Google changed the way videos are presented in the SERPs by rolling out the carousels update in June 2018. The search engine previously displayed this format with just a thumbnail at the side of the link along with other text blog posts. This time, it has a dedicated section right after the top search result.
The search engine removed the video thumbnail feature and replaced it with the carousel. This move could be aligned with the company’s emphasis on the mobile search since video carousels were only displayed for users on smartphones or tablets before the update. It also makes sense that Google would want to have a uniform look for the SERPs.
The results pages also showed more videos now with an average of 8.5 video thumbnails compared to before with just three links. However, there are still only three videos “above the fold” or in the first viewable part, and users can simply click on the right arrow to see more.
There were complaints that the video carousel feature led to significant drops in click-through rates or CTRs for websites that didn’t optimize the bonus material for their blog posts. Meanwhile, YouTube, Daily Motion, Alibaba, MSN, Coursera, and news publication such as CNN, CNBC, and CBS emerged as victors after the update.
E-commerce websites were hit, mainly when they experienced a drop in organic search listings after having their videos included in the SERP carousels. This led to losses in traffic and, as a result, revenue even when impressions increased.
Websites in other niches or industries were favored by the update and were able to acquire a listing in the carousel with minimal optimization. They won both ways by boosting the visibility of their videos while retaining their organic search listings.
Videos are currently the preferred medium of content creators and users alike. The format allows publishers to pack in as much information as they can within a short period. One challenge is making it entertaining so that viewers won’t lose interest halfway through the video, but even then you can incorporate visually stimulating like pops of color or text highlights.
Here are ways to maximize your videos and boost their organic ratings: