As seen with podcasts, Google in recent years has been working to make Search be more than just for text results. Video has long been surfaced in the search engine, but Google will now mark YouTube “key moments” for fast scrubbing and watching.
The goal is to make it faster to find the right information you need from a video even though the format is inherently not easy to skim quickly. Google equates its new feature to searching inside a video:
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.
Videos in Search will note the thumbnail like before, but there’s a new “In this video” timeline with “key moments” marked by Google even before you start watching. Underneath, there’s a carousel of small previews with brief descriptions that can be tapped to jump immediately to a section. One example touted is a video about a recording rig, with various parts of the setup highlighted.
This allows for easy scanning of what’s in a video, with Google also noting the accessibility benefits for those using screen readers.
Behind-the-scenes, Google Search is pulling data from timestamps provided by YouTube creators in the video description. Google’s YouTube key moments search is first rolling out in English. This will also launch in other parts of the world.
Today’s multimedia effort joins Google Lens coming to Image Search on mobile, while Google now indexes Podcasts audio to improve search results. For example, Search can suggest podcast episodes based on what was actually discussed and not just the title.