The demise of Video SEO

Recently, Google removed, without any warning, the video snippets in the search results for a large group of sites. This followed pretty quickly on Google’s removal of author highlight pictures from the search results. First discussed by Seer on July 16th and slowly becoming more and more visible, we’ve been testing and trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Of course this heavily impacts the benefits of our Video SEO plugin so we wanted to make sure we knew what was happening before making any rash decisions.

It’s now pretty clear what Google has done. For those interested in the deeper workings, AJ Kohn’s post on rich snippets explains it better than I could. The gist of it is simple: video snippets now only show for sites purely dedicated to video or very large sites with clear sections dedicated to video. Which, incidentally, is why some of our clients still have them.

A clear example of the new landscape is this query: [iphone 5 review video], which has 3 videos from YouTube at the top and a video snippet for the Guardian below. As Danny Goodwin shows in his post on SearchEngineWatch, it used to be rather different.

What does this mean for the Video SEO plugin?

This doesn’t mean our Video SEO plugin becomes entirely useless, luckily. It still allows sites to:

  • show up in the video search results;
  • heavily enhances the experience of sharing posts with video in them on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest;
  • allows you to make videos responsive through enabling fitvids.js.

It does, however, mean that the direct traffic impact from Google will be less for our users and that we should focus more on the social sharing aspect.

We’re very close to releasing a major update of Video SEO that we’d been working on for months, actually from before we saw this happen, but it actually lies a better foundation for all the social stuff. We’ll probably end up renaming the plugin to “Video SEO & Social Sharing”, but that shouldn’t affect anyone.

If you bought the plugin in between June 16th (a month before it happened) and now (August 22th), and no longer want to use the plugin, we’ll give you a full refund. Just let us know through our plugin support and we’ll take care of it.

Feel free to ask your questions in the comments!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!