Monday, 15 December 2008

4 basic video SEO tips

Since before YouTube launched in 2005 video has slowly become a bigger and bigger part of the internet. Video specific search engines have cropped up including Blinkx and Google Video, the latter feeding its results into the main Google search listings.

Video is another way to reach your users so the search optimisation of online video is nearly as important as the SEO of text.

Metacafe and YouTube1. Exposure - Put your videos on video sharing websites such as YouTube and Metacafe. You can of course put videos on your own site either via flash player or YouTube embed code but the advantage of video sharing websites are their large amount of video hungry users.
Google Video and BlinkxVideo search - You'll appear in video search websites such as Blinx and Google video if your videos are on YouTube or Metacafe but you can add your own Media RSS feed of your videos to these sites too.
(Clearly rainbow coloured logos are a prerequisite of having a video search site).

Useful link - Here is a list of video sharing and video search websites plus the relevant links to their submission pages.

2. Keyword optimisation
Screenshot of YouTube video titleOptimise video much like you would images.
  • Include keyword rich and relevant titles and descriptions - in the case of video sharing sites this is what appears as the page title and description in search listings.
  • Adjacent text is also likely to affect the video SEO. Google explicitly states for images that they analyze "the text on the page adjacent to the image, the image caption and dozens of other factors to determine the image content." I don't think it's presumptuous to assume this may also be a factor in video SEO.
Closed Captions Logo3. Closed captions and transcripts
When included in the video closed captions are an option that can be turned on by the user. This includes things such as subtitles but also environmental sounds, musical score, different languages etc.

These are of great benefit to users and vital for accessibility. Closed captioning allows your video to reach a far greater audience. YouTube explains how to add closed captions.

Their benefit to SEO is not obvious outside of the fact that the most usable and accessible sites tend to invite the most links.

However separately available video / audio transcripts CAN be particularly good for SEO, in addition to the embedded closed captions. If you have the transcripts then include these for download (as PDF) or even on a separate web page. This provides text that can be indexed not only extending the reach of the video but producing good content. More on this here.

4. Alternative HTML content - with the recent addition of flash indexation by Google you can use the SWFObject code to put alternative text behind the video for SEO.

Google Audio Indexing (GAUDI)We may at the moment just be stuck with the above optimisation methods but it's possible Google may start reading your video's audio tracks in the near future. Google have started beta testing GAUDI (Google Audio Search) on their YouTube political channels. It’s an audio search of YouTube videos. They take the audio tracks from videos using speech recognition technology and automatically convert them to text.

Useful links: ReelSEO - Fantastic video SEO site that I’ve just discovered.

Related posts
How to optimise your PDFs for SEO

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