Google's New Way To Optimize Videos For Search

Google has rolled out a way for web owners to optimize videos published on their own site.

Publishers of video content can now use the SeekToAction markup language to identify key moments that allow searchers to navigate directly to certain video segments such as in a book chapter or how-to tutorial. 

Increasingly, brands create videos to reach consumers. Google Search tries to automatically detect the segments in a video and show that key moments to users.

This SeekToAction markup tells Google how the URL structure works.

Previously, video creators had to manually label each segment in the videos that were uploaded to their website.

Now creators just identify the URL pattern for skipping to a specific time stamp within the video.

Google will use artificial intelligence to identify key moments in the video, and will display links directly to those moments in Search results.

The feature is being moved out of beta, so any site that publishes videos can use it. Google provides a list of tips when using SeekToAction markup for videos:

  • The video must have the ability to deep link into some point other than the start point in the video URL.
  • For example, starts 30 seconds into a video.
  • VideoObject structured data must be added to a page where users can watch the video. It's a bad user experience to point users to a page where they can't watch the video.
  • The total video duration must be a minimum of 30 seconds.
  • The video must include the required properties that are listed in the VideoObject structured data documentation.
  • For Clip structured data only: Make sure that no two clips on the same video defined on the same page share a start time.
  • For SeekToAction structured data only: Google must be able to fetch video content files.
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