Google is officially rolling out timestamps for YouTube videos in search results – a feature that was spotted in testing earlier this year.
This feature is designed to help people when the content they’re searching for is contained within a video.
It could be useful, for example, when searching for things like how-to videos with multiple steps, long speeches, or documentaries.
Google will now show you what’s ‘in this video’ along with timestamps for jumping directly to the part you care about.
In an announcement, the company states:
“But what if what you’re searching for is inside a video? Videos aren’t skimmable like text, meaning it can be easy to overlook video content altogether.
Now, just like we’ve worked to make other types of information more easily accessible, we’re developing new ways to understand and organize video content in Search to make it more useful for you.”
This feature is rolling out starting today. However, Google can only do so much on its own. Similar to displaying featured snippets in search results, this feature requires the assistance of content creators.
How to Mark Up YouTube Videos for Search Results
Google will only display timestamps for videos when they’re provided by the content creator in the video description. That’s as simple as adding text like this in the description section:
- 00:10 – Intro
- 02:30 – Step 1
- 03:15 – Step 2
- 04:40 – Step 3
- 05:15 – Conclusion
There’s no technical coding required to add timestamps – simply type out the time in plain text.
It gets more technical when it comes to marking up non-YouTube videos, although Google has introduced a solution for that as well.
If you’re interested in marking up non-YouTube videos for search results then Google invites you to fill out this form.