What if Google Stopped Showing Videos in Their Results and No One Noticed?!

On Sunday, January 6th many of us in the Five Blocks crew will be attending SMX in Jerusalem, one of the few conferences we participate in each year.  In advance of that event, I wanted to share some knowledge from a few weeks back. Strangely, we still have not heard anyone talking about this even though it’s something that has affected tens of our clients and probably many of yours too!

Monitoring Google, Bing, YouTube, etc. on a daily basis gives Five Blocks a different view of search results and patterns that affect our clients, their brands and their reputations. We are able to separate the signal from the noise. This gives us context on which we base our work for clients – many of whom are prominent companies, brands and individuals.

Background

Since Google started showing Unified Results, we have become accustomed to the inclusion of News, Image, and Video boxes within the standard search results pages. These boxes, or containers as we call them, appear independently of the other Google search results. They don’t count toward the standard 10 (or 7 for branded searches) results and they can appear and disappear much more freely than standard results.

On December 5th we noticed a significant change across a large number of keywords – including client keywords. Simply stated, the video container ceased to exist. That’s right; as of Dec 5th there seem to be no more video containers (video boxes) in Google search results pages.

Here are some examples:

Hershey’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

Hershey’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

Hershey’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

Hershey’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

 

Another Example.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

One more example:

Greece’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

Greece’s Google results on Dec 4, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

Greece’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

Greece’s Google results on Dec 5, 2012 as seen in NY, NY

 

 

In each of these examples we see how the search results page changed as Google removed the video box. In some cases, we have seen additional videos make their way into the search results – indicating that there was an algorithmic justification to keep them in the search pages. In other cases, such as in the example with Greece, the removal of video was followed by the inclusion of an image box – maybe the page was too bare?

Why did Google do this? Possibly because people who want video results know to search Video.Google.com or YouTube.com. This change seems to have gone unnoticed by the SEO community and probably the general community as well. For some of our clients this was a major change – sometimes positive, but not always.

In any case, we wanted to share this knowledge with our readers, as we think it is useful in case you were wondering where your clients’ videos have gone!

Over the next few months, we expect to begin releasing regular reports detailing important and actionable trends in search – these will usually be focused on brands and reputation. Stay tuned!

 


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