Google’s Updated Structured Data Guidelines: No More Mandatory Video Descriptions

Google has recently updated its structured data guidelines, making video descriptions no longer a mandatory requirement. This change, however, doesn’t mean that video descriptions are no longer important. Google still strongly recommends including them, as they help in understanding the content of the video better.

The Shift in Structured Data Requirements

Previously, Google required a “description” property for videos in structured data. This meant that every video needed to have a description to avoid errors in Google Search Console reports. However, Google has now moved the “description” property from “required” to “recommended” in the structured data documentation.

This change implies that Google Search Console will no longer report errors for missing description property items. In other words, empty descriptions will no longer show up as errors in the Search Console reports.

Check Google’s official documentation for more information by clicking over here.

The Impact of the Change

The removal of the mandatory requirement for video descriptions in structured data should make it easier for publishers to have their videos picked up as rich results by Google. This could potentially lead to an increase in the number of valid video structured data items, especially for those who haven’t been using descriptions for their video structured data.

Moreover, this change could also increase the visibility of your video thumbnails in search results, leading to a higher click-through rate from those search result snippets in Google Search.

Why Video Descriptions Still Matter

Despite the change, Google still strongly recommends including video descriptions in structured data. The description of the video helps Google better understand the content of the video. Therefore, while it’s no longer a requirement, it’s still a best practice that can enhance the performance of your video content in search results.

Also read: Google’s Shift in Perspective: Canonical Tags for Syndicated Content No Longer Recommended


While Google’s recent update to structured data guidelines has made video descriptions optional, they remain a valuable component of SEO strategy. Including a description can help Google better understand your video content, potentially improving its visibility and performance in search results. Therefore, it’s recommended to continue including video descriptions in your structured data, even though it’s no longer a requirement.

Remember, in the world of SEO, every little detail can make a difference. So, keep up with the changes, adapt your strategies, and strive for the best possible results.

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