Toward the end of April, Google quietly rolled out some updates to YouTube’s user interface. On top of introducing hover-over previews on video thumbnails, another feature that is quickly gaining popularity is the ‘Featured Snippet’ functionality.
What is Youtube’s Suggested Clip?
Suggested clips are a new feature in search results pages that highlight specific parts of an embedded video that directly answer a user’s query. Think of it as a user-friendly way to bypass the boring parts of a “how to” video and get to the part that answers your question. No more skipping around through tutorials to find the information you need!
For organic marketers, having your content show up as a featured snippet could have a significant impact on CTR’s, as these results tend to dominate a lot of real estate in SERPs. The example below took up most of the visible area above the fold:
How Do You Get Content To Be A ‘Featured Snippet?”
At the time of writing, data on this update has been hard to come by, and it is still unclear what factors exactly determine how suggested clips are chosen. The following are our observations:
There seems to be little to no correlation between video picture quality and instances of suggested clips being displayed in SERPs. Of the results we were able to replicate, almost all of them were high-quality videos. However, some seemed to have non-professional production quality and were still featured as suggested clips.All of the videos tested, however, did have high-quality audio that was clear and easy to understand – this may be a hat tip to Google’s confidence in the auto-transcription.
Closed Captioning and Transcription
All of the videos that displayed suggested clips had closed captioning and transcriptions enabled.
Number of Views
It seems that most of the videos that feature suggested clips had a high number of views. Of the content we tested, all had 500,000+ views. However, there are instances of videos being featured that have a lower number of views than related videos, so using view count as a determining factor remains inconclusive.
Of the results we could replicate, the inclusion of keywords within the suggested clip timeline seemed to have no impact on whether or not a video was selected. The below example does not mention keywords once within the suggested clip timeframe.
Inclusion of ‘YouTube’ in the Search Query
Including question- or “how to”-based queries doesn’t seem to be a guarantee that video content would be selected as a suggested clip. However, the inclusion of the keyword “youtube” almost always defaulted in Google returning a suggested clip. See the example below:
What Does This Mean?
Overall, ranking factors for determining suggested clips remain inconclusive. It is also unclear if this is a permanent addition to search results, as Google has not yet released any information about its implementation.
If nothing else, this is another great example of the importance of optimizing for user intent rather than for search algorithms. The inclusion of suggested clips only further reinforces Google’s “User First” attitude of content creation and the growing interest around “how to” based content.
Do you have any examples or insights about suggested clips? Share them below or get in touch and let us know!