The benefits of using video to help SEO continue as Google has now made certain videos the dominant result. If you ask a question or a particular phrase, Google will return a large thumbnail for a video ahead of every other result.
This feature isn’t new. Google has given music videos the top spot in its search results for some time now. When you think about it, it makes sense. People don’t search for music videos in the same way as other content. It’s far more specific. If I wanted to watch the video for Get Lucky by Daft Punk (even though it’s been played relentlessly over the past year) chances are, returning the official video as the first result will satisfy my disco pop needs.
Bing recognised this as well when they changed the design for their music video results. The nature of looking for music videos is different to other content, and search engines reflected this in their designs and algorithms.
However, it appears that the first search engine result pages (SERPs) now go beyond music videos to include precise results and how-to videos:
As you can see, the tutorial video dominates the SERP. The text results don’t even appear until after images and other videos answering the same question. Notice as well that I didn’t search for a video; Google prioritised that content over written guides and images.
All of this is part of Google’s ongoing effort to become a service provider rather than a signpost to others. I spoke to Marcus Miller, SEO Consultant at Bowler Hat, about what this means for businesses and SEO:
The implications are clear: become the authoritative answer for a given question. Do that with the written word or with video and you can potentially raise your business or brands visibility - same as it ever was. But now, with these video inserts you can potentially command a large chunk of search engine real estate.
The thing to consider here is that this will be primarily information-focused, so it is unlikely we will see these video placements triggered for commercial keywords. Smart marketers will want to consider the information users require on the road to making a purchase and use these videos to raise their awareness.
So what can we take away from this? Video continues to be an important tactic to increase online visibility. But if it’s going to work, videos need to be optimised and strategically produced. We are still slowly seeing the effects since Google’s Hummingbird update last year, and video still proves to be an increasingly useful tool in digital marketing.