Yesterday, Google finally announced that they are shutting down the ability for users to upload videos to Google Video "in a few months". I say finally because many of us expected this to happen for some time and given the efforts spent on enhancements to YouTube, it only makes sense that Google keeps Youtube as the source for uploading video.
"In a few months, we will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video. Don't worry, we're not removing any content hosted on Google Video -- this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service. We've always maintained that Google Video's strength is in the search technology that makes it possible for people to search videos from across the web, regardless of where they may be hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.
We're confident this decision is the right one for our users, and we're looking forward to making Google Video an even better place for you to search and find videos from all over the web." - Michael Cohen, Product Manager - Google Video
So, What does this mean for Video SEO?
Simple, Get your video sitemaps ready! If you dont already know, aside from uploading, there are a few additional ways to get your videos into the Google Video search index.
First off, you can create and submit a video XML sitemap to Google via the Google Webmaster Center. This method is Google's preferred method in terms of sitemap submissions. However, in addition to XML video sitemaps, you can also submit an MRSS feed via Google's Webmaster Center. Finally, Google crawls the web and looks for video content on its own. If you are serving flash movie files (FLV, F4V, etc...) through a video hosting provider, it is more difficult for Google to discover these videos. Therefore, we recommend creating and submitting a XML video sitemap.
Overall, it is still important to get your video up on Google Video as it appears that this is one way in which you can get video thumbnails to appear within Google organic search. Furthermore, if it is your strategy to get your videos seen by the masses, it is important that you get your video as much exposure as possible. Google video is an important destination for those searching for videos. According to the lastest Comscore metrics, Google properties (which include Youtube) have the largest share by far (40% share compared to the next highest - Fox, with 4% share) when it comes to both video views and unique viewers.
The change will not affect those that are using Google Apps Premier Edition.