This is a strange one. A few people have spotted video thumbnails appearing in the search results when the page doesn’t include a video but until now nobody knew what was going on until today.
You can see an example of the rogue thumbnail below, it’s normally only shown for YouTube and other well known video sites but in this case it’s showing up for Guide To Poker.com despite the fact they don’t host any videos.
Jason from GuideToPoker.com emailed me yesterday to ask about the issue and then this afternoon after watching some of the “videos” he traced it back to a peel away ad showing in the top right hand corner of their blog – Google saw the Flash file and assumed it must be a video and indexed it.
Hover over the video in the Google Video results and you can see the peel away ad just the same as it shows on the blog.
This is a big loophole because trusted sites wanting to increase click through rates could just add Flash files to each page and get thumbnails next to all their search results.