Google is now indexing YouTube transcripts as search results

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As someone who frequently searches on Google, I was excited to notice a new change recently in how video results are displayed. When searching for certain topics, I began seeing video transcripts show up directly in the search results rather than just links to YouTube videos. At first, I thought it was a fluke, but after searching several different topics I realized this was an intentional new feature by Google.

YouTube transcripts in Google search

Google is now indexing the auto-generated transcripts from YouTube videos and using snippets from them in search results.

Instead of just seeing a link to a YouTube video with a short text description, the actual transcript from the video is displayed in the search results.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen YouTube video-related results indexed in the search. Even before, videos were indexed in SERPs depending on the intent of the search query. But I’ve never seen any search results showing transcripts as answers. That too accurate enough to answer my query.

This is a great example of how Google is prioritizing content across the internet as explained in their helpful content system update.

In this case, my intent was to find out the very recent statement made by Tom Hiddleston who earlier said that Loki Season 2 was the conclusion to his 14-year life journey. Everyone assumed that he’s done playing Loki, however, in another interview to a less-popular YouTuber, Tom clarified that it’s unwise to think that he’s done playing the character.

I was looking for that statement and tried several websites with no luck. I put this keyword in the search and it shared these results. First, I was not sure from where it was getting this information as when I clicked the link it took me to a video where a man was speaking about it. My first reaction was, wow, it’s fetching this info from the comments. However, I couldn’t find these exact words from the comments. After watching the video, I got to know that it was the person speaking and the results indexed were from a transcript that YouTube generated. Here’s a screenshot:

youtube video search results

These auto-generated transcripts will improve the search experience for sure, but it’s important to remember that transcripts aren’t always perfect due to auto-captioning errors. But they’re usually good enough to understand the general topic being discussed. So, it’s possible that we’d be seeing more of it as Google keeps on rolling multiple updates.

This way, Google can surface more relevant and detailed results to users, especially from those guides that have one-liner answers and someone from YouTube has answered them well. I wouldn’t be surprised if this also leads to better auto-captioning over time as Google incorporates AI into its products.

All in all, this is an exciting evolution of Google search that takes advantage of existing resources on YouTube. However, it can be good and bad news for the SEOs, especially the niche site owners, as it’ll take away so many blogs and featured snippets if rolled out.

I wasn’t able to re-create the same results again so it’s probably a test from Google. Also, this search was made in Incognito, so it’s very likely a search test like other Google search tests.

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Abdullah, AKA "abdugeek," is a computer scientist turned tech writer and certified Growth Hacker. He has a versatile entrepreneurial mindset and is well-versed in the digital world with passion for animals, particularly fish. Founder of multiple digital startups in technology sector, he's constantly pushing boundaries and seeking new opportunities. Follow him on social media or learn more about him on his website.

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