Google has recently updated its Search Central documentation to reflect a significant change in how video thumbnails are displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs). The update aims to enhance user experience by only showing video thumbnails when the video constitutes the main content of a web page. This change is expected to have minimal impact on publishers in terms of overall engagement.
New Criteria for Video Thumbnails in SERPs
Video as Main Content
Previously, there were two situations where a video thumbnail would be displayed in the SERPs:
- When the video is a part of the main content of the page
- When the video appears on a webpage but is not part of the main content
According to Google’s announcement, the change will only affect the second situation, where the video is not part of the main content. Video thumbnails will continue to be shown in the SERPs when the video is the main content of a page.
Google stated in their announcement:
Today, we’re making a change so that video thumbnails only appear next to Google search results when the video is the main content of a page.
This will make it easier for users to understand what to expect when they visit a page.”
Minimal Impact on Publishers
Google’s new guidance emphasizes that their experiments have indicated minimal impact on publishers concerning overall engagement. The main objective of this update is to enhance user experience by clarifying what to expect upon visiting a page.
Impact on Google Search Console
The update will cause changes in the video performance reports displayed in Google Search Console. As stated in the Search Central documentation:
“This change will impact search appearance reported metrics for videos in the performance report in Search Console.
There will be annotations in the video indexing report and the video enhancements report.”
Publishers are encouraged to review their Video SEO best practices to ensure compliance and maintain visibility in search results.
- Google has updated its guidance on video thumbnail triggers in SERPs
- Video thumbnails will only be displayed in SERPs when the video is the main content of a web page
- This change aims to improve user experience and provide clearer expectations for users visiting pages
- The update is expected to have minimal impact on publishers in terms of overall engagement
- Changes will be reflected in Google Search Console video performance reports
- Publishers are advised to review their Video SEO best practices
For more information on this update, read Google’s official announcement here.