Key Moments: How Google is Making Video Content More Searchable
Stop me if this sounds familiar: You’ve hopped onto Google to get an answer to a specific question (this can be anything from “How much should I water an orchid plant?” to “How do I add text to my video in Final Cut Pro?”) You play the video, reluctantly sit through the 15 second ad, maybe watch the first 5 minutes or so only to get frustrated that the video isn’t giving you the information you wanted, and there’s still 10 more minutes of the video to go.
I don’t know about you, but this is why I tend to shy away from video results in Google search. It’s just not worth the hassle when there are usually plenty of written articles that I can click instead that allow me to quickly skim and locate the information I’m looking for.
Now, however, Google is introducing a feature that will make it easier for users to locate and access specific information from videos. It’s called “Key Moments,” and it allows content creators to add timestamps to their videos that users will then see in related searches.
Here’s the feature as explained by Google Product Manager, Prashant
Starting today you can find key moments within videos and get to the information you’re looking for faster, with help from content creators. 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. For people who use screen readers, this change also makes video content more accessible.
Basically, this change could drastically affect the type of media searchers consume to find answers to their questions and give video results a way to better compete with written content in search. If the feature proves valuable to Google’s users, the inclusion of these “Key Moments” could even become a significant ranking factor in the future.
Pay Attention, Video Marketers
This latest change by Google represents a huge opportunity for video marketers. Videos that include timestamp information will have a distinct advantage in Google search over their unstamped counterparts.
When people use Google to find an answer to their question, they’re usually looking for the quickest, easiest way to obtain that information. For that reason, videos, because they are much less skimmable than most written articles, may be less attractive to the average Google searcher. If you’re looking for information on how to effectively target your Facebook advertisements, for example, you’re likely not going to click on the 30-minute video that walks you through every step of building an ad from scratch.
With Google’s key moments, however, content creators can allow their viewers to skip ahead to the information they’re searching for, thus making video much more viable in search. Video marketers who can provide that improved searchability for their viewers will be rewarded with higher click rates.
To get a jump start on Google’s new Key Moments feature, you’ll need to fill out this form. This will require you to add Clip structured data to mark important video segments in your content, which viewers can then use to navigate to specific points within your video. While you’re not guaranteed to get into the Early Adopters program, it’s certainly worth a shot for a chance at increasing your search visibility.