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August 21, 2007

Video Search Optimization

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Sapna Satagopan is moderating this afternoon’s panel with speakers Gregory Markel (Infuse Creative, LLC), Jeremy Clem (Performics), Sherwood Stranieri (Catalyst Online) and Stephen Baker (Everyzing). Zing!

Sorry. Blogging responsibly now.

Up first is Sherwood Stranieri.

Sherwood says we’re here to look at online video and its impact on search. Lots of people are looking into and playing with it. Marketers are looking at as a new a channel they can dive into. Video is not only an opportunity; it’s also a responsibility now that video is showing up in the SERPs.

Sherwood presents just one slide of statistics and tells us that us that according to Hitwise, in July 2007, YouTube’s market share exceeded the other 64 video portal sites combined. No wonder Google bought them.

Video is a compelling search engine optimization channel. Video in 2007 is still mostly an entertainment play. Social/viral can transfer value to your search engine optimization efforts through video:

  • Digg, etc >> blogs >> thousands of links.
  • Those links result in a sugar rush of traffic.
  • But those links also contribute to your site’s rankings – and that pus you in front of your target audience.

Thanks to viral, a video Web page can outperform a conventional Webpage in standard search results.

Sherwood presents a series of video strategies for different industries and applications.

Video for Content Providers: From bloggers to television networks, video can be used to bring visitors to your site. Teaser strategy: Upload a few select videos to portals like YouTube; provide links back to related videos on your site.

The goal is to get them back to your Web site to view ads and explore your other content. Video search engine optimization is a key element in establishing "video.yoursite.com" and viral-driven linking helps that. And remember, videos now appear in Google’s Universal Search. Video search engine optimization is now mainstream search engine optimization.

Video for Pharmaceutical Companies: Yes, it’s less fun, but it’s not totally uninteresting (or at least it doesn’t have to be). It’s kind of like the stuff you watch on the Discovery Channel (ooo, low blow!). On-site strategy doesn’t have to dovetail with portal strategy. You can do interviews with patients to make the drugs seem more real and more trustworthy. You can do videos on newsworthy topics like AIDS, flu, outbreaks, fad diets, etc.

Video for E-Commerce: Follow the buzz and promote your hottest products. Showcase anticipated uses – demo high-tech products, build a deck if you sell high power tools, show test drives for cars. Sherwood talks about the infamous iPhone Will It Blend video.

Video for Consumer Packaged Goods: Who wants to see a video about laundry detergent? He doesn’t know either, but some products can create tremendous buzz. Be choosey and get creative. He says so far when videos get famous it’s been by accident – videos like the Diet Coke/Mentos videos. Videos with millions of views start to rival your TV advertising.

Popular videos become a positive and permanent addition to brand equity. The Mentos commercial is still ranking number one in the search engines for its keywords.

As noted above, most of today’s video search "success stories" are happy accidents. Be imaginative and find ways to demonstrate the value of your products in an entertaining way.

Sherwood ends by telling the audience to add him on LinkedIn. Nice.

Next up is Jeremy Clem.

There is a huge opportunity in video. Seventy-five percent of US internet users watched an average of 158 minutes in May. They viewed more than 8.3 billion video streams, 72 percent watched news online and 76 percent helped drive The Viral Chain.

Video consumption is no longer isolated to TV. It now includes video sites and search. Video is on the rise.

Users are watching videos on YouTube (49 percent), MySpace (12 percent), and Google Video (5 percent). But they’re not going directly to the sites to do it. They’re finding them through the engines.

The roadblocks to video are that search is still very dependant on the text from video’s corresponding Web page. There’s a lack of simple and consistent taxonomy for site producers to use. Video technology is unfriendly to search engine crawlers.

Think like the video searcher. When you’re optimizing your video, use the terms users are likely to be searching for. He talks about the Michael Richards and David Hasseloff videos.

If you want videos to rank you have to surround them with HTML. CNBC.com does a nice job of surrounding videos with text content. Include social bookmarking tools that facilitate easier distribution.

Make it easy for crawlers to find your video content by putting your video directly right off your root. Create a video site map with the H1 tag reading "video site map". Repeat news and video keywords. Provide RSS feeds. Link in the global header. Put a video search on your site. Use primary keywords in text links.

Tag your video files with relevant scenes. Split up your video into multiple scenes and tag those individually. Do you want to site through a 10 minute debate video or do you want to just listen to the question you’re interested in? Probably the latter.

Make video embeddable and imprint your brand logo. It creates brand awareness and visibility. Search marketers should target generic video search terms like "news video" to build online awareness.

Best Practices for video optimization

  • Train editors to think like video searchers
  • Encode for the ride keywords
  • Use keywords in filename
  • One video per URL
  • Add tagging
  • Keep video files in one directly
  • Surround video with on page relevant text
  • Crosslink to videos using keywords in anchor text
  • Create an optimized video site map
  • Upload videos to search engines
  • Add informative Meta data
  • Allow video files to be embedded and include a logo

Gregory Markel is next at bat.

Gregory is super excited about his presentation because he’s going to show us everything. He starts off by showing us a number of stats but flips through so fast that I can’t write them down. I think there was a 7 somewhere. Maybe it was a 70?

Ooh, I got one: 8 percent of males and 66 percent of females watch online video. Video search is influencing regular search results due to Google Universal Search. [8 percent, really? Are you sure you're not missing a 0? --Susan]

Three basic approaches to video optimization types

  1. Video Files Metadata Optimization: Talking the source video file and infusing it with your keyword triggers in the Title, Description, and Keywords tags. Make sure your content is feature on its own page with relevant surrounding text and properly embedded link elements.
  2. Upload Optimization: Most popular. These type of video search engines required that your upload your video search files. Add a social flair by getting your "friends" to submit or vote for you on the social media sites.
  3. RSS Optimization: Submit your video to RSS.

[Gregory talks too fast.]

There’s a startup company called tubemogul.com that is FREE and has put together the first standardized upload system. They’re currently uploading to 9 video search engines and is really a one-stop universal upload shop. They are reporting views, which engines are most popular, comments, and ratings.

Some Tips: Again, keyword-infuse and target all of your video metadata. And also, know that some video search engines are beginning to use search recognition and optical character recognition, therefore, make sure your audio files is targeted and audible!

Okay, Gregory is done. Thank goodness. Someone take away his coffee.

Stephen Baker is up next.

Core online media problem: Search engines have historically had very little to work with in terms of properly discovering and indexing multimedia content.

Audience Reach: Transcripts yields crawler friendly content rich pages. Metadata analysis provides a broader spectrum of relevant terms for optimization. Content behind inbound links and anchor text in more visible to crawlers. Site level optimization is improved with more opportunities for outbound links.

Content Access: EveryZing indexes the full content of Fox Sports Multimedia files and as a result is able to significantly increase the number of keyword results. Greater discovery lends to increased consumption and enhanced monetization opportunities.

From a consumer standpoint, automatic extraction of key terms and concepts for tagging, categorization.

Context Monetization: Tags improve ad targeting. Full text output creates contextual adverting opportunity. Sponsored video inventory.

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One response to “Video Search Optimization”

  1. Angelo writes:

    Excelent post Bruce! Looks like I’m going to have to incorporate a whole lot of video to mi blog! A nice idea to follow up on this would be to post a ‘basic video recording kit’ for those of us who haven’t done it before. What equipment, how to edit, how to post it. Just an idea. I can imagine Gregory gave you a hard time writing and paying attention…



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