Design & Dev Tools

AI Tools for Video Timestamps, ‘Key Moments’

Google ranks YouTube videos prominently in organic search results. For certain queries, Google shows multiple YouTube videos on top of results, sometimes with a rich snippet thumbnail.

But there’s another way to make videos even more visible in search results: “key moments.”

Screenshot of "key moments" for "how to learn knitting"

“Key moments” in search results elevate a video’s visibility. Click image to enlarge.

When clicked, key moments unfold to show sections within a video. For example, Google’s top-ranking video for “how to learn knitting” includes these key moments:

  • “How to make a slipknot: 1:00”
  • “How to cast on: 3:24”
  • “How to actually knit: 6:32”
  • “Knitting the second row: 13:55”
Screenshot showing the four "key moments" for the search "how to learn knitting"

When clicked, key moments unfold to show sections within a video. Click image to enlarge.

Google sometimes generates key moments automatically. But the best way to ensure inclusion is to create clickable timestamps informing Google (and YouTube search) of a video’s components.

Here are the timestamps for the knitting video above.

Screenshot of timestamps for the video "How to Knit: Easy for Beginners"

The best way to receive “key moments” in SERPs is with clickable timestamps. Click image to enlarge.

Creators can insert the timestamps manually, but it’s time-consuming. New generative AI tools can do it in seconds.

What follows are four such tools. All require a voiceover (for a transcript) because they analyze text to assign chapters within the video.

Instant Chapters

Instant Chapters generates timestamps automatically using AI. Provide the YouTube video URL and select how many chapters you want it to generate.

The tool comes with a free, unlimited 7-day trial. A credit card is required. After that, it costs $9 per month for unlimited videos.


Zubtitle generates subtitles for any uploaded video and, via the built-in assistant, a headline, summary, social media posts, and a “timeline,” i.e., timestamps.

Zubtitle’s “Bootstrapper” (watermarked) version is free forever. Premium plans start at $19 per month for 10 videos, 20 minutes total.


Decipher is an AI-powered tool for audio and video files. Upload a file, and it will generate a transcript with a summary, pull notable quotes, create social posts, generate subtitles (for key moments), and suggest a title. (For subtitles, click “Chapters” in the left-hand panel.)

A limited version of Decipher is free. Paid versions start at $29 per month for 240 minutes of audio or video.


Taja optimizes YouTube videos for search on Google and YouTube. Input a YouTube video URL, and Taja will generate a description with clickable chapters, tags, and a title.

Taja offers a free 7-day trial, credit card required. Paid plans start at $17.50 per month for four videos.

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty
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