Google’s New Video Carousels – A Dangerous SERP Feature

Google’s New Video Carousels – A Dangerous SERP Feature

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Google’s New Video Carousels – A Dangerous SERP Feature

The desktop video carousels hit in Google search results early June and the situation has gotten even worse now, during June 2018, Google rolled out video carousels in the desktop SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) after having them live in the mobile SERPs for some time. Google had been testing the desktop feature on and off for a while, but finally pulled the trigger and fully rolled it out during August 2018 and its impact is more visible in India at present.

It wasn’t long before many people started noticing the change in the search results, which makes complete sense. The feature is hard to ignore because of the prominent carousels take up and their visual nature.

Also, it didn’t take long to notice that Google had seriously turned up the dial on the amount of video carousels surfacing in the search results. For example, the carousels were triggering for many different types of queries, even if it didn’t make much sense to include video carousels for some of those queries.

It seemed like Google was pushing the new video carousels too hard.

Some ecommerce retailers and entities have had a rough time whilst dealing with the video carousels.

See the result of video carousels appears when we searching the term “The Hindu” in Google

Video Carousel_The Hindu 1.PNGVideo Carousel_The Hindu 2.PNGVideo Carousel_The Hindu 3.PNG

Video Carousals The Hindu Google search results

Video Carousal The Hindu Google search result

Google search about The Hindu Carousal listing

The video carousels are critically harm the reputation of majority of business because whilst searching for a company, service or product information its found that carousal videos getting popped up though you haven’t uploaded anything still, instead any anonymous person, fake on liners and even your competitor can damage your reputation in a Pseudo way, making short duration negative videos and if they uploaded in Youtube, surprisingly Google and Youtube not even checking it’s genuinely. Still there is a provision in Youtube about reporting such videos but you may get surprised Youtube is not going to remove any such videos since bots are really handling our request and it always try to keep videos having more organic views (using the goodwill or reputation of a company anyone can create videos for covert intension). In most of the cases, the negative videos would have more organic clicks (using human psychology, people are paying more attention to negative news, means curiosity leads to more organic clicks) that means Google and Youtube hold hands together to get negative videos/ covert intension videos promoted, permitting fake onliners using the name of a company or person without taking consent from the concerned team.

The Real threat : Once you identify that your name or organisation’s name is misused by someone though such a way, you are forced to take necessary steps to eliminate such videos and related news, here the actual commercial factor comes up.

Its evident that video’s search presence is directly proportional to age of video, video engagement and number of views ( Organic views get preference in prominent search presence) and inversely proportional to the duration of the video.

As you cannot do much on age of video, you are required to depend other parameters where you may forced to pump huge amount to get your actual videos to generate more views and place it on prominent search listing through paid advertising, do remember this algorithm brings total of 10 videos in the current carousal display; yes, ofcourse here you need your 11 videos to get it promoted to eliminate one of the negative video appear in first pane of the carousal display, through this covert algorithm updation Google is making huge amount.

Ever since the carousels rolled out, Google’s John Mueller has been asked a number of questions about how to get out of the video carousels. Yes, that’s “get out” and not “get in”.

Some sites have found their way into those video carousels without even having video on their pages! Its very unfortunate to found and conformed by people recently that when you rank in the video carousels, you are removed from the organic listings. It will be a real threat to companies and business people if some negative news being appeared in carousal listing posted by anonymous people.

According to analytics its found Clicks and CTR fall off a cliff while impressions remain high, that means the current video’s position remains same or prominent in search result, unless and until if you are not pumping more amount to get your other videos more views
Reference taken from other reports

John Mueller’s Recommendations – The Current Fix
there are number of people have pinged John Mueller via Twitter and via his webmaster hangout videos about how to get out of the video carousels. On behalf of Google he who had some recommendations for getting out of the carousel and back into the normal SERPs.

He explained that you can disallow crawling of the video file and thumbnail image, or submit a video sitemap file with an expiration date set in the past.

Google's John Muller tweet explaining how to get out of a video carousel:

What Google recommends getting out of this listing?

  • Add video schema codes in site
  • Add video sitemaps back to add an expiration date set in the past (only for negative videos)
  • Add video URLs/ embed them in the website
  • If our company having multiple branches, make the services as Local business list title and add your company name/ service name/ personal name as in the tagging keyword part
  • If there is no video on the pages in question, so we have to add a video xml sitemap just to add the expiration date set in the past.
  • Update twitter posts frequently and on daily wise (attached screen shot sample)

See the search result of “Chief Minister of Kerala”, twitter posts appears as in carousal format

Pinarayi Vijayan.PNG

Kerala chief minister in Google search result Pinarayi Vijayan

In ecommerce sector again, with an average sale in the thousands of dollars, and the category pages driving a high percentage of those sales, the companies estimates they have lost approximately $300K to $500K since last June onwards when they started ranking in the video carousels.

We need to report this problem to Google’s John Mueller through Twitter or Google hangout, also Mr. John explained that the Top Stories team needs to implement changes to the algorithm, then heavily test the changes, and then it could roll out down the line. But that could take weeks, or even months before hitting the SERPs, sometimes i can creative negative impact also to our client

Beyond the algorithmic part, there should be some way for sites to easily opt out of video carousels (either at the site-level or page-level). Whether that’s an option in Google Search Console (GSC), a tag that can be implemented via code, a directive delivered via the header response, or an addition to xml sitemaps, something needs to be done so sites can make sure they don’t become collateral damage with video carousels.

Jayakumar K - Digital Marketing Professionals

Jayakumar K

Digital Marketing Consultant