Changes to Google’s Universal Video Listing SERPs
As SEOs and other search-aware people know, Google and Bing are constantly experimenting with changes to their search results. So we were not surprised to see a change to the universal video results formatting in Google today.
Previously, Google’s universal video results were displayed side-by-side, in a 2-pack or 3-pack, as seen here in the search results for the query “how to braid hair”:
This morning, we’re observing universal video thumbnails shown vertically, one above the other. Each video thumbnail includes full snippets:
Even before this change, video results were prominent on the page. With this new look, video results have an even more dominant position, holding 4 out of 5 of the above-the-fold listings.
What does this mean for you?
2011 continues to bring major shifts in search result prominence. Local results have gained massively in search real estate, and now we see the potential for a video results “land grab” as well.
Even if Google doesn’t choose to continue with this particular layout, the clear interest in video result positioning reinforces our longstanding recommendation that site owners pay attention to video optimization. Basic strategies include:
- Consider an upload to YouTube if your video serves as an advertisement for your company, product, or service
- Optimize your YouTube page for keywords; used closed captioning if possible
- Make sure the videos on your site are crawlable and indexable. If you’re using a video hosting service such as Brightcove or Bits on the Run, don’t worry, these videos can still be indexable on your own site.
- Display your videos separately on individual URLs
- Create and upload a Google Video Sitemap and Bing Video Sitemap or mRSS feed
- Optimize video pages for keywords; include a transcript if possible
Readers, what are you seeing? Do you think Google will roll out this change across the boards, or is this just a temporary experiment?