Video Search, Video Discovery, and Video SEO


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The following slides are part of my portion of a free webinar put on by Streaming Media and Grab Networks, titled "The “Reel” Story on Getting your Online Video Discovered,”

My slides in particular provide a bit of a high-level overview of video search and video discovery trends along with an overview of why Video SEO is important for online video publishers and online marketers.

Hope you enjoy. For more on the whole topic, please come by to

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Video Search, Video Discovery, and Video SEO

  2. 2. Video Search - Background
  3. 3. Video Search Engine Indexing
  4. 4. Video Search Engine Indexing Methods Video Search Engine Indices Largely Text Based – In File Metadata – Filename, etc.. – Surrounding page text – Social tagging – Closed captions – Transcripts, Etc… Advanced Video Analysis Technologies – Automatic speech to text recognition (ASR) – Optical character recognition (OCR) – scene text – Object recognition & concept detection – Facial recognition – Scene detection – Audio analysis
  5. 5. Video Search Indexing - Issues Problems with video retrieval mechanisms are evident: • Not YET able to “understand” video content – metadata reliance • Keyword-based searches with semantic expansion somewhat restricted • Advanced mechanisms are nascent and insufficient: – Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) • Only relevant if spoken word exists • Applies mostly to English video files • Audio quality - (e.g. field interviews) – Concept detection • Only as good as what goes in - quality • Metadata creation takes time & effort – hint – leverage automation in conjunction with human intervention What does this mean? • Search engines need to be told what a video is about • Optimization is crucial to discovery, indexing, and ranking
  6. 6. Video Search – The Players Video Search Engines – All depend primarily on file metadata & on-page text content – Automatic speech to text recognition (Google, Blinkx) – Object recognition & concept detection (Google) – Facial recognition (Videosurf) Meta Search – Aggregation of content from multiple sources (Most video search engines have moved in this direction) General Search Engines – Universal search, federated, blended, etc… Video Destination Sites – YouTube, Metacafe, blip TV, and many many more…
  7. 7. Important Search Industry Trends May 2007 - Google’s Universal Search • Google Launches Universal Search initiative to integrate listings from its news, video, images, local & book search engines into Google SERPS July 2008 - Adobe Partners with Google & Yahoo “Unlike HTML code used on Web sites &found by search engines, rich media today is opaque,” said Mark Randall, chief strategist of the company’s dynamic media group. “We want to make it more discoverable.” December 2008 - YouTube = Major Search Engine • YouTube becomes the 2nd largest search engine in terms of pure search queries • Beats Yahoo for first time
  8. 8. Video Search – Trends in Discovery
  9. 9. Video Search Discovery Trends Searches for Video – 38% of all US online users report using search engine results to discover video 1 • Vs. from a portal (19%) • Vs other video destination sites (11%) YouTube Searching – 54% of online consumers reported using the site to discover video 1 – June 2009 – 3.6 Billion search queries, 27% of all Google queries & second largest search engine 2 Search Engine Referral Traffic – Share of video referral traffic from search engines 3 • 11.18% - general search engines (Youtube excluded) • 0.63% - video search engines (e.g. blinkx, truveo, etc…) Sources: 1JupiterResearch/NPD Group Individual User Survey (6/08) | 2 Comscore Search Rankings (6/09) | 3Tubemogul (2/09)
  10. 10. Trends in Share of Search Referral Traffic % of category % ∆ in share of % of category % ∆ in share of traffic from traffic from traffic from traffic from Category search engines search engines Google Google 4/09 4/08-7/09 4/09 4/08 – 4/09 Health & Medical 46.29% 1% 33.88% 10% Travel 36.82% 8% 27.91% 20% Shopping & Classifieds 24.04% -5% 17.28% 4% News & Media 21.35% -2% 15.48% 6% Entertainment 26.51% 11% 18.78% 24% Business & Finance 20.91% 16% 15.01% 29% Sports 14.93% 20% 10.88% 30% Online Video** 36.04% 25% 27.24% 39% Social Networking** 17.73% 6% 11.87% 18% All figures are based on U.S. data from the Hitwise sample of 10 million Internet users. **Denotes a custom category Source: Hitwise, an Experian company
  11. 11. Videos Dominate Universal Search Results Videos Dominate Universal Search 38% of users who searched Google were served video in Universal search engine results pages Source – “Google Universal Search Results Searcher Penetration by Result Type” – ComScore – Jan 2008
  12. 12. Does this Represent a Shift to Search? Web Search Volume: “Video(s)” vs. “News” vs. “God” vs. “Sex”
  13. 13. Video SEO – Definition & Methods
  14. 14. What is Video SEO? The application of SEO best practices in order to ensure that video content achieves maximum discoverability across search engines & ultimately, visibility amongst your target audience Video SEO IS – Helping search engines more easily “understand” video content – To be used in conjunction with overall best practices for general SEO – Something to play an important role in an overall video strategy – A method to drive valuable traffic to your video content Video SEO is NOT – Smoke & mirrors – About “fooling” search engines – An end in-and-of itself
  15. 15. Options for Video SEO & Discoverability Options for Online Video SEO • Hosted - Website Video SEO – Optimization of video content that is on your website • Posted – Video Syndication SEO – Optimization of video content uploaded to video sharing sites, social media, etc… Commonality – General principles for on-page & off-page SEO apply
  16. 16. Video SEO Best Practices
  17. 17. Top 5 Things to Get Right - Strategy 1. Benchmarking – Measure Current State & Set Goals 2. Identify the Target Audience – Do your research (Keyword research critical) Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.“ - (Google) 3. Approach SEO Holistically – Focus on optimizing your entire website, while at the same time more deeply integrating your video content 4. Focus on Quality & Engagement – Nothing works as well for SEO as unique, quality content 5. Measure Success
  18. 18. Top 10 Things to Get Right - Tactics 1. Create Links to Your Video Section – Don’t make difficult for users to find Video Landing Page Anatomy 2. 1 Video/URL & Unique URLS w/Keywords 3. Use Embedded Players – Not Pop-ups 4. Optimize the Video Landing Page – Follow general SEO principles for titles, URLs, metadata, H1, etc… 5. Provide Context to Surround Video Content – Leverage robust metadata generation to dynamically build: • Contextually related links (products, videos, articles) • Related on-page text (tags, captions, comments) • Text transcripts of any audio content – Accessibility and search engine optimization tip
  19. 19. Top 10 Things to Get Right - Tactics 6. Make it easy for search engine crawlers to discover your video content. – Enable &expose MRSS feeds/ XML – Consider linking to your file & offering multiple file formats 7. Enable interaction & Social media – social bookmarking, embedding, commenting &rating 8. Link to videos with keyword rich anchor text – “Watch this” vs. “View the Harry Potter Trailer” 9. Create compelling thumbnails for your own SERPS – The thumbnail needs to be eye-catching and representative. It needs to show the potential viewer what they can expect from the video and it needs to be of interest, relevant, and high quality. 10. Incorporate video results within your own site search
  20. 20. Thank You Mark R. Robertson, Founder