Google’s John Mueller advises site owners to provide supporting content when publishing a web page with a video on it.
In other words, do not just embed a video on a page and add a title and leave it at that.
A video shouldn’t be used as a primary piece of content. Rather, a video should be used in a way that supports the primary written content.
This advice was given during the Google Webmaster Central hangout on March 5th when a question was asked about using Google’s videos on a web site.
Mueller briefly addressed the main question before providing some tips on how video should be used from a web search point of view.
Video should support the main content, not replace it
As far as web search is concerned, it’s difficult for Google to figure out what to do with a web page that only has a video on it.
It’s hard to determine what is useful about the video and why the page it’s on should be shown in search results.
Mueller recommends building content around the video, such as a transcription of the video, and adding some comments about the video.
Sounds similar to what I’m doing right now actually.
You’ll see there’s a video in this article followed by a transcription, and up to this point, I’ve more or less been commenting on the transcription.
So the video is not the main content, but it’s a useful addition to the main content.
Posting video in this way is more valuable from Google’s perspective, and more valuable to visitors as well.
Hear the full question and answer below, starting at the 45:46 mark:
“I think, in general, I would be cautious about using just a video as a primary piece of content on a web page. You should work to use the video in a way that supports your primary content, but not that it replaces your primary content.
So, for example, I wouldn’t take any of these videos and just put them on a blog post, and add a title to them, and expect them to show up highly in search.
But if you have specific content around that video. If you have a transcription of that video, and you add some comments to that transcription to the content that is shown with the video. Where you’re using that video as kind of a point of reference with regards to your content. Then I think that’s a perfectly fine approach.
But just purely using a video on a page is something that, at least from a web search point of view, makes it really hard for us to determine what is actually useful on this page, and why should we show it in the search results.”