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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Most video frame rates include 29 frames per second. That is a lot of words to be said in a 30- or 60- or 90- second video.
Over the past few years, marketers have seen shifts in the form of content that resonates with the audience. And videos stride out victorious well ahead of other formats. It is not new. What is striking is how everyone has reacted to the popularity of these quick, vertical video clips.
Besides, experts believe that Google’s Latest Broad Core Algorithm Update in May ’22 has drastically upped the visibility of video content and websites with video content on them. If this is true, digital marketing and SEO experts must infuse video content and video SEO into their overall strategies. Let’s find out what the latest update means and if it is a game changer for video content or not.
We will start with the basics.
What is a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?
A broad core algorithm update is when Google changes its overall search ranking systems. It is a significant change in Google’s ranking algorithm that affects a large number of indexed web pages.
Google introduces the core updates to improve the quality and relevance of its search results by shuffling the rankings of indexed web pages. The end goal is to rank the content that best answers a search query higher.
Each core update considerably tweaks Google’s ranking formula.
- Web pages that ranked higher for their target keywords may see a fall in their ranks.
- Web pages that are under-ranked for their target keywords may rank higher.
The Purpose of a Broad Core Algorithm Update
Since Google rolled out the first confirmed broad core algorithm update, they have been stating that improving the search results is the primary purpose of a core update. The idea is to benefit pages that were “previously under-rewarded.”
Look at this detailed tweet by Google:
What Does Google say about Broad Core Updates?
There’s nothing wrong with the web pages whose rankings get flushed during or after the core update. It is not like those web pages have violated Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Nothing in the core update targets specific pages or sites. The changes are only about how their algorithm assesses the overall content.
Here’s a good analogy by Google to explain the core updates:
Say you made a list of the top hundred movies in 2018. You’ve ranked them from 1 to 100. It is now 2022, and you need to refresh the list. The list will naturally change—you will add newer movies and exclude the outdated ones. You might also reassess some existing films on the list and realise they deserve a higher position.
So, the movies that move down the list are not bad. There are more deserving movies that come before them.
Think of the movies as content and the list as Google’s search engine results page.
Keep in mind:
Core updates account for only a few out of thousands of tweaks Google makes to its core algorithm each year. For instance, Google made 4,500 changes to search in 2020. That’s almost twelve changes per day. This number was 3,200 in 2018. Additionally, Google ran more than 600,000 experiments in 2020.
That’s a lot of changes that might impact traffic, SERP visibility, and ranking. These changes, however, do not take into account:
- Your search competitors’ activities,
- Or other elements like seasonality, news, etc., that impact search.
Google Broad Core Algorithm Update May 2022
The first broad core algorithm update of 2022, which began on May 25, 2022, and ended on June 9, 2022, is now out on Google search. It was Google’s first core update in almost six months. Let’s go over the update and look at how it will affect businesses and what changes will it bring.
Here are some initial findings about the May 2022 Broad Core Update:
- A shift is seen in algorithms prioritising the video content.
- The new algorithm includes multiple ranking factors that encompass the principles of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust).
- Search engines prioritise specialist and in-depth (or well-researched) content over general content.
- Google understands the language intent better and provides relevant results.
- Video content will rank higher, and video websites will experience a significant increase in traffic.
- Search-engine features such as featured snippets, and FAQ snippets, have seen a dramatic impact.
- Video-based social media platforms will experience substantial growth.
The Impact of May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update
The day after Google officially announced the May 2022 broad core update, many rank and algorithm tracking tools observed significantly high levels of rank fluctuations.
Take a look at this volatility chart by Semrush’s volatility sensor, for instance.
However, this initial burst lasted only one day. Experts observed a similar pattern during the July 2021 Core Update and the November 2021 Core Update.
Take a look at this comparison between the May 2022 core update to the November 2021 core update by vertical:
The chart shows that the average level of volatility before the May 2022 update was higher than that seen before the November 2021 update. Compared to the November 2021 core update, the overall increase in rank volatility vs. the level before the May core update was 19% less on desktops and 24% less on mobile devices. It brings us to our next question:
How Volatile was the May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update?
The peak levels of volatility observed during the May update are almost exclusively upward of 9/10 across verticals. Overall, the average peak volatility level on desktop and mobile was 9.4, similar to the November 2021 Core Update.
