What Google’s Mobile Update Means For Video

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Last month, Google shook the ground underneath online marketing with yet another algorithmic update. Upon the announcement that mobile-friendliness would soon be a key ranking factor in online searches, many marketers become frantic, unnerved by the unknown. Would this have the same cataclysmic consequences as prior updates like the deceptively-named Penguin and Panda, the seemingly adorable, yet rabid digital creatures that they were? Would yet another Webmaster need to be hired? Will traffic have a downward surge? All of the sudden the word “friendly” took on an antagonistic meaning and the update itself was more commonly referred to as (dun, dun, duuuuun) MOBILEGEDDON!

The rollout of the mobile-friendliness update came and went and for most of us, the impact paralleled that of Y2K. But while that may be the case, not optimizing a website and the content that makes it thrive could be a fatal error. This is NOT Y2K, it’s 2015 and your customers find information through the use of multiple devices. Mobile searches are happening on the go at an astonishing rate and the trend is expected to continue. Mobilegeddon may have been less-than-apocalyptic but take it as a cue to ensure every piece of information you provide online is just as valuable to viewers on a cellphone as it is on a desktop.

This means taking a few extra steps to ensure video is optimized for all devices regarding Google’s mobile update. But where do you start? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

mobile_video1. Use <iframe> embeds.

In the mobile-crazed era we live in, most video hosting sites automatically provide an <iframe> embed code as the default, but if a video has been embedded for awhile, it may be the case that an <object> embed code was used. You may need to go through and verify all of your video embeds have compatibility across all devices.


2. Take care in choosing thumbnail images.

Mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens. It’s a simple and seemingly obvious concept, but I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve had to squint to try to make out a thumbnail image. If your potential viewer can’t tell if it is a dancing baby or an inebriated Sasquatch, you should probably pick a different image. Come to think of it, this might be one of the few instances in which a poor thumbnail choice actually piques curiosity and increases click-through, but in most cases I wouldn’t recommend gambling with thumbnails.

3. Properly size tap targets.

I’ve said this countless times, but size really does matter! Get your mind out of the gutter –I’m talking about buttons, forms, and links. Your viewers aren’t using a mouse to navigate so when a tap target appears on their screen it should be clickable with their finger –and yes, sometimes they have what I lovingly refer to as “sausage fingers”. Google recommends a minimum width and height of 7mm and a minimum margin between tap targets of 5mm.

4. Be conscious of video size on page. 

Web pages require white space on a screen for scrolling. Imagine they land on your homepage and the video takes up the entire screen. Without the ability to scroll, they will get stuck and be forced to close out the window. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. All online marketing efforts will have been in vain if your video takes up the entire screen before they tap full-screen mode.

Video Insights

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