There is not much chatter online about the new update on April 17th and which continues to be rolled out even today: https://www.semrush.com/sensor/?db=US&category=
I have done some preliminary analysis on multiple terms and I am noticing that videos are taking over the search snippets (the 0th position) for many terms, especially How-To's.
I was wondering whether you the other hubbers could help verify this. Check out what is ranking on the search snippet for how to terms you write about. It's not just videos showing up, Google is starting the videos at the right time within the video that answers the question (sort of at the right time).
I looked around some, but found only one big video like that. It's something new, though - I haven't seen it done like that before.
But in testing for a variety of search phrases I found one - what I think is a common one for the topic - where I have the snippet plus both first and second positions on first page. That's a shot in the arm!
So this video is above your snippet too? Or has it replaced the snippet?
This is just 2 days after I claimed the how to water tomato plants snippet
No, no. The one with a video was a different search. That particular snippet one was just nice to find with the first three spots on the page (including the snippet) being mine (albeit for two different hubs).
Another one - using Bing for the same search term, I'm #1 and #2, plus have some presence on each of the first five pages. Maybe Pinterest, maybe a different hub, maybe from forums, but something on 5 consecutive pages. Think I've got that term sewed up!
The one with the video had it below a snippet but above anything else.
This is concerning and may account for the drops I'm having in revenue that I've been posting about. It would be awful for all of us here if video takes over for articles online...that would be the end!
I don't write "How to" articles, and don't use many videos either.
But I do have a series of astrology hubs that are about famous people of one sign, and I tend to favor musicians and authors. I have five of them on Reel Rundown, and two of those hubs have blue arrows. So what should I be looking for? I had a big drop in traffic in the last two/three days, and am worried, although things were really good prior to that in April.
I'm not really good at SEO and the more complex aspects of what makes hubs work. I depend on my writing skills, follow the rules, and hope for the best. I change the titles occasionally and see that can help a hub get more traffic. So are you saying I should include more videos? Or that I should title them better? Can you explain in simple terms what you mean here for me? Seriously simple, I won't be insulted.
This is just one thing I am noticing. Google makes sure that their updates do not focus on only one thing, this makes it easier to game the system. I am not sure why you are seeing blue arrows when they are not how to terms.
But it's not a thing about adding more videos. Articles with videos are not ranking higher, the videos from Youtube are the ones ranking higher. I don't think there is anything you could do other than what you are already doing.
Thanks. I had horror visions of having to add videos to articles that really have no need for them. The words have all the necessary information. I try to add pictures and tables that help.
The intention of this post was for me to try and collect data. Wilderness has helped in that regard. Since I noticed videos showing on search above the search snippet only on How To articles, HP was the best place to ask. Other forums and groups that I follow and could discuss this work with local client SEO and they would not know or have interest in the change to the "How To" search results. This is why I posted this here.
On the whole, the articles here are still doing extremely well. Blue arrows maybe, but compared to last year at this time I would say solid red arrows.
Quite a big drop in my traffic. How to questions doesn't bring up video. Maybe because I"m asking from South Africa. Maybe the type of questions I'm asking. How to grow tomatoes brought up a video. Not yours, I don't think.
I don't have videos of my own. Also, I have noticed that videos are going and coming for certain phrases. Seems like Google is running a test.
Interesting. I'll keep a lookout for this. I'm a writer - not a video maker.
Video makers need writers for video scripts. So if and when including videos to articles becomes a vital necessity we can use our writing skills to create well researched, well written informative videos. One has to learn to adapt and grow with the flow.
I know for a fact that teenagers don't bother reading long articles. They prefer to find out instantly what they are looking for from video tutorials and info.
With the visual element added, videos are also more useful to a world wide non-English or poor-English speaking population.
My question is:
Should we from now on put a video as the first element in an article instead of the first picture for it to be picked up by search engines?
This is not what I am seeing. Google is not ranking websites and articles based on videos on them. Videos like always are being treated as individual entities and off late, they are being featured above the featured snippet or in place of it. The article where the video is found is irrelevant, the video is being sourced from YouTube.
I just took a look at one of my best producers..a how to article..and sure enough, the first thing you see on the page is a HUGE snippet for a video followed by several others about the same topic. I think this is going to cause some real page view damage to this type of article...but fortunately, I don't have too many of those. Am wondering about the other types of articles...not seeing this issue with those.
Yup, that's my concern. Videos always ranked well, but with some good SEO efforts, you could outrank them. But if this gets more widespread, you cannot outrank it, because that spot is reserved for a video only.
The other videos that show up on search do not concern me at all, yes I did lose a few spots to those videos. But when people see those they still have the option to decide if they want to watch a video or read text. but when Google puts a video in your face and recommends watching X seconds, you are kind of certain that those X seconds answer your query. So you are more likely to check it out, even if you are a person who prefers reading text.
The term how to water tomatoes does not feature a video anymore. I would say it was removed after noticing that people who watched the video were not satisfied, and they went ahead and clicked some text results too (a certain high percentage of the people would have to be doing this for it to be taken down). Since that particular video was not the best this theory does make sense. But it's too little data. Most people are not interested in How To articles, so there is no chatter online about this new change. It's hard to collect data, that's the main reason I started this thread - data acquisition to better understand this change.
Depends on the subject. My two best articles are both "how to" hubs and have garnered nearly half a million views between the two of them. I see this as Google slaughtering them. Very upsetting.
Interesting post, I am not surprise. I don't understand the data in the link.
The data just shows how much rankings have been fluctuating. A higher number (close to 10) indicates there are a lot of fluctuations in the rankings.
I remember Maven mentioning at the conference that video is going to be big with search.
Yeah, I think we all saw this coming considering the amazing attention span of people these days. But was there anything interesting at the conference on how they would deal with this? Other than creating videos of your own?
I am concerned that search engines can now understand video and they don't use the titles alone. This is really good for search in some cases, but what concerns me is cybersecurity. Imagine bots being able to go through all your Skype conversations in real time (convert it to text) and look for stuff. I know this is not related to the thread, but it's crazy.
Brandon, In reference to your question of how Maven would deal with video — they welcome it. If I remember correctly from last week, they said they are integrating video into their platform.
That's interesting. But I wonder how they intend to compete with Youtube, especially if Google search is a way to get traffic.Vimeo does okay but stands no chance of ranking when competing against Youtube.
Logical in the fact that Google owns youtube.
All of my traffic is way down. But the thing is, I still like reading content and others do too. If videos are showing up first then people might be clicking those right now but as the novelty of it dies down I think our traffic will return.
Also, it might not be a bad idea for us content creators to start thinking about branching out a bit to video as well
Well I'm glad the drop isn't just an individual one because I thought I was going crazy.
We know videos are huge and that will be a huge detriment to written material, but that doesn't mean all content will be video. Not everyone wants to watch a full video to get basic information especially those over 40.
However I do wonder what Maven can do to integrate articles with videos more closely. YouTube has also been cracking down on fake news, inappropriate videos, and the crisis with ads.
In fact many YouTubers have suffered far worse than pure writers when it comes to earnings.
Yes. From what I see Google is just trying to give people what they think they want. It's most likely a test phase going on now. Ranking videos is good as it provides value, but sticking one up to take over most of the screen real estate is like saying you gotta watch this video. I don't like that.
I personally prefer reading text as most videos just beat around the bush. With text, I can get what I want quickly.
True. And actually I’m a millennial and I never watch video how to’s, I prefer to read usually so I’m not overly concerned. Our traffic always drops for a while after a roll out.
Exactly, I'm not really concerned, I rather want to understand the trend of things and where the future of search is heading. I'm a few years younger than you and I prefer reading text too. I did not intend to make people get scared of the update. I don't like it personally, but it's not the end of the world. For more on this and my take on it, read my response to Jean just above this one.
Right nothing like the bad old Panda days. So far, anyway.
Haha, I doubt anything like that can happen again. That was with the intention of getting rid of spam from search and HP was a lot of spam back then. RIght now there will be drops and increases with updates, but hopefully nothing so drastic ever again.
Lobo, I'm glad you started this thread!! I figured I wasn't the only one with dropping traffic, but I was also glad to have that confirmed. You know what happened to me this morning though? I had a huge uptick in traffic from Pinterest where one of my articles seems to have gone viral there (for the moment) and it's a good reminder that Google is our main source of traffic but if we can create images and titles that also appeal to more visual traffic sources, like Pinterest, Flipboard and Facebook (the latter of which is not the greatest place to hope for traffic but it's still a place to consider) then that's just another way we can stretch our reach.
Yes, I'm curious on the future of search too. Yesterday I was looking for a video on YouTube for my girls and it wanted me to do voice search. The funny thing is I can't do voice search and we can't utilize voice prompted ANYTHING in our home because my daughters are TERRIFIED of it. My dad bought an Alexa when it first came out and ever since then my oldest especially has found anything voice command really upsetting.