The volatility increase compared to pre-update levels was different across devices. Mobile observes slightly more volatility before the update:
What are the most impacted verticals in terms of rank volatility?
- Real Estate
- Books & Literature
- Hobbies & Leisure
- Pets & Animals
- Real Estate
- Pets & Animals
- Hobbies & Leisure
- Books & Literature
Real estate was the only vertical to see a volatility increase of over five points across both the devices.
Keep in Mind
There weren’t any fluctuations that indicate that the May 2022 broad core algorithm update targeted specific niches. Here’s a look at the parity between rank gain and losses.
Interesting Observations in Terms of Volatility
- 6.7% of the top ten results were previously ranked beyond the 20.
- Over 17% of links among the top 20 results came from beyond 20.
- Verticals like Arts & Entertainment and Books & Literature were the ones that lost more than they gained.
- The websites losing the ranking positions lost an average of 3.8 ranks.
- The URLs that improved rankings gained an average of 3.4 positions.
An overview of the top 100 websites that experienced huge losses and gains tells us that:
- The URLs that gained rankings gained around 31.4 positions, with an average position of 10.2.
- The URLs most heavily impacted by the update lost around 34.9 positions.
Impact on Featured Snippets and FAQ Snippets
The May 2022 Google Broad Core update had a major impact on multiple snippet types for SERPs. Let’s take an in-depth look at it:
The Impact on FAQ Snippets
Barry Schwartz of the Search Engine Roundtable reported that FAQ snippets on SERPs have increased from 22% to 27% of queries after the May 2022 core update.
FAQ snippets on SERPs appeared almost 23% more often than before.
SEO expert and Search Engine Land columnist validated this externally by analysing multiple case studies. He confirmed that “Google [is] showing more search results with FAQ rich results.”
What Does This Mean?
You might think of FAQs as just another clickable element on the SERP for users to find an answer to their queries. But if you look at the larger picture, FAQs empower web pages to attract more clicks by adding credibility and expertise to the SERP listings.
Strong content for FAQs marked with relevant structured data could lift your overall content to the top. Additionally, qualifying for FAQ appearances improves your main search rankings.
The Impact on Featured Snippets
Here’s an Observation by SEO professional Lily Ray on featured snippets.
Additionally, Gabe echoed these observations and noted that there is a distinct “surge or drop in featured snippets” post the May 2022 broad core update. It means all the information pieces at the top of SERPs above the traditional listings — highlighted paragraphs, bullets, lists, tables or videos — have seen significant gains or losses.
It is a big deal for many businesses as featured snippets deliver relatively high organic traffic.
Three Major Trends after May 2022 Core Update
The head of SEO at Idealo, one of the largest eCommerce publishing platforms in Germany, Malte Landwehr, analysed the May 2022 broad core algorithm update and noticed three crucial trends that the update follows.
He cross-referenced data from Semrush and SISTRIX to bring some fair and consistent conclusions about SEO and content. Let’s look at the big winners in detail:
1. Videos are Winning
Digital marketers or SEO experts have been hailing the “importance of video” for several years. We all have been part of the “videos are the future” discourse for a long time.
In 2022, TikTok has exploded the popularity of short videos, YouTube videos are well-structured with labelled sections, and video embedding is as effective as ever.
Landwehr observed that, after the may’22 broad core algorithm update, the online visibility of video websites increased by a whopping 25%.
Future of Video Content
It means that their average visibility—the capacity to get discovered on search engines increases by 25%. The takeaway? Not complementing your content with relevant videos is a huge opportunity loss in terms of scaling your website traffic, lead volumes and revenue.
2. Specialists Over Generalists (Focus on E-A-T)
E-A-T represents Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Focusing on E-A-T would mean that your content:
- Demonstrates expertise in your field
- Come from a position of authority
- Compels readers to find your site trustworthy
Google doesn’t define E-A-T as a concrete ranking factor, but its multiple ranking factors encompass the principles of E-A-T. Besides this, in their official document, Google explicitly encourages focusing on E-A-T.
Based on this observation, we can drive the assumption that the ranking drops from the May 2022 broad core update and content that underwhelms at exhibiting E-A-T are closely connected.
