Videos' impact on search rankings has been discussed here rather extensively in the past. A few months ago we interviewed Search Engine Marketing and Optimization veteran Bruce Clay who helps clarify the importance of on-site videos for search rankings.
"In the case of video, we believe that as one of the more important engagement objects, