Over the last few years video has seen a boom across the internet being used in many different formats. Video is at the point where is cannot be considered a standalone category, its now integral to conferencing, gaming, messaging and of course social networking where they now thrive on video.
Virtually all apps that are wanting to drive engagement and interactions are also now incorporating video. It is known that adding video into content pages can also help improve SEO by improving user experience and keeping visitors engaged.
It is important to know that when managing a website you may come across various errors while using Google Search Console. One of these errors is “Could Not Determine the Prominent Video.” This error message can be confusing, but it is usually an indication that Google is having trouble determining which video on a particular web page on your site is the most important one.
We have taken a look at what this error message means and provide you with some steps to help fix it.
What is the “Could Not Determine the Prominent Video” error?
This error message typically occurs when Google is unable to identify the primary video on your website. This is important because Google uses this information to display rich snippets, such as video thumbnails, in search results. If Google is unable to determine which video is the most important, it may not display any rich snippets at all.
Why does this search console error occur?
There are several reasons why Google may have trouble determining the prominent video on your website. Here are some of the most common reasons:
No video on the page: If there is no video on the page, Google will not be able to determine the prominent video.
Multiple videos on the page: If there are multiple videos on the page, Google may have difficulty determining which one is the most important.
Incorrect markup: If the video markup on the page is incorrect or incomplete, Google may not be able to identify the prominent video.
How to fix the “Could Not Determine the Prominent Video” error?
If you are encountering this error message, there are a few steps you can take to help fix it. Here are some of the most effective ways to address this issue:
Check the video has been added to the page in question. Sounds daft, but checking the url being flagged is important especially on a large site.
Remove additional videos from the page: If there are multiple videos on the page, removing all but one can help Google determine which video is the most important but not always practical.
Add correct video markup: Ensure that the video markup on the page is correct and complete. You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check if the markup is correct.
Move your video above the fold: Moving the video to the top of the page where visitors can view it without scrolling is beneficial. If you have multiple videos, move the most important one above the fold.
Resize the video: Once the primary video is at the top of the page go to search console and put the url into the inspection tool and click ‘enter’ and then click the ‘test live url’ button. You will see a screenshot of your page which you can use as a guide for adjusting your video to a more suitable size.
After moving your video to the top of the page, navigate to Google Search Console and paste the webpage URL into the URL Inspection tool. Once done, click Enter and then click on the TEST LIVE URL button, as shown below.
Use a video sitemap: Submit a video sitemap to Google Search Console. This will help Google identify all the videos on your website and determine which one is the most important.
Identify the prominent video
The “Could Not Determine the Prominent Video” error message can be frustrating, but it is usually a simple issue to address. However note that even after updating your web page you will need to let Google know via your search console account and sit back and wait for it to be crawled.
By ensuring that you have a prominent video on the page, removing any additional videos, and adding correct video markup, you can help Google identify the most important video on your website.
Remember to submit a video sitemap to Google Search Console as well. With these steps, you can improve the visibility of your videos in search results and drive more traffic to your website.