YouTube Launches Auto-Chapters as a Search Element, Marking the Next Step in the Chapters Push
With the addition of its new auto chapters as a search element, YouTube hopes to give more targeted search matches. This means that it will now be able to show automatically recognized segments in response to user queries.
Conor Kavanagh of YouTube explains:
“Starting this week, auto chapters are going to be used as a source of metadata in searches made on mobile. Previously, only creator-defined chapters were used in this way. Auto-chapters, now, will only appear in search if creator-defined chapters are unavailable.”
YouTube started rolling out auto-chapters in July, with its algorithm identifying video chunks to provide more precise search query matching.
When chapters are enabled, YouTube may highlight specific segments in response to queries, providing it additional power to help users identify the main aspects they're looking for in each clip, as you can see in this example.
With every piece of each clip being searchable, this might play a much bigger part in video discovery over time, delivering more data on what people are seeking for while also supporting additional discovery potential based on your content.
Given that it will now be used in this manner, it may be worthwhile to verify the segmentation of your own YouTube video and optimize your chapter names based on relative keyword search and possible matching. If you know that people are looking for information on 'black shoelaces,' and you have a video segment about it, you may manually add that title to your clip.
Don't try to flood it with unrelated segment names; instead, carefully label each segment and/or make sure any automatically segments portions of your clips are properly titled can help to boost your search potential.
It's also worth mentioning that auto-segmentation isn't applied to all videos, and you may opt out (through your upload defaults in YouTube Studio) if you choose.
Additionally, YouTube is making Mentions available to all channels with 500 subscribers (it was previously only available to those with 1000+ followers), as well as introducing the 'When Your Viewers are on YouTube' card to the mobile version of YouTube Studio.
That will aid in channel planning, and while the addition of the chart to the mobile version is not a significant change, it may be useful in keeping you updated whenever you need it.
The biggest change is the expansion of YouTube's chapter search, which might have a substantial impact on app discovery behavior.
It's worth considering in your approach. More information on YouTube video chapters can be found here.