Content marketer Will James claims that some victims of the core update lost ground on search engines because of the lack of E-A-T. Additionally, he believes that if the trend continues, it could be an excellent levelling of the playing field for niche site owners focused on building their topical authority.
Hence, the May 2022 core update has hurt rankings for generalist sites compared to specialist or niche websites.
How to Guard Your Site Against the Performance Setbacks
So, how do you create content that ranks on Google and aligns with E-A-T? The only solution is to optimise your website for E-A-T. Here are some things to consider:
- Ensure your content is comprehensive, authoritative, and niche.
- Ensure that the content comes from reputable authors and that experts comment on it.
- Content with context (or relevant search intent) always wins.
- Make sure your keywords match the user’s search intent.
3. Content with Context
Gone are the days when you could pump out semi-relevant content about any topic and gain high rankings on the SERPs. Encyclopedia pages, Wikipedia pages, etc., were masters at this. But not anymore! Here’s the proof:
These ranking drops are because the website content does not match the user intent and does not give out in-depth information for the search queries the user is searching. It tells you the importance of writing for your audience.
What does this mean?
It means that generic content about any topic or across any funnel won’t work anymore. Hence, focusing on contextual relevance in your content is crucial. You need to emphasise your keyword-matching strategies, avoid keyword stuffing, and provide actual value for any search query. Context and value are now a norm!
How do Videos Help Your SEO?
Let me ask you this:
Have you ever bought a product instantly after looking at its video?
Because shoppers are twice as likely to purchase after viewing a product video than they are to read the same content. 88% of customers say they have got convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
Hence, videos get more eyes on your website. It further pushes the customer into the sales funnel and increases the chances of conversion. Besides, 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, so you would want to do everything you can to appear on that crucial first page.
Videos help with other metrics for SEO ranking:
- The time users spend on your page
- The number of backlinks referring to your domain
And video almost always improves both of these elements. Hence, video has a terrific impact on providing meaningful gains to your SEO’s ultimate ROI. There are hundreds of benefits of video content or marketing in terms of SEO. Let’s look at the three most prominent benefits:
1. Google Algorithms Prefer Videos
The basis of SEO lies in aligning your internal content and SEO strategy with what your search engine’s algorithm is prioritising. And search engines prioritise what the users want. Look at these stats, for instance:
- 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- 73% of people would prefer watching short videos to learn more about a product.
Hence, Google has jumped on the Video content bandwagon and now promotes video content heavily in search results. Google algorithm prefers multimedia content because it knows what the audience wants.
But the quality and relevancy of your content still apply to the videos. If your site has a mixture of quality content with visuals like videos, your pages appear varied and informative. It might give a boost to your SEO efforts.
2. People Have Higher Attention Span for Videos
Search engines like Google pay close attention to how long people stay on your site. Large amounts of incoming traffic with higher bounce rates are as good as no traffic. If people leave within a few seconds of arriving on your site, it stands to reason that your content isn’t great and doesn’t answer the visitor’s query.
Videos have the potential to keep the user on your site for a longer period. People are more likely to watch videos than read the same content in written format. Hence you can rely upon videos to increase the time someone spends on your page. It will significantly improve your bounce rate, which, in turn, helps search engines like Google and Bing boost your article to the top of their rankings!
3. Traffic and Link Building Potential
As 72% of SEO experts believe backlinks are a “significant ranking” factor for websites, attracting backlinks will boost your search engine rankings and producing video content is a fantastic way to do so.
Videos are usually a form of top-of-the-funnel content that educates people in the initial stages of their sales journey. So, if you produce good TOFU content, high-ranking websites may source your information for their content.
The higher the quality of your video content, the more likely you are to get backlinks. Hence, videos benefit SEO directly (influencing rankings) and indirectly (influencing other ranking factors) on Google SERPs.
How to Optimise Videos for Search
In 2022, we cannot browse the internet without seeing a video. The explosion of video has made it so much harder for SEO experts to get their videos to rank higher in the universal search results. It has become a lot harder to get whitelisted now. But you can easily index your video on the video tab.
Gaining rank with videos on the SERPs depends on:
- The authority of your website
- How video-focused it is
- How it ranks for video-related queries
Let’s look at some ways to optimise your videos so that your sites appear higher in the SERPs:
1. Use an Engaging Video Thumbnail
You can see video thumbnails on Google along with the search results. Users are more likely to click this listing. Therefore, it plays a significant role in making people click.
