SEO Tactical Riddle #1: Why Does this Google Video Listing Dominate the SERP?

by Jey Pandian

Every month, I am going to share a flaw in Google’s search algorithms. It is up to you what you do with this knowledge, however, the smart SEO will likely exploit it before Google goes and fixes it.

Scientific American Logo

Take a look at the following query on Google Videos for “beer bonking,” screenshot below in case it gets fixed. Scientific American controls EIGHT of the 10 organic video listings.

Scientific American Beer Bonking Google Video SERPs


The query itself has very little search volume and the first two organic listings are legitimate listings but the remaining SIX video listings are obviously not normal.

We know that the first two listings are legitimate because one listing is from Scientific American’s website whereas the other listing is from  You might tell me, but Jey, both those listings are identical videos so why do they rank?

The first listing is ranking because the video is hosted on its own separate cloud, among other reasons. The second listing is ranking because its hosted on the YouTube cloud. However, the remaining listings are all located on the same Scientific American landing page (by our standards) and so why do they rank?

I left the clue in this post. See if you can figure it out. A shoutout to Randy Dargenio at GroupM for figuring it out and to Paul Shapiro and Andrew Ruegger for trying.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Riyas July 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

Hi Jey,

Check this screenshot

Is the site creating multiple versions of landing pages with different URL ID’s. Also may be the videos on each landing pages (URL) are hosted on different servers. Just a guess :)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: