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August 6, 2008

Doing it like YouTube: Hosting and optimising video

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Editor’s Note: Late start today for the guest bloggers, something that’s entirely my fault I assure you. In order not to delay further, I’ll get out of the way. Everyone welcome Kate to the blog.–Susan

Loading multimedia into video sharing sites such as YouTube, Google Video and MetaCafe can help to get your videos ranking in blended search results. But what happens if you want to host media on your own site to get that itsy bitsy ad sense revenue and some bit of ho hum traffic, but still want it to be available for indexing by search engines? Today we look at a couple of ways that you can create a page that will support the video optimisation process.

At SMX Sydney, Danny Sullivan covered the history of search where search 1.0 was based on keywords, search 2.0 was based on links and search 3.0 will be making search more vertical; understanding what we click on, what we visit and delivering personalised results including blended media types to users. Google wants to know when a video may be more relevant than a website; like searches on an artist or song name, “How To”, “top tips” or even Product Demos, and serve it up from within their SERPs.

Videos don’t necessarily rank in all indexes even though it might be the same search engine. Consider the search in Google.com from Australia and the same search made in the United States; different results will show. From our research we have found that blended search results are somewhat scarce in Google.com.au (search Australia) with less than 1% of searches resulting in a blended result and in Google.com.au (search the web) only around 10%. Google.com for similar search’s showed on average around 20%; an indication that either the quality of digital media is higher in the Google.com index or the technology is more mature. Whichever way you look at it, blended search is here to stay and cannot be ignored. It provides an opportunity to extend your online reach and brand awareness through object centric media such as video.

Checklist time: what do you need to make your video rank

If you are serious about ranking your hosted videos take some time to look at the kind of blended results appearing for your keywords. As search engines are mostly blind to the content of your video, you have to tell them what the video is about by including relevant keywords on your video landing page and ensuring your Meta data tells a similar story.

Copy YouTube

You know videos get indexed when they are up on YouTube so why not take a design leaf from their book and apply it to your own website.

Title – You enter one for your video when you load it: Did you know it appears up to 4 times in the source code of a YouTube page (the <title>, the Meta title, the ‘on page’ title, and once more in the java script).

Description – You write one that accurately describes your video: YouTube repeats it at least twice in the code (Meta description and then again in the on page description). Google has even said creating a transcript of the video is recommended – don’t make them guess.

Tags – UGC Keywords: YouTube asks you to ‘tag’ your video to help them with internal site search, these tags are automatically adopted for the Meta keywords, they appear twice in the javascript and then again as a link on the page. Before you finish your video landing page on your own site ask yourself – do my keywords appear at least 4 times in the source code? This is the ranking environment and you got to be in it to win it.

Name the video file: think about these things the way a search engine would – if your keyword is “Activities in Paris” loading vid123885.wmv may be less successful when all else is equal than paris-activitys.wmv (although paris-activities-things-to-do-france-porn-paris.wmv may be overdoing it just a bit)

www.mywebsite.com/video/keyword: Customize the URL of the page that houses the video to aid those ever important backlinks. Once everyone else has linked to you using your keywords check that your own site keeps to the same rules.

Map it for Google to find it: Set up your Video Site Map to enhance and extend your XML loving as per the Webmaster Guidelines. This will help ensure that your videos are indexed by Google video and the best bit is that you can re-use your title and description you spent so many hours obsessing over earlier…

Even though Google owns YouTube and so could be said to hold it a cut above the other video sharing sites, in reality the videos loaded here are still susceptible to spam just like any other page online. Spiders are trying to work out what content will be useful and YouTube video pages are crawled and assessed just like the rest.

Kate Gamble is an analyst with Bruce Clay Australia and enjoys the finer things online such as clean code, fascinating blogs, friendly comments and some of the worst search jokes around. She is a Twitterer, a Digger and an all round social media marketer. She started SEO Sydney with some of the best in the business and looks forward to the day when Search Engine Optimisation Analyst becomes an easily recognised job description in pubs around Australia.

Kate has worked on a wide selection of blue chip corporate websites in Australia including industry leaders in travel, jobs, legal services, financial services, software and personals. Kate is completely gadget centric and when not with her Iphone or laptop you will find her riding her two horses in the national parks around Sydney.





One response to “Doing it like YouTube: Hosting and optimising video”

  1. Peter James writes:

    Hi, I optimized my videos using your article tips and I got a good result for that. Thank you.



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