What are YouTube Boxes in SEO?
Simple Definition of YouTube Boxes
A YouTube Box is a carousel of the most recent videos from your brand’s YouTube channel. That means that they are a branded Rich Element (SERP Feature) that the brand controls. In that manner, they are similar to Twitter Boxes and are a great way of building the reputation and credibility of a person or business.
YouTube Boxes usually take up two places in the SERP, which means that a SERP with YouTube Boxes will generally have fewer Bluelinks (which is great for Brand SERPs – see below).
What Do YouTube Boxes Look Like?
YouTube Boxes display the latest video uploads on a brand or person’s YouTube channel in a series of three blocks in the SERP (as shown below). Each block contains thumbnails (hopefully visually appealing and on-brand) with a title, the YouTube channel name, and the publication date. The box has the format of a carousel with arrows that allow users to scroll horizontally through up to a dozen videos.
Here is an example of a YouTube Box for a search result for “Jason Barnard”.
How Do YouTube Boxes Differ from Video Boxes?
Google SERPs are dominated by videos uploaded to YouTube. Video boxes are not an exception to that: 80% of videos in Video Boxes on Brand SERPs are from YouTube (with Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo dominating the remainder). For that reason, users tend to confuse YouTube Boxes with Video Boxes.
So, one major difference between the two is the content source: YouTube Boxes only display videos from YouTube channels. Further, a single YouTube Box / carousel will show only videos from a single channel, usually in the order in which the author published them. Video Boxes can contain videos from any website, including brand websites, Twitter, Facebook, News sites, and of course YouTube. Here you can see an example of a Video Box in a search result for “Jason Barnard’, where two of the videos displayed are from jasonbarnard.com and the other is from YouTube.
At the time of writing, the layout is the simplest way to spot the difference. YouTube Boxes are shown as a carousel (see above) and Video Boxes as a vertical list (see above).
Check this article that discusses the basic things you need to know about Video Boxes on Google SERP.
Can I Choose Which of my Videos Google shows in YouTube Boxes?
For a video to appear in YouTube Boxes in Google SERPs, it must be published on a brand or person’s YouTube channel. The single most important consideration for Google is that the algorithms have recognised the YouTube channel as being the official channel for that brand or person.
The basic consideration is to regularly and consistently post content with topics that match the intent of your audience, as these are likely to have good ranking potential for search queries that are relevant to you. Also, your videos should be as engaging as possible for your target users. And of course, with the right optimisation strategies, you’ll give search engines such as Google a good signal to have your videos show up in the SERPs.
How Do YouTube Boxes Fit Into Brand SERP Optimisation?
YouTube Boxes are important in the context of Brand SERPs because they are visually appealing, indicate credibility and are a Rich Element that the brand or person controls directly.
YouTube Boxes are a relatively simple way for brands to communicate an attractive visual message to their audience, and they are also a great way to motivate your team to create more and better video content – from explainer videos to how-to videos to interviews and more!
YouTube Boxes give you significant leverage in the brand message Google portrays to your audience, and when Google shows them in your Brand SERP, that indicates it understands that you are offering your audience content that is truly relevant, valuable and helpful to them.