How to Make the Most of Video Timestamp Results in Google Search

Google was first spotted testing a video timestamp function for YouTube movies inside the Google app in June 2019.

Several months later, we then saw similar showing, however this time being seen in cell search outcomes in basic (as an alternative of simply through the Google app).

The day after this discovery, Google made an official announcement that customers would begin to see these sorts of outcomes extra steadily on cell.

Within this announcement, Google referred to the function as “Key Moments”, in reference to taking the person to an necessary half of a clip.

But it wasn’t till October 2019 that I first started seeing the function seem in a full rollout.

This was additionally confirmed by Glenn Gabe, who had been monitoring its launch.

Now that we’ve acquired the timeline out of the means, let’s dive into the function.


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I did some analysis and found some cool examples. Here’s what I discovered.

An Example of the Key Moments Feature in Action

Three essential features which can be wanted for this function to work. It:

  • Needs to be a YouTube video.
  • Will solely seem on cell.
  • Has to be an element of a Video Carousel.

This standards is mainly how the function turns into eligible at the moment, however this can almost definitely broaden over time (e.g. movies not simply on YouTube).

The half the place the function solely seems on cell will possible proceed to be that means.

I’d be shocked to see this rollout being out there on desktop additionally.

Here’s an instance of the function in motion, with a comparability of the way it seems on desktop:

The question used right here is [link building with google sheets] and was uploaded by Ahrefs.


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On desktop they rank #1, with the video carousel sitting at the prime of search outcomes for the question.

Because Ahrefs has added a timestamp abstract to the description of their video, it has allowed this function to be triggered on cell.

There are possible different elements at play right here, comparable to the video having some present recognition.

But the incontrovertible fact that it’s on YouTube, ranks #1 in the carousel, and has timestamps in the description – this was sufficient to get the function.

When I refer to “timestamps in the description”, that’s actually all it means.

All it takes is guide insertion of the timestamp abstract into the YouTube video description.

timestamps example for key moments video

All this entails is discovering the part in a video that you just’re wanting to timestamp (instance: 0:38), add to the description, then create a title for it (instance: “Find hyperlink prospects with contact particulars”).

So when somebody clicks on the timestamp function from Google for a particular part, they bounce straight to that half of the video.

They also can simply evaluate the sections to determine whether or not the clip is appropriate for his or her wants.

Now that we’ve acquired the fundamentals out of the means, let’s transfer on to investigating some of the different examples.

Other Weird & Wonderful Key Moment Examples

One of the extra attention-grabbing ones I got here throughout concerned a video featured snippet and the timestamp function.

The instance I discovered was a video that was over-indexing inside search.

The clip is now getting appreciable actual property in search outcomes due to the new timestamps being enabled.

The first clip takes you to a single spot, whereas the different takes you to a number of:

suggested clip with featured snippet vs key moments

The “Suggested Clip” function has been round for a while now. So there’s nothing new there.


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The new function is de facto only a variation of this with extra choices (and pushed additional down the outcomes web page).

For this instance, we will see that the timestamps have been added in a distinct format in contrast to what we’ve seen beforehand:

timestamp key moment video description example

I discovered this to be constant throughout my analysis.

The heading or construction for a way the timestamps had been added didn’t appear to matter an excessive amount of. Just so long as they had been helpful and made sense.


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Something else to observe is how this function can present in a different way relying on the sort that Google decides to present in search outcomes.

For occasion, sort #1 has the commonplace featured video, together with the timestamp design. Whereas sort #2 has a smaller video with a barely completely different design.

timestamp video examples google

When I used to be testing out a bunch of queries, I discovered that sort #1 was displaying when looking in Australia and kind #2 was showing in the U.S.


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This could have been associated to commonplace testing, slightly than something particular to these areas.

The variations between the two differing kinds of timestamps remind me so much of what Google does with the How-to SERP remedy.

Does Key Moments Work Alongside a Featured Snippet (That Isn’t a Video)?

Yes, it positive does.

As lengthy as the video carousel is a SERP function for the web page, and your video ranks first in the carousel, you then’re eligible.

Here’s what this seems like in motion:

featured snippet timestamp video

This is a particular question to set off this outcome, however I discovered there to be few movies in the wild that had timestamps added to their descriptions.


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There are much more attention-grabbing examples on the market, however let’s cap it at the above for this submit.

I’m trying ahead to testing out this function extra for my purchasers who use video closely.

Update: New ‘Key Moments’ Research

Since initially publishing this submit (on November 5, 2019), I’ve achieved some testing with my very own purchasers and likewise with Aleyda Solis.

There had been some attention-grabbing findings at the time.

For my very own purchasers, I discovered that the timestamps really want to be uploaded to a video that has good engagement indicators.

It couldn’t simply be added to something.

For occasion, I added the timestamps to a video with 50 views. Nothing ever occurred to that video.

I then tried it with a video with 1M+ views.

The outcome wasn’t instantaneous.

It ended up taking just a few weeks for the timestamp remedy to be mirrored in Search.

For Solis’s Crawling Mondays YouTube Channel, it took virtually 2 months for the timestamps to seem on Google for her movies.


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Interestingly, though the timestamps had been added to just a few movies, it only started appearing for one video at first. Loads of the others then shortly adopted.

This then makes me suppose that the function is enabled Channel-wide (slightly than for only a particular video) – comparable to how evaluate wealthy snippets may work.

Final Thoughts

To be eligible for this function, there’s a bunch of completely different standards which have to be met.

As a fast recap, listed here are the necessary issues:

  • Your movies want to be particularly printed on YouTube.
  • A video carousel wants to be a SERP function on Google for the question.
  • Your video wants to rank #1 in the video carousel. Update: I’m now seeing them seem in all sorts of areas and so does Valentin Pletzer.
  • Useful timestamps want to be added to the video description.
  • The video ought to be of top quality and have the skill to appeal to views.

If the standards above had been to be met, you then’re in a positive place to make the most of Key Moments inside Google’s search outcomes.

If you publish videos regularly on YouTube, then this can be a good way to combine your technique with Google Search to obtain extra publicity.


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It’s extremely simple and quick to do, so get these timestamps added to your YouTube video descriptions immediately.

Something else to preserve in thoughts is about how YouTube could use these timestamps past Google Search. Glenn Gabe shared this article with me a couple of new function.

The function reveals an identical remedy of Key Moments on Google Search, however on the YouTube movies themselves. Video Chapters are one thing to look out for in the future.

Have you tried out this function but? Be positive to ping me on Twitter with any findings or questions.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by writer, April 2020
All screenshots taken by writer, October 2019

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