That's pretty cool and after this is done (the viral share) you would most likely still continue to get traffic over the years from Pinterest through those pins. Google is the main source of my traffic, but one of my hubs did go viral (relatively speaking: 100's of views from Pinterest each day for a couple of days) and even today I get a few views each day from Pinterest. I personally get more traffic from Facebook than Flipboard so it's not the worst platform
Why is she terrified of voice search? Is it a creepy voice or it just the fact that the machine talks and beeps asking for input?
It depends what it is. If I want to dismantle my Dyson, I watch a step-by-step video. If I'm looking for information, it's far quicker to scan a page than sit through a video. But I agree, my highly literate 16 yr-old daughter, who writes songs, scripts, and all sorts of other things, won't read a book. She used to, but somehow life has become too, I don't know, 'congested', is the only word I can come up with.
I have watched several videos this week and have found two on the top ranked spot with Google and they have glaring errors. I was making some virgin coconut oil and when I went to look at the video the attractive young woman explained how it was done and then put it in the refrigirator and told the viewers to remove the top layer and throw it out. That layer is the coconut oil and the layer on the bottom is just sediment. Fortunately I already knew this. If I was reading (instead of depending on Youtube) I would be more likely to look at several articles.
Of course not all videos are wrong. Some of them have long rambling introductions and then do not discuss the actual issue until 3 or 4 minutes later.
I cannot imagine why people prefer this to scanning an article and finding what you want.
I agree, Dr. Mark. I have found numerous glaring errors in videos, and also have found many that are so poorly done as to be almost useless. The average person does not know how to create a good, easy to understand and informative video, so I suspect the amateurs who are putting this garbage out will one day go the way of the early writers on HP who created short, spammy articles just to make a buck.
The thing is, how many pros are going to want to spend their time doing YouTube videos when they can be making really good money working for businesses doing the same thing. I have a feeling that there won't be enough of them to support what Google is trying to do, but even if there are, I think it will be years until Google hones it's people (just as HP did) to attain the goals they seek.
OMG Dr. Mark that's awful! And I agree, a lot of the videos I've attempted for how to's actually rarely answer the question the way I need it to. They have long rambling intros I believe, for the same reason some of us have been tempted to write a bunch of superfluous content - I'm pretty sure their videos have to be a certain length to be monetized, featured, etc.? I could be wrong though, I've never used YouTube as a content creation platform before.
Nope, to be featured there is no minimum length. All videos are featured unless they are against the TOS. But when monetised, I think the longer the video the more ads can be shown. I'm not 100% certain about this though.
With this statement, I agree. Not long ago was I a teenager too. I always preferred text to video unless it was a step by step thing. I love reading, but it takes me almost a month to read a single book, I used to read a book a day some years ago (not that I read every day, but I did read a lot). There will always be people who prefer text to video, maybe the scales are tipped to more people looking at video than text (if given the option) when everything else is equal such as quality, etc.
I've always been a reader. I read two or three books a week. My son is an older Millennial, and he is a reader too. A few years ago a friend was getting ready to paint a room in our house, and said, "Jean, if you got rid of all these books, you would have so much more shelf space." Yikes! I love my books. He almost gave me a panic attack!
Yup, bearing in mind that I'm now retired, I read between three and four books a week to a book a day. During school days, I used to read between two to four books a day.
However, when I moved from Johannesburg to London about two decades ago, I had to get rid of a 1000 books as it was too much work/money, etc. to move them as well. So I gave them away. I decided then never to buy a book again. It was about the 5th or 6th time I had to get rid of my books.
I am planning on selling my house next year. So I have considered that it would be wiser to donate some of the books, so I don't have to move them. I have many on Kindle, so that's not a problem. I have text books for astrology and tarot though, and many of them are first editions. So I can't part with those.
Yup, you have to keep your reference books. I donated mine on Eastern Astrology and I'm now so sorry that I did.
Overall my traffic has continued to increase this month. However, since the Google update last week I have noticed the following:-
Dengarden seems to be holding up well, but Toughnickel has taken a knock.
Reelrundown is on the up, but health related sites, Remedygrove and Healdove continue to fall.
I haven't got enough articles on other sites to comment on any others.
My plus and minus arrows do not seem to be influenced by the number of videos I have on a hub.
How does this compare to your experience?
The videos you have on your hub is totally irrelevant. What I meant by the original post is that videos from Youtube are tending to rank very well all of a sudden. Whether the hubs have videos or not is not the point I was trying to make.
I see Owlcation has done bad after the update. This is the only website where I see my rankings have dropped. The others I may have dropped a bit for some long tail keywords, but my Owlcation hubs dropped to the second page. They were on the second page 3 months ago, but then moved up over the months. So it's not a big loss considering the long-term rankings.
