This is interesting. Google has announced a new addition to Google Search which will link users to specific moments within a YouTube video that directly answer their Google query.
As you can see here, the YouTube video above has been split into specific elements. So, for example, if a user tried a Google search for 'Podcasting microphones', Google could link them not only to this video, based on regular video ranking factors, but to exactly 00:56 of the video playback, which specifically addresses the query.
As explained by Google:
"When you search for things like how-to videos that have multiple steps, or long videos like speeches or a documentary, Search will provide links to key moments within the video, based on timestamps provided by content creators. You’ll be able to easily scan to see whether a video has what you’re looking for, and find the relevant section of the content. For people who use screen readers, this change also makes video content more accessible."
That could make it a significant new SEO consideration for video creators. YouTube also notes that more content creators will now be able to "mark up their videos" with specific timestamp tags, so that they can be more easily searchable.
Google has provided a form for creators that are interested in adding these tags, which will require the addition of Clip structured data to mark important video segments in your video. You can apply for access to the option here.
It may seem like an interesting add-on, maybe not so significant, but if YouTube finds that searchers are getting a better experience from these direct links, you can bet that it will become a more significant ranking factor in future, which could help you drive significant traffic.
Definitely worth noting within your video strategy.