In the online marketing industry, one thing that can be guaranteed is change. Google has made recent changes to the user interface that has appeared to directly affect organic rankings.
By now you’ve seen the addition of local Place Page rankings, expanded sitelinks, and a variety of other enhancements related to Google’s support of Rich Snippets and ever-advancing code recognition.
Google now appears to be merging universal results with video results, serving the most relevant page on a site for a given keyword that includes a video element. The new video result resembles a Rich Snippet listing in the SERPs. Results link directly to the actual page’s URL (instead of just the YouTube version) and populates relevant content from the page rather than video title and description. Previously, video results were largely populated from YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites and served as a separate element in the Universal Search Results (meaning the results didn’t “count” as one of the top 1-10, for example).
Over the past week, Fathom has seen improvement in organic rankings for established pages that have added video. With higher rankings, comes higher traffic. Our cursory research shows a 33% increase in click through rate on organic rankings with a video thumbnail.
Google Webmaster Support states they recognize two forms of video markup: Facebook Share and Yahoo SearchMonkey RDFa as well as video sitemaps.
“When video information is marked up in the body of a web page, Google can identify it and may use that information to improve our search results.”
The sites we’ve tested this on do not have videos marked up in Facebook Share or Yahoo SearchMonkey. Is this new integration a Beta test or will it be a permanent ranking factor? Only time will tell; but this development definitely reinforces the importance of online video.