What Year Is It? A Glimpse At The Future Of Google Search & YouTube

By Brodie Clark

July 12, 2020
what year is it youtube video content integration in google search

Deeper integration among Google Search and YouTube is one that has been a long time coming. We all know Google owns YouTube and this has been part of their masterplan from the beginning.

I’ve written extensively about one of the more recent integrations among the two search engines: use of timestamps. This change represents a concerted effort to improve video user experience.

Google’s guidelines have since been updated to reflect many of these changes, which don’t necessarily require manual input. A trend which I’m seeing continue on into the future.

One other aspect of this integration relates to a common feature of Google Search, which many in SEO will be familiar with: Featured Snippets. Another trend worthy of keeping an eye on.

More recently, I’ve seen this integration go one step further. Google is attempting to transcribe the YouTube video content within the ‘Suggested Clip’ Featured Snippet format.

And based on all of the examples I was able to locate, this snippet of text (similar to what we refer to as a ‘Paragraph Featured Snippet’), was not being generated by the manually uploaded captions via an SRT file.

Here’s what this looks like for the Featured Snippet that Marty was able to track down for me:

google featured snippets suggest clip audio transcribed from youtube video

Based on my research, Google is doing a *reasonable* job of transcribing the audio from YouTube videos. It’s not perfect, but the examples located were producing text that flowed in a more conversational way.

Again, this wasn’t overly impressive to see from the big G. It doesn’t prove a deep understanding of the audio, just that it has the ability to be transcribed and presented in Search (which we already knew).

But something I discovered upgraded my assessment to a *pretty good* rating. And one that looks to have a lot of potential in my view. This can be seen below, alongside the ‘Key Moments’ format:

youtube videos in google search showing questions linked to audio and timestamps

While there are some obvious improvements that could be made (note the unnecessary capital used in ‘Heat’), I was impressed by this feature. These questions appear to be unrelated to the video description – unlike Key Moments.

If you then click on one of those questions, you’re taken to the exact point in the clip where the answer is provided. And that appears to be without an obvious prompt for this to happen.

Here’s how this experience works for another query:

The difference among the first example (Featured Snippet transcription) and the question generation is the deep understanding of a query. Because Google has essentially come up with the question based on the audio.

Both of these examples paint a picture of what the not-too-distant future of Google Search could look like. A hybrid among the two search engines if you will.

Most of the features explored in this post are still in the testing phase, and the quality control still isn’t quite there, so it probably won’t be tomorrow that we’ll see a launch.

But “if my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious sh*t”.

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