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Google recently expanded the video indexing report in Search Console, providing more specific reasons why a video may not appear prominently in search results.
The search giant hopes to aid in better optimizing video content for visibility and discovery on its platforms.More Specific Feedback for Webmasters
Previously, Search Console displayed a vague “Google could not determine the prominent video on the page” error message when encountering issues with video content.
Google is breaking down the general message into three specific reasons:
Video outside the viewport
Video too small
Video too tall
Or you may need to adjust the video’s size to meet Google’s specific criteria.Potential Impact of Changes
Changes to the video indexing report in Search Console can impact sites that receive traffic to pages with video content.
“By providing more precise feedback on why a video might not be indexed, Google is enabling website owners to make necessary changes that could improve their video content’s visibility in Google Search. This could potentially lead to an increase in traffic to their websites, provided that the recommended changes are implemented and result in better indexing and visibility of the videos.”
As video content plays a more significant role in SERPs, getting featured in video carousels and video-rich snippets, it’s crucial to ensure Google is indexing them correctly.Best Practices for Video Indexing
While the updates to Google’s video indexing report provide more specific reasons for indexing issues, they don’t offer a comprehensive list of best practices.
However, from the details provided and Google’s general guidelines, we can infer the following best practices:
Position videos within the viewport.
Ensure the video is of an appropriate size.
Use video sitemaps and structured data.
Make video content files accessible to Googlebot.
Provide clear and accurate metadata.
Prioritize video quality and user engagement.
These practices can help improve video visibility in Google Search, enhancing user engagement and website traffic.Gradual Implementation Of Changes
You won’t immediately notice these changes in your video indexing report.
Google says the historical data could take up to three months to flush out before all the new error reasons are displayed.
“Since the Search Console video indexing report shows 3 months of historical data, you may still see the ‘Google could not determine the prominent video on the page’ in the list of reasons in the Video Indexing report, but it has no effect on your pages.”In Summary
While the new Search Console report provides more specific guidance on why a video might not be indexed, it’s up to you to leverage this information.
Understanding the issues affecting video indexing and implementing the necessary changes can improve your video content’s visibility and drive more traffic.
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Google announced a series of updates are coming to Search Console in the next couple of months.
Along with these updates, Google has also made a “hard decision” to drop some legacy features in Search Console.
Here’s an overview of all the changes that are on the way.New Features in Search Console
Google says the following new features will be fully implemented in Search Console toward the end of March.Crawl Errors in Index Coverage Report
In an effort to make the list of crawl errors in Search Console more actionable, Google is shifting the focus toward issues and patterns used for site indexing.
With crawl errors being moved to the Index Coverage report, Google believes sites owners will be able to find and fix issues much faster.Sitemaps Data in Index Coverage Report
The Index Coverage report will also be the new home for sitemaps data. Google says this will make it easier to focus on URLs that site owners care about.
Users will be able to track URLs submitted in sitemap files by selecting and filtering data in the Index Coverage report.Fetch as Google via the URL Inspection Tool
Site owners can now use Search Console’s revamped URL inspection tool to check and review URLs on their website.
The tool can also be used to submit images for re-processing in order to get them updated in search results as soon as possible.User-management is Now in Settings
Search Console’s user management interface has been merged with the Settings section. This replaces the user-management features in the old Search Console.Old Features Getting Removed
The following features are getting removed from Search Console. Some are being replaced, and some are going away altogether.
Old Crawl Errors report: With crawl errors being included in the Index Coverage report, the old report is going to be removed.
Crawl Errors API: Google is deprecating the crawl errors API, which was based on the same internal systems as the old crawl errors report. There is no replacement at the moment.
HTML suggestions: As Google’s algorithms have gotten better at showing and improving titles over the years, Search Console will no longer show information about short and duplicated titles.
Property Sets: This feature will be removed because it’s only being used by a small number of users. As a replacement, Google will soon add the option of managing a Search Console account over an entire domain.
Android Apps: This feature will be removed as most of the relevant functionality has been moved to the Firebase console.
Blocked Resources: This standalone section will be removed as blocked resources can now be found in the URL inspection tool.
Structured Data reporting: Structured Data types that are not supported with Rich Results features will not be reported in Search Console anymore.
Google welcomes feedback in its help forums regarding any of these changes.More Resources
Video Search and Online Marketing
Last week we discussed how Video Search is out there and growing, how can Internet and Search Marketers use Video Search to reach target markets of consumers and potential reoccuring site traffic? Online video and broadband are not only adding a new entertainment medium to the Internet, but also a new and exciting marketing channel.
