How To Control Your Video Search Snippet

video-carousel-1024x1010-2 How To Control Your Video Search Snippet

We’ve talked about search and social snippets before. A rich snippet is what you see below your search listing enriched with rating stars, author information, a thumbnail, etc… scraped from the linked page.

Google ranks videos inside so-called video carousels.

Inside video carousels, Google often shows:

  • The video thumbnail (which implies it’s a video)
  • The date the video was published
  • The author of the video
  • Video’s moments (which are often generated by author-added timestamps)

That image is probably going to attract visitors as well as increase the page engagement, as the listing often provides additional information like duration, and a description of the video (so the visitor will be well-prepared to watching the video when clicking-through).

Your mission is to optimize these rich snippets, and so get a better control over your video search result listing.

Here are a few tips to do just that.

Upload To YouTube

Youtube videos rank well! Surprised? Me neither…

You can also use other video hosting platforms (Vimeo comes to mind), and your own website, but maintaining your Youtube presence is a must. Deal with that.

Optimize Your Youtube Listing

This is very similar to how you would do it for any other content. A few ways include:

  • Make sure your video title *naturally* included primary keywords you are targeting. Optimize the title to reflect keywords and so target your ideal audience, rather than leaving it ambiguous or using the wrong phrases.
  • Write a good original keyword-rich, but not spammy, description that will attract viewers’ attention immediately.
  • Use the right tags. One of the worst things you can do is just add random, popular tags that you think will get search results. That will do nothing but annoy the people who come across the video. Use good tags.
  • Make sure what they see is going to be good. Thumbnails will show up in rich snippets. Your video thumbnail should be high quality and optimized so they want to click on it. Read this article with tips on making the most of your Youtube video thumbnail.
  • Use the checklist:

youtube-content-checklist-1 How To Control Your Video Search Snippet

Also read: How To Make Your YouTube Video Go Viral

Add Video Timestamps

Youtube allows to create a quick outline of your video using clickable timestamps.

The beauty of creating that outline is that Google often grabs it to create clickable “moments” that take its users right inside that video. I imagine these clicks are well-targeted and drive highly engaged users.

video-carousel-1-1024x1010-2 How To Control Your Video Search Snippet

And here are the timestamps that let Google create those moments in search results:

timestamps-1024x575-1 How To Control Your Video Search Snippet

As you can guess, this is one opportunity you cannot miss, so make sure to always put together these outlines, especially if your longer videos.

Markup Your Page with the Video

When you embed a video to your page, it’s a good idea to add code to make sure it’s easy for search spiders to “scrape”… umm understand your page…

Basically, is a way that all major search engines will see your video and grab its thumbnail easily. I did a detailed guide (and cheatsheet!) on markup. Cheatsheet from Ann Smarty

**The easiest way to get the correct source code is through this handy tool that lets you put in the URL to a video, and it generates one for you. If you do want to go through all the source codes you can go to the official site here.

Is That The Only Way To Be Seen?

No, you can promote your videos in any way you see fit. Run ad campaigns, utilize social media, create newsletters… anything you would do to promote any other content can help bring you attention and even launch you into viral status if the planets are aligned.

Like I noted above, this guide is only about making the most of your video search appearance. When people do a search for the topic of your video, they should see immediately that your content will fulfill what they need better than anyone else’s.


You never have complete control over your search results. But covering the basics is essential to get more out of your search listing than your competitor.

Do you have any tips? Questions? Let us know in the comments.





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