So, this morning while in my hotel at SES Chicago, I received a tweet from a good friend, Tim Cross, that at least in the UK, Google has rolled out, or is testing, new Universal Search video thumbnails...  AND, it's good news in that they have increased the size of video thumbnails by 45%. It doesnt seem to be appearing in the US yet, at least at my location in Chicago.

So, here's what I'm currently seeing in the USA.New Google Universal Video Search Thumbnails Spotted = More Visibility reelseo Google Search e1321558550178

And here's a screenshot of what Tim sent me from the UK:

New Google Universal Video Search Thumbnails Spotted = More Visibility Large Video Thumbnail

Basically, the size of the thumbnail has increased from 80x60 to 116x87, which is an increase of 45% in size.  Kinda a big deal for those of us that are involved with Video SEO...

Did you notice as well, they changed the play button and now include the length of the video?

This is probably the shortest post I've ever written, but I wanted to make sure I let you readers know.  Ill do my best to find out more information (surely let us know if you've seen something - in the comments below) and Ill update you with a more detailed post.  In the meantime - go optimize your videos for search, I think CTR's may increase for video results.  Yipee.

UPDATE:  OK, Im finally seeing it here in Chicago at whatever data center Im hitting.  Additionally, though the image itself is 116X87 (4:3) aspect ratio, it appears that they're making the background white such that what shows is actually a 16:9 ratio image, thank God.  In fact, I wonder if this means that majority videos in the index are now 16:9 aspect ratio. Who knows but I like it.

  • Alexander Buck

    The Google Algorithm changes all of the time, and from region to region. It can take time for changes to be seen universally in the same way. Its a great change though with increased video size. I am still very surprised that companies are not taking advantage of this opportunity. Google wants more diversity in its search results and for the information to be universally accessible.

  • Ronnyz Apchaar

    In Holland also the big ones ;-)

    • Mark Robertson

      ;-) "The Big Ones"

  • Danny De Bonis

    Just tested it here in SF and I am seeing the bigger thumbnails.

  • SundaySky

    It's 116X65 which is 16:9 ratio.
    BTW, you can also see the change on Google Video Search not just on universal search.

    • Mark Robertson

      Im finally seeing it - updated above. It is shown as 16:9, but the image itself is actually still 4:3, which makes sense cause then they dont have to crop anything

  • Yaniv Axen

    Also now available in the US.
    And BTW the new thumbnail is 116X65 which is 16X9 aspect ratio.

  • Manny Rivas

    I'm in Sydney, Aus right now. Just tested and I'm seeing the bigger thumbnails as well.

  • Gary of

    I to am getting the larger thumbnails here in little New Zealand however they are not showing up larger on every thumbnail but most, odd.

  • Mark Robertson

    I can't quite figure out why they stuck with 4:3 aspect ratio, unless the dimensions Tim sent over were wrong. It looked wider to me but I'm still not seeing it here so I can't tell.

    • Mark Robertson

      Updated :-) I thought that appeared like 16:9

    • Tim Cross

      Makes sense :)

  • Yaniv Axen

    I'm also seeing the bigger thumbnails here in NYC.