Feeds and Paid Inclusion – While marketing videos, case studies and testimonials incorporating the use of video provide an alternative that words and still images in html might not be able to match.
A lot of video is presented in popup boxes and player displays that are all but impossible for normal search engines to index. The RSS Feed that Yahoo uses can be used to help the engine locate those videos, and can include additional information, such as the format of the video and the size of the window that it opens within. Paying for inclusion in SingingFish can also do the same, but instantly.
Talent Promotion and Buzz – Video search might also make it easier to find some of the more unique and interesting animators on the web, with all of this indexing going on. One example that comes to mind is BBC animator Joel Veitch, who attracted an underground buzz with the animations on his personal website, chúng tôi amongst a younger crowd over the past couple of years, and a considerable amount of attention over the use of some characters from that site in Quiznos’ commercials.
Google Video Search
Blinkx Video Search
Yahoo! Video Search
Guest Columnist Bill Slawski is the Search Engine Optimization Specialist at chúng tôi the Traffic Optimization Company, Maximizing the visibility of their clients’ sites, driving targeted traffic and increasing sales with their Search Engine Optimization, Media Buying and Online Marketing Services.
Google Video is Live – Commence Video Production Boom
Google just launched its Video Upload program moments ago after creating some buzz around the video web world last week. “In the next few days, we’re actually going to start taking video submissions from people, and we’re not quite sure what we’re going to get, but we decided we’d try this experiment,” Google cofounder Larry Page announced. Today is here and Google Video wants your movies.
Well, Google Video Upload is now in beta and is described by Google as a community where video producers can “give your videos the recognition and visibility they deserve.” Is this goiing to lead to hordes of college students and “people with nothing better to do” types ransacking the Wal-marts for digital video camera so they can produce home movies, mini-features, and serial made-for-Google-Video programs? Will this lead to a rise in imagination? Are porn industry marketers foaming at the mouth for this new web media outlet?
This all depends on the use of keywords, transcripts, and descriptions. But since it looks like Google will be hosting these videos for free, it’s another great big step to make is easy for content providers to share their videos at no cost. The other interesting feature is being able to charge per view. I’ll be interested to see how that works.
From Raymond M. Kristiansen of chúng tôi : In my point of view, Google doing this is a good step forward for videoblogging. Regardless of the fact that we give Google quite broad rights to use our files, as per the terms of service, this will mean that videobloggers will have yet another venue to publish their media for free.
I don’t think Google will be doing much with videoblogging as such – for now. The files will, I think, be seen upon as separate entities, and there will not be the context of a blog to the files. I am personally very interested to see where Google will take Blogger with this. Maybe in the future Blogger will be ‘made for videoblogging’. If so, this will make it Very easy for videobloggers to choose Blogger as their favourite blogging tool.
Google Assistant and voice search, is increasingly gaining prominence. Voice search will be in your car, in your home and even on your Apple device. Search queries will likely shift toward voice search. Google has linked to a research document that explains how the summarizing algorithm works. Not all content works with it. Will your content be ready for the voice search environment?
In December 2023 Google announced the release of their Human raters guidelines for evaluating the algorithm that produces Google Assistant search results. When a user searches using the Google Assistant, the voice search algorithm will sometimes summarize the result in a spoken manner.
That announcement linked to a research paper that describes the algorithm behind the voice search summaries. The paper is called, Sentence Compression by Deletion with LSTMs (PDF).
The announcement also contained information that may be useful to understanding a part of the algorithm that is used to summarize content. It’s called a “compression system” because it removes words and phrases in order to obtain a useful summary.
The research document includes information indicating what kinds of content cannot be successfully summarized. It also details exactly what kinds of words and phrases are removed. This kind of information may be useful for publishers who may wish to publish content that can be easily summarized and shown in voice search. Considering how important voice search is becoming, it may be useful to understand how this works.Four Elements of Voice Search Summaries
Summary of content that is appropriate when spoken.
The information meets the needs of the user/
Well formed sentences that make sense when spoken.
This is a reference to good pronunciation by the Google Assistant software.
This article is concerned with how Google summarizes a paragraph of content and is able to speak it and give a display and a link to the full article.How Voice Search Summarizes Content
According to the research paper, this algorithm doesn’t use explicit syntax features to understand what is being summarized. This is called, Part of Speech Tagging.
Instead, it “translates” the words into machine readable ones and zeros that represent what it calls “token deletion decisions.” This is pretty far out because it’s not using explicit syntactic information like parts of speech. Then the system removes certain words and phrases that it deems not neccesary in order to create a summary. This is called Compression.
