Google is showing video thumbnails in SERPs even if the video wasn’t embedded on the page. Why? No one knows.
Crystal Carter, an SEO expert, posted an example on Twitter of Google doing this for her page. If you were to go to her page, there would be no video.
However, with her example, the OG video tag is present in the source code but there is no visible video rendered to the user. So, the best practice would be not to include the OG video tag if there is no video on the page.
I find this really fascinating….
I did not embed this video but my blog post ranks for it. There’s a link and a note about it, but the video is not directly viewable.
And yet…Google is combining the meta for my post and the GSC Youtube video.
Has anyone else seen this? pic.twitter.com/QriRqgoJlh
— Crystal Carter (@CrystalontheWeb) May 18, 2022
As you can see, Google did add the ‘uploaded by’ reference and admitted it was uploaded by them, the Google Search Central. Still – why is it showing a video if it’s not playable on the page? I guess that’s something Google needs to figure out on its own.
In this specific example, the search was for videos, and Google does show landing pages that have video elements.
Also, Crystal did link to the Youtube video with the featured image from the video.
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) May 18, 2022
So, seems like the logic behind Google showing the thumbnail when there is no playable video on the page might be the adding of the video in the OG tag. At least that’s what the Twitter discussion says.