Lee Odden

Optimizing for Video Search Engines

video optimization panel

One category of social media optimization that’s growing tremendously is online video sharing and social video search web sites.

This session on Video Search Optimization at the Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference was moderated by Chris Sherman and included Eric Papczun from Performics, Jon Leicht from Intuit and Gregory Markel from Infuse Creative. There was just a hint of a competitive flavor in this early Monday morning session, which made it a little more interesting.

For the most part, the session focused on the fundamentals of SEO. The basic concepts that are appropriate for search engine optimization also apply for video search optimization with a focus on “textbook SEO” tactics.

Things like anchor text, titles and descriptions are important but often overlooked. One interesting suggestion from Eric Papczun was to add a video sitemap page as you would a text sitemap to a web site. Annotate the video clips with keyword rich text and use anchor text in links to the videos. Another good suggestion was to use PPC to drive awareness to current stories, since it can take a while for video and regular search engines to index content.

Video search is somewhat like the days of Alta Vista in that it’s still a pretty straightforward process to optimize and get good results. Gregory Markel gave an example where one of their clients received more traffic from video search than their PPC campaign.

One of the greatest benefits of video search traffic is that it’s free, it’s viral and it can still be easily controlled for certain groups of phrases.

Popular video search engines and sources of videos:
MySpace
YouTube
AOL video
Yahoo video
Google youtube

Here’s a list of sites you can upload your videos to.

YouTube
Google Video
Yahoo Video
Netscape

How do you get your videos into the video search engines?
The most basic is allowing video search engine crawlers to find your video content or you can submit your video urls for indexing. Example: (SingingFish.com) Be sure to include your meta data when encoding your video files and use the clout of your big brand for easier submissions.

Other video inclusion or submission tactics include: file upload and providing a media RSS file.

Tips on video search optimization from Infuse Creative:
– use meta data
– encode multiple file types
– titles descriptions are weighted most heavily
– piggyback on topically popular content, by using – similar keyword phrases
– watermark your video content – end the video with “send to a friend” or some other incentive
automate process of tracking and reporting if possible
– myspace: A good number of marketers are creating multiple user profiles with multiple variations of the same video and variations of keywords. Is this spam? As long as the content is truly different no. I’m not sure what the search engines will say about that, but as mentioned before, it’s still a bit of the wild west with video search optimization.

Overall this was a great session and I know with the increased amounts of video as a component of social media will create both increased consumer interest and marketing opportunity as well as growing competition in the space. It’s best to “get in now” and stake a claim, so to speak, in terms of building up agency skill sets in this fast growing channel.

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About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.