Video Search: Quick Tools for Making Your Videos & Video Libraries Searchable and SEO-Friendly

August 16, 2018 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO

In this day and age, people are used to being able to search for something and find exactly what they are looking for almost instantaneously. More and more information is at our fingertips every day, and being able to sort through it in a productive and efficient way is critical to any Googler’s sanity.

search bar inside a video player

However, video content is oftentimes invisible to search engines. While you might come up with a video title that sounds like it fits your search criteria, you have no way of knowing whether or not the video is exactly what you’re looking for – or where in the video the content you’re looking for might be.

That’s where video search comes in.

What Is Video Search?

Video search is increasingly important with the proliferation of online video. People are using online video as integral content for marketing, journalism, education, training materials, and entertainment. As your video library grows, video search becomes more critical.

There are two things to look at when it comes to video search: finding the video you’re looking for and finding the part within a video that you’re looking for.

Most videos aren’t searchable.

So, the first step to being able to search within a video is to create a transcript and closed captions for your video. Because search engines can’t watch a video, they have no idea what is contained within it other than the title and description you provide. While these are useful for optimizing your video, they do not provide a comprehensive view of the video’s spoken content – let alone any idea of where to find the specific point in the video the viewer is looking for.

benefits of video search. makes your video interactive, vastly improves your SEO and makes it easy to find keywords


Adding a transcript will vastly improve your video SEO by adding keyword density and diversity for search engines to crawl, helping your video rank for a broader and more appropriate range of search terms (and helping Googlers quickly find the most pertinent video).

Once you have your transcript file, you’ll then need to use an interactive transcript embed and a video playlist search plugin for video search.

Using an Interactive Transcript to Search Within a Video

Interactive transcripts allow users to search across the spoken audio of a video and play from any point in the video clicking within the transcript.

Once you have a transcript and captions, you can use our interactive transcript embed to allow viewers to jump directly to the points in your video where their search term appears.

The interactive transcript is time synched with your video and highlights the text as it is spoken. Simply click anywhere in the transcript to jump to that point, or enter your keyword in the search bar to see every point in the video where that word is spoken. Click on any of those points to view that part of the video. The interactive transcript provides the immediacy of search that users are used to directly within your video.

Try it in the video below!


How to Improve Video Search Across a Video Library

Another way to use video search is to leverage your interactive transcripts to search across a video library with our Playlist Search plugin.

With playlist Search, you can search for a keyword inside your video library and see every point that keyword appears in the transcripts of your videos. You’ll see a preview of the text around each keyword so you can determine what content is most pertinent to your search. Clicking on a keyword will take you directly to that point in the video.

gif of infinite history video playing while someone searches for the keyword algorithms in the video library. the search populates with all the videos with the keyword, and the user jumps to the spot in the video where it appears.


Playlist search has many benefits. It increases user engagement, makes your content searchable, increases the amount of time people remain on your web page, helps organize your content, and makes your content accessible.

To get playlist search, simply activate the feature in your 3Play Media account system.

Don’t have a 3Play account? Get started today!

Video Search Examples

All of our video search plugins are customizable, and you can see different implementations of the interactive transcript in our video plugin gallery.

As online video continues to be a growing part of our everyday lives, the desire and need for video search is increasingly important.

See what Oracle, Harvard School of Public Health, and MIT Infinite History have done with their video libraries to make their online video content searchable.

get started with video search


This post was originally published on April 1, 2015 by Lily Bond and has since been edited.

3play media logo in blue

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