A topic I’ve regularly shared information on over the past year relates to video timestamps in Google Search. My first post was published in November of 2019, with more updates added several months later.
In the latest test I’m seeing, the treatment is now showing on desktop search results. Previously being a mobile-only feature, the feature being triggered on desktop really draws attention to the videos with the treatment.
This is especially true for some videos that rank in the top position on desktop, where the top ranking video becomes significantly larger than the others. Here’s what this can now look like with the desktop test:
When Key Moments first launched, we would only ever see the timestamp treatment display for the top ranking video within a carousel. This soon expanded to all videos that are visible within a carousel.
And this isn’t the only expansion I’ve seen since launch, with several other mobile-focused experiments. Such as showing for standalone YouTube videos (without a carousel), and examples with links to individual questions.
Personally, I think it makes sense for Google to roll this feature out to desktop search results, with the timestamps actually feeling more useable on desktop. As with a lot of Google tests in recent years, they start with mobile and move to desktop – often 1-2 years after the mobile launch.
Again, this feature is often automatically generated by Google. Like other aspects of Search, if you don’t add useful timestamps to the description of your YouTube videos – Google might have a go at doing it for you. But beware, results can be hit and miss.