New YouTube APIs Offer Blended Search Boost

Now that Google has the ad market all wrapped up, they’re coming for your videos! To help you of course, not them. The newly released YouTube APIs are all about their commitment to helping you optimize your blended search efforts and growing your social community, and are not at all related to Google’s desire to place ads on everything that resides on the entire Internet. Definitely.

The big, much-hyped YouTube announcement yesterday alerted the masses to a new set of APIs that will allow site owners to increase their video content by giving their users the ability to upload video directly to YouTube without leaving their site. With the APIs, users will be able to sign into YouTube directly and do things like upload video, modify play lists, change subscriptions, and play with their favorites all from the comfort of your Web site.

I’ll admit, at first I was somewhat confused. I didn’t understand why giving users the ability to upload videos of their cat attacking the refrigerator was at all beneficial to a site owner’s needs. Then my dumb girl light bulb turned on and I realized that’s not what they were talking about and that’s not what these APIs are for. (It takes me longer to get things when Susan’s not around to explain them to me.) [Aw, that’ll help the poor girl feel better! –Virginia] – Right. Because she’s "sick".

These new APIs are actually super awesome for sites with strong communities where users are allowed to create their own videos and then share them with other members. For example, if we had a UGC section on the Bruce Clay site for users to upload their own search engine optimization educational videos, these new APIs would allow our community members to upload said videos immediately without having to go to YouTube first. What this does is keep users on your site longer, gives you the page views, and allows you to offer up more valuable video content, content that will increase your chances of appearing in blended search-friendly queries.

The APIs also give site owners the ability to categorize the videos users are uploading, which will make them easily searchable. And because blended search is all the rage, site owners will be able to edit YouTube metadata like titles and descriptions to make sure it’s as optimized as possible. Pretty smart, pretty smart.

It’s worth noting that the videos will still be hosted on YouTube, so anything users upload to your site will ultimately end up over there, which means you still get the fantastic YouTube reach and Google can still place ads on it from the YouTube side.

I haven’t heard anything about this, but I’m curious as to whether Google will allow site owners to place their own ads on the videos that appear on their site, or whether Google will step in and claim that advertising space for them. If it’s the latter, site owners may not be too excited about these new APIs, even if they are getting free video hosting, a kick in the blended search arena, and more traffic. Actually, maybe if they’re getting all that they won’t care that Google has forced their hand. We give Google everything anyway, right?

Another neat feature of the API is that site owners will be able to synch their videos with transcriptions and presentations, which could be pretty useful way to get some additional content surrounding your video.

Threat of Google world domination aside, I’d encourage you to play around with these APIs and see how they can help your site start taking advantage of all the opportunities presented by blended search. You can start toying with the full API by heading over to Google Code or use the extensive developers guide instead.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

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