Google is always changing and evolving, for this reason our Digital Marketing team tries to keep our thumb on any changes they make as SEO is always a moving target!

When searching for information we discovered a major change with how Google featured snippet videos on the SERPS (search engine results page). According to official statements Google has tapped into AI in order to filter, select and show the user the sections of the video that are most relevant to their search. For instance, if you type in a search about New York, videos of the New York Skyline and most-visited attractions will appear.

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Instead of you clicking the video and it taking you through to the relevant YouTube landing page where the video is hosted, Google is overlaying the video directly into the search results instead and doesn’t include any of the familiar YouTube features.

This is quite a radical change for the search engine, as Google previously always redirected through to YouTube. Some site owners and YouTube bloggers will most likely be displeased by the change as viewers are able to see their content without being directed to a subscribe, comment or like button since they’re not displayed in the overlay format. For these people, this presents a lost opportunity.

google search update


Just like how when following links on mobile within the Instagram or Facebook app, the social media channels host the page, meaning it loads faster and is easier for the user. For Google, this change makes sense from a user experience perspective as people can access the relevant information quicker without being sent to another page.


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Unlike when Google was trialling this change in 2017, these videos do not play automatically and the user has to click. This is most likely owing to the host of negative commentary it received in relation to the auto-play videos, as they deeply annoyed a vast swathe of users. Fundamentally, the user has not consented to being shown the content which is frustrating, we all know how irritating it is when you open a site and a video starts blasting music in a hidden corner of the page.

Will this change anything for your marketing strategies? We’d love to hear what you think of the update!

Written by Lydia Daniels December of 2018