Is Video The Future Of Search?
Online video is fast becoming a global phenomenon (if not already) and with improved technology, we appear to be experiencing the birth of a potential rival to the most common and popular source of entertainment and news since first commercial transmissions more than fifty years ago – the television. With the continual growth in popularity in online video sharing sites, such as YouTube and Yahoo Video, video is no longer limited to commercial television and handy cams. Such afore mentioned sites have provided people with opportunities to share their videos, express their freedom and to reach potentially unlimited viewers globally.
In terms of search, users want to be engaged and as a consequence are spending more time on video sites. Therefore it is no coincidence that videos are increasingly ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS) as Google has been quick to adapt to what users want ( videos engage the user and provide a greater search experience). Considering the above, it is time for every web site owner to focus on video search optimisation immediately for the following reasons:
1. Online Video Destinations Are Popular
People love watching video, even the thousands showing other people’s stupidity which usually results in some excruciating injury! Alright, maybe not everyone is like me and takes pleasure in viewing other people hurting themselves but there are millions of online videos available that are not only entertaining but also educational and informative. According to a recent report from Nielsen the number of users from the USA frequenting online video destinations has climbed an incredible 339% since 2003. This is hardly surprising since the technology and infrastructure were hardly available back in 2003. However it’s still a significant increase and a strong indication of the fast growing popularity of video sites and the importance of optimising your videos to rank in search engines.
2. Users Spend More Time On Video Sites
In the same Nielsen report it was discovered that the time spent on video sites during the same time period has increased by a whopping 2000% and that in the last year the time spent by users occupied with online video increased by 71%. The more time a user spends engaging with your video the greater opportunity to make a conversion or entice the user to visit your site.
3. Online Video Is Part Of The Social Media Move
If you don’t know the importance and popularity of social media sites over the last couple of years there is a good chance you have been hiding under a rock. However for those that don’t know there are 87% more online social media users than in 2003 (spending 73% more time on these sites) and much of that can be attributed to video, due to its ability to engage people with common interests to band together and form online social communities .
4. Video Explains and Engages Users Attention Quickly
As mentioned above, video can engage visitors attention quickly as people then have the ability to visualise how something works, what its uses are or just what a person, product or thing looks like. Online visitors are savvy and smart and therefore commonly have shorter attention spans and if the video does not engage them within the first 30 seconds there is a strong chance they won’t be hanging around to find out more. Thus the underlying video message needs to be communicated in this time and encourage interaction or further exploration from the user. Again this confirms why your videos require optimisation!
5. Search Engine Rankings
Everybody wants to rank well and be found in search engines for their related services and products. Video is an integral part of blended search and we believe that adding videos to SEO landing pages will improve rankings . The time to optimise videos online for search engine rankings is now.
6. Television Shows Are Moving Online
If you haven’t heard of Hulu yet then you will soon. Not currently available outside the USA the site (a collaboration between Fox and NBC) offers television shows and movies for free and has grown to overtake Yahoo Video as the second biggest video site in terms of total video streams. This begs the question of what will happen in the near future as online television and movies are freely available at a time convenient to the user to watch? It’s worthy to note that YouTube now also offers full length shows and movies and this brings us to the next point.
7. Online Advertising in Videos Has Commenced
With television shows moving online, so is advertising in videos. Search engine marketing efforts will no longer be predominantly pay per click in search engine results and will need to be concentrated within videos to capture potential visitor’s attention.
With video becoming so prominent online and particularly in search results it is apparent that it will play a large part in the future of search. What does that mean for those of us in the Search Engine Optimisation game? It means roughly the same thing that Google meant when it arrived on the scene and started using links to rank pages, we adapt. That has been the success of the SEO industry, when the search engines or users throw something completely revolutionary at us, we famaliarise ourselves with the new technology and either adapt existing tools and methods or develop new ones that allow us to do our jobs effectively. That’s the dynamic nature of our industry, adapt to the new innovations or find yourself a new trade.