Compression algorithms are very common. If you have ever received a file in a Zip format, then you have experience with a compression algorithm. In web search, search engines will remove common words like “the” in order to save space on their servers. When they save your content, the search engines are actually saving a compressed version of your content.
Google voice search summarizer works in a similar way. Only instead of removing words like “the,” Google’s summarizer is removing words and phrases to get to a summary.
“Our results clearly indicate that a compression model which is not given syntactic information explicitly in the form of features may still achieve competitive performance. The high readability and informativeness scores assigned by human raters support this claim.”
The researchers combined their method with grammatical features, identifying the parts of speech. One would think that this would improve the algorithm’s performance but it didn’t. The research paper notes this fact:
“Interestingly, there is no benefit in using the syntactic information… The simple LSTM model which only uses token embeddings to generate a sequence of deletion decisions significantly outperforms the baseline which was given not only embeddings but also syntactic and other features.”Example of Content Summary
In order to understand how this works, the research paper shows examples of various sentences and paragraphs that were successfully summarized. This is how your own content will be summarized.
and the man tortured by the state for being gay, is to receive a pardon nearly 60 years after his death.”What Parts of Speech are Removed?
Although the algorithm isn’t using parts of speech as an explicit feature, parts of speech are still being removed. That sounds a lot like Google is saying it’s not aliens but it’s aliens, doesn’t it? Here is what the document itself states:How Should You Write Your Content?
You probably shouldn’t write your content especially for voice search. But understanding the kinds of content that couldn’t be summarized may help avoid not having your content summarized and ranked. Furthermore, it may be possible that the algorithms have progressed and no longer stumble as much.Content with Quotes is Difficult to Summarize
Here is what the document identified as the kind of content it could not summarize:
“Sentences which pose difficulty to the model are the ones with quotes, intervening commas, or other uncommon punctuation patterns.”
Here is an example of content with quotes the algorithm couldn’t summarize:
The original sentence, in my opinion, could be written better. The research paper didn’t state if rewriting the sentence into two more sentences would help, so we can only guess. Although the paper identified the reason for failure as quotes, I can’t help wondering if rewriting that sentence would have been helpful.
I ran the above sentence through a grammar tool and the tool stated that the sentence was hard to read. There’s not enough data in order to give it a grade level so I simply repeated it. The tool scored it as college level, meaning that a reader needed a college level reading skills to understand it. The reason for that is because the sentence is so long. It could be divided into at least two sentences and perhaps the summarizer might be able to give it a proper summary. I don’t know for certain, but it may be helpful to create content that is easily read by the widest amount of people.Content With Too Many Commas is Difficult to Summarize
Content with commas were identified as hard to summarize. This may mean that it’s important to write direct and easily read content. If you can read it aloud and it makes sense, you’re probably on the right track.
If you look at the example they give, it seems as if the problem isn’t the comma itself, but the amount of commas. See for yourself.
the actress announced on her website GOOP.
Gwyneth Paltrow are to separate.What Causes Voice Search Summary to Fail?
Overall, the research indicated four kinds of features that made content not easily summarized:
Nothing to Remove
Important Context (context of events are difficult to retain)
That last one about the context of events is a little hard to understand. Fortunately they provide an example.
trooper from the same force prevented two women commuters from ending their lives, an official said Monday.
Another woman trooper prevented two women commuters
Here is a list of the kinds of words and phrases commonly removed to achieve a voice search summary.
These are words or phrases that have a direct relationship to each other. Wikipedia gives the following example:
Dean Martin, a very popular singer, will be performing at the Sands Hotel.
In the above example, the phrase “a very popular singer” is the appositive phrase. It can be removed and the sentence will still make sense.
These are phrases related to time. These phrases communicate a point in time, a duration or how often. A point in time means anything that measures time, like dates or the hour.
These are phrases that set up a statement, almost like an introduction. Purdue University provides this example of an introductory clause: “If they want to win, athletes must exercise every day.”How to Optimize Content for Voice Search Summaries
There is no magic method for writing content for Google Assistant. Avoiding pitfalls like sentences that are too long or difficult to read may be useful. If you are unsure about your writing, perhaps a writing and grammar tool may be useful if you don’t have a human editor to proof read your content. The Voice Assistant announcement explicitly mentions factors such grammar, so it’s probably a good idea to have that correct from the beginning. Although we don’t know for certain, it may be helpful if your content sounds natural when read aloud.
