Video continues to take on a more dominant role in digital marketing. It has become an essential ingredient to just about any strategy and Google is attempting to hone in on it. Video search results are continuously appearing in the SERPs which leads me to believe that permanency is on the horizon.

Some time last year Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) wrote an article about YouTube videos showing up in search results. This was around the same time rumors kept going around regarding meta video snippets and how those could potentially correlate with this beta test.

Recently I was perusing around on Google while seeking additional information for my YouTube channel and happened to type the query “how to add subscribe button on YouTube” when this appeared.

Video showing up in SERPs

For a second it sort of freaked me out since I couldn’t quite make out what particularly happened. Then, after a closer look I realized that Google pulled the first video from YouTube that it found most relevant to my query and provided an embedded video directly at the top of the SERP. Talk about some serious accessibility from a user perspective. As a user you are no longer forced to navigate over to the ‘Videos’ section and manually scroll through the list of relevant videos. You’ll notice that I was logged-in to my Google+ profile account when I invoked the search query. For shits and giggles, I decided to log out and perform the same search query. Same result!

Video preview in the SERPs seems to come in and out in limited quantities. Obviously as part of an ongoing test that Google is conducting most likely to determine the benefit, usage, and interaction prior to making a determination on permancy.

Invoking Video Previews in the Google SERPs

I did some research on the web and tested against a theory to see what specific search queries may invoke such video previews. After running a few tests and exploring various different words, I encountered the following terms to spark video previews in the SERPs.

  • “how” or “how to” word usage in a sequence
  • anything with the word “tutorial” in it
  • instances of the word “review” or “reviews” where deemed relevant
  • “what is…”
  • “demo” or “demonstration”

As stated, these are only a few that I happened to test out. Certainly there’s others that would trigger a video preview and personally quite curious as to what those may indeed be. If Google continues to test out video in the SERPs than that should be a clear indication of how valuable video is now considered to be.