Digital Marketing

New Featured Snippets Opportunity: YouTube Descriptions

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Just discovered here at Perficient Digital: Google mines YouTube descriptions to find prospects for generating featured snippets. What’s great about this is that it’s one more way that YouTube can help significantly raise your visibility in Google.
Please note: It was previously noted by Jennifer Slegg that Google was pulling some featured snippets from YouTube transcripts, but not their descriptions. What we’ve seen is coming from their descriptions, and also seems to be a bit more common. Read on for the details on what we found, and my recommendations on what to do to capitalize on this opportunity.

What We Saw

Let’s start with an example:
How to Grease a Pan Featured Snippet
As you can see, the result is from YouTube, so let’s take look at the YouTube page:
How to Grease a Pan YouTube Description
You can see that the featured snippet text is taken directly from the YouTube description text within the red rectangle (rectangle added by us for clarity). So, let’s look at another example:
Who is the Captain Now Featured Snippet
And, here is the YouTube description for that video:
Who is the Captain Now YouTube Description
These are two of the examples we’ve seen, but we’re aware of many more.
 

How Can I Take Advantage of This?

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There are already many reasons for establishing a strong presence on YouTube, and this creates one more. First, here are some observations on what appears to be required to get these featured snippets:

  1. The YouTube videos that are getting them also rank in the top 10 in the Google search results. So, you still need to accomplish that to be eligible.
  2. The description you use for the YouTube video should clearly answer the target question, preferably right at the start of the description.

Those appear to be the main requirements to obtain these featured snippets.
[Tweet “Featured Snippets from YouTube in Google Search are one more way your YouTube videos can get you more audience.” ]
More broadly, if you’re not engaging in publishing YouTube videos, it is something that you should consider for your brand. The opportunities for branding, exposure, and traffic are very significant:

  1. YouTube is a very popular search engine – lots of search queries are done there
  2. Google will show YouTube videos in the top 10 for some of its search results
  3. We now have this new opportunity, to get the featured snippet result
  4. The scope of the video opportunity will only grow as the world increasingly gets more mobile

Have you seen any of these types of featured snippets? Enter any search queries that you’re aware of in the comments below.
Further Reading: Featured Snippets: New Insights, New Opportunities

About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

More from this Author

Thoughts on “New Featured Snippets Opportunity: YouTube Descriptions”

  1. thanks Eric, very insightful. Search for ‘charlie blue perfume’ brings up one of our videos, with a portion of the description as the snippet.

  2. Narcel, Google doesn’t attempt to index everything on the web, not even for its own properties such as YouTube. If you’re saying that these descriptions were already showing up, but the results just don’t reflect your recent changes, I would advise you to be patient. A change doesn’t get indexed until Google recrawls the page, and with the many billions of video pages in YouTube, it can take some time for the crawler to get back to your page.

  3. There is no guarantee that Google will do anything with your descriptions. If you make them high quality, is increases the chances of Google using them, if the video is also of very high quality, but they may or may not use them.

  4. Hello Eric
    Featured Snippets can really help us to gain huge audience from Google search engine. The thing is our video and description should be clear and match the search result on google.
    Thanks for such a good post on YouTube videos’s featured snippets.

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