The thumbnail makes the result “rich snippets”, and rich snippets tend to have higher click-through rates than standard snippets.
Think of a thumbnail as something similar to a book cover or a movie teaser. Your thumbnail needs to be compelling, relevant and high-quality. Here’s an example of what your thumbnails should and shouldn’t look like.
Here’s an excellent example of compelling thumbnails by Moz.
It is high-quality, engaging, and contains a human. Besides, you will also need to ensure that the thumbnails are relevant to what you’re trying to rank.
2. Write Compelling Video Title and Description
Just as it goes for the blog posts, the title and meta description play an important role in video rankings. Spending hours on making a video and framing its content strategy wouldn’t mean a thing if you don’t craft compelling titles and descriptions.
You must also spend time doing keyword research to ensure that your video ranks for relevant queries and reaches people who are searching for it. Ensuring optimised video titles and descriptions is one of the more effective ways to get greater visibility on SERPs.
Keyword Optimised Video SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
Look at these titles. They are not just keyword optimised and relevant but also clickable.
3. Enclose a Transcript with a Video
You might have seen several videos with captions while scrolling through social media content. This text is known as a video transcript. Video transcripts make your videos:
- More accessible to a larger audience
- More inclusive in terms of usability
- More scrapable by search bots because of the additional text on the page.
Transcripts act as page copy. It is more indexable, and you can rank for more queries. Pay more attention to transcripts, especially when your video is in a longer form and is a primary focus of the page. In these scenarios, transcripts will help you a lot in ranking.
4. Choose a Suitable Video Hosting Platform
The choice of your video hosting platform depends on the reasons why you want your videos to rank. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you optimising it to gain traffic?
- Are you optimising it to get leads or new leads?
- Is the goal behind the video more inclined toward brand awareness?
In case of your goals are brand awareness and getting traffic to your website—YouTube and Vimeo would be excellent options.
Keep in Mind:
Once your videos get indexed on YouTube or Vimeo, the traffic will go purely to the platform and not your website. Your target users might get lost in a sea of competing for traffic. Think about users getting lost using the suggested videos that appear after your videos on YouTube, for instance.
Some platforms use Schema markup that may not work well with JSON-LD, and others require you to create a video sitemap. Therefore do your research thoroughly before choosing a platform!
5. Embed the Targeted Video First
Google indexes only one video per page. So, if you are including multiple videos on a page, ensure that you add the video you want to index first.
Take a look at this example, for instance. Each of the above profiles features multiple videos, yet Google only indexes one video per page. This is because the search engine crawlers usually stop crawling after the first video. Therefore it is vital to highlight your best-performing video content.
It might also not be a great idea to have multiple videos on a page if you are trying to optimise for one video.
6. Make Sure the On-page Content is Relevant to Video
You cannot rely on your video solely to get ranked on the SERPs. You need to optimise your entire site content for SEO. If you don’t do this, search engines won’t bother to crawl it in the first place.
Your pages featuring videos must also be relevant and highly optimised to rank as highly as possible in search. It is challenging to get your website ranked organically. So make sure you keep creating high-quality content and ensure that SEO components for ranking are in place. Ensure that the video you’re embedding is relevant to the page and not generic.
7. Promote Video on Various Channels
Lastly, remember that you shouldn’t rely on SEO alone. As Google keeps changing and video is evolving at lightning speed. Plus, depending on search bots to rank your videos is not a consistent strategy to guarantee traffic to your videos.
So, if you are looking to get more traffic and clicks and attention through your videos, here are some things you should consider:
- Think about investing in paid video advertising
- Try Facebook Ads to promote your video content
- Consider other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to promote your videos
- Think about non-paid strategies like; promoting your videos on social media or having partners promote your videos.
Video is a powerful means to interact with your audience. Creating a more personal experience for users while they surf your video will bring you more visibility and engagement. Videos help the audience digest information more efficiently than reading long articles. To answer the question at the premise of this article: Yes, videos will be the next big thing. That’s what the audience wants, it serves a better user experience, and after the May 2022 Broad Core Update—even the algorithms suggest the prominence of videos.
Still confused about how you can navigate these updates and changes. Get in touch and we will be happy to assist.