Google Adds Video Preview to Universal Search Results

YouTube Video Preview in Google Search
YouTube Video Preview in Google Search

Google update: Youtube gets video previews in Google’s Universal Search.

Google recently added the website previews. Now Google is adding video previews. Not all video results are getting this preview. Those that do get previews include Youtube videos, and Discovery videos. But sites like,, and, while still being found in the video section, are not getting the 4 framed previews.

Video Previews and Click Through Rates

The four framed previews actually show 5 second clips of the video. For the Superbowl commercial of the StarWars kid you can get a quick jest of the short commercial. But for the short 30 second video of Rene Higuita and the Scorpion kick (AWESOME VIDEO) you might get most of the clip, but sports move so fast that you may want to click through and see the whole thing. Ultimately the video preview might be enough to satisfy or enough of a taste to leave you wanting more. And careful, these videos do have sound enabled. Sound could be bad, as it is often a discouragement on websites. You can turn it off by clicking on the speaker, which I did as to not annoy my office.

4 Frame Divide

What we have not established is how Google is dividing up these videos. My initial thought was that they were breaking up by the video’s “Hot Spots”, which would be awesome.  Youtube insights will give you video hot spots. Getting previews of hot spots would help CTR. So I went to a video that has hot spots and with which I am familiar. Scorpion Myth Video AZIMA- Does alcohol make scorpion sting itself to death?


Scorpion Pest Control by Bulwark
Ignore the guy in the scorpion pest control video.

Yes, please ignore the silly scorpion pest control video.

Liquor is not an effective scorpion control method…. it doesn’t kill em.

But… Not the case. It is not hot spots. The videos are not broken up by hot spots. After studying these more in depth, the video breaks seem to be in a range based on the length of the video. All the first frames hit about 4 to 5 seconds into the video. On 4 minute videos the second frame is about 1 minute, usually over a minute but on occasion under a minute. Below you will find the exact percentages, the range is pretty consistent at about 25% intervals. It may be swayed slightly on scene changes. It may be based all three, scene change, time frame, and hot spot. This will take some additional research and some more insights. Any additional info would be appreciated. But overall it falls tightly at the 25% intervals.

Scorpion Videos - Bulwark Exterminating - Thos003Rock me like a Hurricane… These video previews are cool.


3 thoughts on “Google Adds Video Preview to Universal Search Results

  1. BingoBabe says:

    That’s pretty cool. I can see how that would be beneficial to the user. Are they just using Youtube or are they allowing these thumbnails on other video sites?

    If its just YouTube, you could argue that Google is giving preferential treatment to their own company.

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