Google Expands SERP Video Guidelines - SEO Gazette

Google Enhances Video Search Experience: New Video Guidelines

Dec. 5, 2023 8:53 pm PST | SEO Gazette | By Luke Ross

Google has recently unveiled a significant update to its video search guidelines, marking a new era in how videos are prioritized in search results. This change, which is currently being implemented, is a clear signal from Google that for a video to stand out in its ‘Video mode’ search results, it needs to be the star of the show on its webpage.

What’s Changing?

In a shift from its previous approach, Google is now setting the bar higher for videos to feature in SERPs. Gone are the days when a video thumbnail would appear in search results just because it was part of a webpage.

Under the new rules, Google is looking for videos that aren’t just part of the content but are the main attraction, as well as helpful to user queries. This means that when you click on a video result in Google’s search, you’ll be taken to a page where the video isn’t just present; it’s the main reason you’re there.

What Does & Doesn’t Make the Cut?

To give us a clearer picture, Google has outlined what will and won’t meet these new standards:

In the Spotlight: Videos that dominate their webpages, where the primary purpose is to watch that video.

Not Making the Grade: Videos that play a supporting role, like those in blog posts, product pages with added videos, or pages that just list multiple videos without highlighting one in particular.

This isn’t just a small tweak in the algorithm; it has potential to be a game-changer for anyone who relies on video content. SEOs and content creators are now encouraged to rethink their video strategy. It’s no longer enough to just include a video on a page; that video needs to be the main focus if it’s going to catch Google’s eye.

Screenshot, Google SERP Query 'google seo update' on December 5, 2023 - SEO Gazette
Google SERP Screenshot, ‘google seo update’ Dec. 5, 2023 | SEO Gazette

Google’s Search Console: A New Lens

The impact of this update will be clearly visible in GSC. Videos that don’t meet the new criteria will be tagged as “No video indexed,” streamlining what used to be a list of various issues like video format and placement problems. This means clearer feedback for creators and a better understanding of how their content is performing in Google’s eyes.

According to Google, “As the update rolls out, you’ll see the impact of this change in your Search Console video indexing report. Videos that aren’t the main content of the page will appear as “No video indexed” in Search Console. We’re also adding a new reason to the report to explain why these videos are not indexed: ‘Video is not the main content of the page’–“

The new “Video is not the main content of the page” will replace the following GSC indexing ‘issue’ reasons:

“Invalid video URL”

“Unsupported or Unknown video format”

“Inline data URLs cannot be used for video URLs”

“Video outside viewport”

“Video too small or too tall”

Screenshot, @JohnMu X Post on December 4, 2023 regarding Google Video Guidelines
@JohnMu X Post, Screenshot Dec. 5, 2023 | SEO Gazette


This update from Google isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s a response to the way we consume content today, where videos are increasingly becoming our go-to for information and entertainment. Google is adapting to this trend, ensuring that both desktop and mobile search results prioritize high-quality video content that users are seeking.

It’s time to look at video content not just as an add-on but as a potential centerpiece of webpages. This shift could mean rethinking web design and SEO content strategy to align with Google’s new emphasis on video.

Google’s latest update is a clear message: videos are important, and if they’re important to a page, they need to be the main focus. This change is set to reshape how videos are used in digital content, pushing creators to put more thought into how they integrate videos into their websites.

As Google continues to shift and evolve headed into 2024, staying abreast of these changes and adapting strategies accordingly will be key for anyone looking to make an impact in the realm of online search and content creation.

Article written by Luke Ross, The SEO Gazette

Copyright Disclaimer: Under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Any references to other articles, information, or images are purely for the sake of discussion and analysis. We do not hold any rights to images or external content referenced, and we disclaim any liability arising from the use or application of the information provided herein.