Google: Video must be main content to appear as thumbnail
When a video isn't the main content, Google won't show it as a thumbnail. Google's testing showed a "minimal impact" on publishers.
Video thumbnails will only be shown in Google’s search results when a video is the main content of a page, Google announced today.
The 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.”
What’s changing. Google has been showing a video to the right of the search listing when a video was present on a page, but not the main element.
This video thumbnail format will go away because removing it had a “minimal impact” on the overall engagement for publishers, Google said based on tests it conducted.
What exactly is “main content”? So how does Google determine when a video is “main content”? That was unclear from Google’s announcement, so I asked Google. A Google spokesperson told me:
- “Search determines if a video is the primary content on a web page based on several factors, including the location of a video on the page.”
Google said it couldn’t go into much more detail beyond that, but recommended reading its video SEO best practices and helpful content guidelines on Search Central.
Google Search Console impact. You may see an impact to your search appearance reported metrics for videos in the performance report. Annotations will appear in the video indexing report and video enhancement report, Google said.
What’s not changing. Google will still show a video thumbnail to the left of a search listing when Google determines a video is the main content of a page.
Why we care. If your pages have been ranking with video thumbnails, you’ll watch to watch the performance of those pages heading forward. This change also has implications for the video metrics you see reported in GSC.
Read Google’s announcement. Simplifying video presentation on Google Search Results.