The data was recorded over a number of days to check if this was just another fad.
The results revealed that this particular evolution in SERP is still here (which means that this change might become the new constant, not just on mobile but for desktop users too).
Watchout: These carousels mainly contain Youtube results at present so we are watching out for other players to find their way here.
2017 saw a lot of video content being prioritized in the SERP. For instance, Google introduced video results for movie trailers and even TV shows. These videos seemed to be popping up on the right sidebar.
However, the placement seemed to change when the page was reloaded (the video appeared at the bottom this time).
Similar results can dominate the search page in 2018 too.
The good news (for everyone who completely hates autoplay) is that the videos autoplay only once and not indefinitely.
This feature is still in the A/B testing phase but these kinds of experiments do mean that Google is transforming the search results page with more emphasis on video content.
Watchout: These results are showing for movie and TV shows for now. So we can expect more autoplay testing in SERP for different search scenarios.
The biggest search giant, Google, has introduced 6 second video previews in the mobile search results. The thumbnails (which were static till now) are now showing a short preview of the video to help you better understand the video content (thus helping you understand if you really want to watch that particular video).
Similar changes have taken place on Youtube where GIF-like video thumbnails (of 3 second length) have been seen. This feature is available only for videos that are greater than 30 seconds in length and has only been seen on desktop searches.
Watchout: These previews stem from machine learning abilities. The video creator doesn’t have a choice in deciding which video frames show up in the previews. So they might get this power next year, maybe?
A query about your favorite celeb can now launch an inline video result (on Google). But wait. Before you bring your hands together and take them to your mouth (shouting multiple wows), note that the list includes only a dozen celebrities (as of now). Since this is a very recent addition to the SERP, this seems okay to us.
Google has created a dedicated app to gather the most relevant questions about each celebrity. The celebrities can then choose which questions to answer.
Clicking on the result expands the video (which plays with sound).
Watchout: The celebrity pool involved in this feature will grow in the near future. We are keeping our fingers crossed for more experiments like these.
Image search in Google (on mobile) is producing video results.
“Video markup enables a badge on the image in mobile image search results, which can encourage more users to click your content”, says Google.
With a structured video markup, marketers can use Google search as the entry gate for their content. In fact, proper markups can help you find your way to the carousel as well.
By giving us “video-centric” content while we perform an image search, Google is clearly paving the way for making videos more visible.
Watchout: Now that video has found its way in the image section of Google, it may soon extend its tentacles to other sections as well. We will soon experience the era of VIDEO DOMINATION!
The above points clearly reveal the seismic shift in how video content is evolving in the SERPs. And since video is growing in terms of internet traffic (80% by 2021), this evolution won’t stop very soon.
Additionally, when this combines with the evolution of Google’s API (which can now read video content), we might see some more experiments in the near future. For now, this list has autoplay, video previews, suggested clips and carousels. While these features are expected to undergo some makeover, we are looking forward to some new arrivals.
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