I see a drop in my non-seasonal dengarden hubs comparing over the past weeks. The summer hubs are increasing in traffic, but I would say this is because summer is approaching. My traffic begins to rise in spring until the peak of summer.
OK, I think I understand a bit better now. I've just googled one of my most popular hubs and Youtube videos come out above my article.
BUT ... this particular hub was in number one spot before the update and it remains in number one spot immediately below the videos after the update. So for searchers who prefer to read rather than watch a video, they can still find our written work.
I think the update is mainly penalizing "money or your life" websites (yet again!)
Maybe, but I see this happening on DenGarden too. videos out ranked some of my non-seasonal hubs in addition to what I see for some terms where another video that plays on an iframe within Google search itself (not like videos ranking above us) shows right on top - see the image in the original post.
Hmm. I just tried to replicate your search for tomato plants (with several different search terms) but could only get still thumbnails at the top, your hub part-way down and the YouTube videos right at the bottom of the page. Maybe Google is testing out different algorithms in various countries?
I don't see it anymore for this term of mine or for any tomato related terms (thankfully). It is definitely a test, but I still see it for quite a few terms of other hubbers, I will not post here without their permission. So I found another that still has this, see image below. I asked on a FB group for people from other countries to check this for me as well. Similar results are seen in the USA, Canada, India, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, and Australia (for sure).
Thanks for that LB. You can add UK to the list.
Not only does the video thumbnail take me to the part of the video that answers the search, but it also has added captions for the deaf. (I checked and these are not on the original YouTube video.)
Added the UK to my list Also, good spot on the captions didn't notice that. Youtube does have the captions option under settings for this particular video. It's interesting that captions are on by default on the search result though.
Hmmm that's interesting about FaceBook VS. Flipboard - I never had luck with Flipboard either so I just kind of cast it away.
She hates Siri too and I think it's a mix of the voice and the fact that we talk to this phone or another device and tell it things like it's human. She's fine with technology as a platform for learning and gaining information (she's always telling me to Google stuff for her, like what sounds certain animals make, etc.) and knows how to use our devices better than we do but she's suspicious of AI.
Haha, good for her. I'm suspicious of AI too. Because in the wrong hands just like anything else out there, it can be bad.
I don't bother posting on Flipboard, neither do I post on FB. I let the people coming in through Google do that for me, if they so desire.
I searched a few and see what you're saying here. That said, I always get a drop in traffic this time of year so can't really tie this to that but am up year on year.
I also will add that I came away from the conference feeling like it is in my best interest to get some videos made to match with my hubs to capture as much of my audience as possible. I've been working on storyboards to start making this happen.
For those who aren't "producers" don't shy away from this idea if you can help it. Using your iPhone and Windows Movie Maker, you can produce some quality videos relatively easy. Perhaps they won't be as good as something professionally made but I can say with my first test runs I'm pleased with what I've been able to do and with a little more "practice makes perfect" think I'll be ready to start cranking them out. It will take time but if it secures my future regardless of which direction the internet goes, it will be worth it.
Good for you. Yes, making videos is not the hardest thing on the planet. It's definitely something you should do if you have the time, skill and patience to do it. Even without the updates, Youtube does have millions of users each month.
Prophetic forum about video taking over:
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/33 … vs-youtube
Haha yeah, he did say that. But it was also apparent that it was going to happen. You should also prepare for voice search. Try and take all the snippets you can, because that is what Google tends to use the most for voice search.
What do you mean by snippets?
So the way around that is to use our titles with the kind of questions that people browse for?
"When is Easter?"
"Is LA safe from climate change?"
This is probably in line with Hubpages question and anwer format.
Now it makes sense.
Not that I've responded to any of them... But now I will reconsider.
Videos having been growing in popularity for quite some time. Nothing new and I find it another source of income.
It sounds like you know your stuff. I've always had a hard time with figuring out the Google tools for SEO. So I take it this is a good thing that's happening?
Not really. If you create your own videos and put them up on Youtube, then it's a good thing.
Having a good content to showcase on the seat of expression of a reasonable number of back links from sites that rank better is a great way to rank high and get traffic
Backlinks used to play a large role - until black hat SEO totally ruined it. Google only pays serious attention to backlinks when they come from recognized sites. So to get backlinks for your article in any meaningful way only comes by luck and a seriously good piece that is read by many.
'Good content' is defined as content that people read and want to read.
Yeah, it is centered on creating unique contents that people need and want to see
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