On Tuesday, Google announced the release of a new feature impacting video search results. The search engine giant is calling this new roll-out “key moments” and it is designed to help searchers quickly find content within a video. Google said this video search feature will work for English videos hosted on YouTube where the creators have provided timestamp information in the video description. At the moment, this feature is only available for YouTube videos.
“Starting today you can find key moments within videos and get to the information you’re looking for faster, with help from content creators,” Prashant Baheti of Google said in a release published on September 17. “When you search for things like how-to videos that have multiple steps, or long videos like speeches or a documentary, Search will provide links to key moments within the video, based on timestamps provided by content creators. You’ll be able to easily scan to see whether a video has what you’re looking for, and find the relevant section of the content.”
Google acknowledged that part of the driver for this change is the fact that, unlike text, videos are not skimmable. This makes video easy to overlook for searchers who don’t have the time to commit to watching an entire video. Google provided a screenshot of the search results for the query, “How to start a podcast” to further illustrate how these video search results will look moving forward.
In the example provided by Google above, the top video search result is accompanied by an “In this video” feature that breaks the video down into multiple sections: microphone, boom arm, shock mount and editing a podcast 101 are the four that are shown on the screen. These features correspond with the timestamps that were included in the YouTube video description for the following video.
If you scroll through the video description you will see the following time stamps.
This is what you need to incorporate into your video descriptions moving forward to be eligible for the “key moments” results. Notice, for example, if you click on 0:56 it takes you right to the “microphones” portion of the video. The same thing will happen with regards to “boom arm” when you click on 2:11, “shock mount” when you click 2:28, etc.
Create video timestamps and include those links in your YouTube video description for any new videos you make moving forward. You also may want to optimize some of your more popular existing videos by adding timestamp details in the video description for them, as well.
While it will be interesting to see if incorporating these timestamps will actually help these videos rank better or not, it seems extremely likely that the “In this video” feature will almost certainly improve click-through rate. For instructions on how to create the time-stamped URLs that link in the video description, check out this article.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments.