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  • Meerelle Cruz

YouTube Adds Video Chapter Listings in Search, Which Could be a New SEO Consideration

YouTube is seeking to improve its in-app search capabilities by adding new video chapters within search results and expanding access to material in multiple languages. The most significant change is the inclusion of video chapters in search. YouTube stated in July that it would begin rolling out automated chapter segmentation for all uploaded video clips, with the technology identifying essential features inside each video to optimize and simplify user navigation.

Now we're seeing how YouTube intends to employ this aspect in its search capabilities. YouTube has launched a new search element today that allows users to narrow their search to specific aspects of each clip, allowing them to easily discover the exact section that they're looking for.

As shown above, when a video is displayed in your YouTube search results, you'll also be able to touch on a new 'Chapters' drop-down, which will allow you to connect through to specific portions of that clip directly from your search results.

Previously, when you searched for a video to watch on YouTube, you would see a thumbnail image for each video. It allowed you to get a fast overview of the video's content. You may now make more informed judgments about what you want to watch by viewing video chapters right from the search page. These time-stamped pictures, where available, clarify the various themes discussed in videos and allow you to better evaluate the video you're about to view. You can also go straight to the section that is most relevant to your particular interest.

Please keep in mind that this feature is not currently accessible for all videos. According to YouTube's original statement on automatic chapters, not all videos are now suitable for auto-segmentation, but this is where YouTube is headed in the future as it seeks to improve discovery by offering more targeted video segment results for each query. It's also worth mentioning that artists can change the automatically added pieces in their clips or manually enter their own, which could open up new avenues for discovery.

As you can see in the sample above, each chapter is labeled and titled specifically - and for marketers and those trying to maximize their video discovery, it may be worth evaluating the segmentation of their clips and optimizing these chapter names based on relative keyword search volume. If you know that people are looking for information on 'black shoelaces,' and you have a specific video segment on this, you may try manually inserting that term into your clip. However, don't start spamming it with phrases unrelated to your video. Google is quite adept at spotting this type of fraudulent activity.

In addition, YouTube is introducing autoplay video examples in search result thumbnails on mobile (which are currently accessible on desktop), as well as a new test in which it will display search results from foreign languages with automatically translated captions.

According to YouTube, this means that someone in Thailand can learn about quantum physics from an MIT professor, while viewers in Brazil can tour the Grand Canyon from the comfort of their own home, with captions in their native language. It plans to begin complementing search results with English videos and then expand to other languages. YouTube hopes that with translated subtitles, all worldwide content will become more accessible and producers will be able to reach a larger global audience.

Finally, YouTube is attempting to provide extra context for some YouTube searches by providing supplementary website connections for specific topics retrieved through Google search. This, ideally, will provide users with more data sources for low volume and/or controversial search results, which may serve to orient search queries even when video content is unavailable.

These are useful improvements with clear consequences for video SEO and the discovery process, and if you're serious about YouTube marketing, it'll be worth delving a little more into each factor to identify the possible impact and potential for your content.

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