Images by Shutterstock, modified by Author
Can you imagine there being a change at Google that pre-dates Panda, (and subsequent incarnations) the +1 button, the attribution algo updates and few if any in the SEO world had noticed? I mean, it makes one helluva trivia question don’t it? Not as much fun as; What does Archie comics have to do with the early history of search. But it’s fascinating none-the-less.
Hey gang… long time no chat! Dave here… long lost SEJ writer and all around search geek. Can we talk or what?February 17th 2011; the day it all changed
First off, those of you familiar with my ranting and ramblings on this topic, are excused. It’s unlikely we’ll be covering much new for my faithful SOSGs (no that’s not talking dirty, it’s; Seriously Obsessed Search Geek m’kay?). It simply needs to be repeated for a larger audience.
Those still wondering what this mad rambling Gypsy is on about, walk with me…
Over the years we’ve seen many changes to Google that had some interesting if not far reaching implications for the fastidious search optimizer. Odd, I’ve never optimized a search engine. What’s up with that? Anyway, getting lost again. We’ve had the rise of personalization (and general flux), the timeliness of the QDF (query deserves freshness), finding our way with deeper localization and general madness in what we call universal search. The list is ever-growing it seems over the last few years.
Many times during these evolutions SEO types weren’t always grasping the value right out of the gate. At least though there were some that caught it and generally some form of awareness within short order.
I mean, this is the group of folks that traditionally go a little mental each time there is a Google toob bar PageRank update… (like this);
What happened some 4 months ago, while extremely noteworthy, has gone almost entirely un-noticed or at very least, below the radar of those covering the industry.The 2011 Google Social Search Update
For starters, is it unsurprising this went largely unnoticed? In retrospect, no. If we consider that back in 2008 we caught a glimpse of the Google social graph work and ultimately user profiling, which few seemed interested in, then no. If we consider the madness that ensues with shiny bobbles like the +1 button, then ok, yes… it does give one pause to say WTF?
And on a side note, some have suggested that SEOs like the thought of the +1 having ranking weight because…well… then they can manipulate it. Another story tho… we’ll get back to that.
Here’s the short version of what went down (Googly post here);
Ok, seems kinda unremarkable on the surface right? NOT. This is something fairly significant in the world of search.
Now, a few notes of interest;
Google accounts are on the rise (think Android)
It pulls from the social graph
It is another form of personalization
Does an end-around on problematic explicit feedback
Uses primary and secondary contacts
It re-ranks (search) listings
Catch that last one? It RE-RANKs the listings in the SERP. Anyone that’s been around long enough remembers how we drooled on the new short-cuts to the front page when various verticals gained prominence (aka universal SERPs). This is no different.
Look…. this is logged out;
And this is logged in;
WOW. We have a new way of ranking and SEOs aren’t talking about it? Did you know that there are a few thousand freaking articles on the +1 button (which doesn’t re-rank anything) but outside of ol Rand (who recently discovered it apparently) and yours truly (tho mine has been a little obsessive ROFL) there has been very little on this one?Consulting the crystal ball
This is all about looking into the future. We are seeing (over the last few years) an evolution to search that will most certainly be around for years to come. It started with real-time search and has grown out of control since then. Google has had a stated goal of deeper personalization for many years. One of the problems has always been the inherent issues with implicit/explicit feedback.
The social graph is a VERY effective way to gain deeper personalization beyond the traditional signals and matches well with the way the web is growing. In short; it makes sense.
Regardless of how much value you see in it now, this is an important development at Google. Did you get spanked by the Panda? Then maybe paying closer attention to the evolution of search could have prevented it. Don’t drop the ball again.Some food for thought
Ok, enough rambling. I simply wanted to abuse the hallowed halls of SEJ to try and get the word out one last time on this. A few thoughts before I go….
They have a good grasp on you social circle (see here); they likely weren’t doing that just for fun right?
Google has long been interested in social profiling, known at the time as ‘friend rank’. The road map has been in front of us the entire time, if you’re looking.
And what about the latest foray? Google Plus. It sure seems that what we’ve seen in the last few years is all moving in a concerted direction. I can see MANY ways that this social search update can play nicely with Google Plus. Consider the simple fact that Google Profiles are now wrapped up in Plus. I had originally lamented that they needed better management, which seems to be happening now.
Point being, this is a major vision of where search and social are likely headed. If you, like many, haven’t really been looking at this… it really is time that you did.
If you don’t…. you may find yourself left out of the loop in the real near future
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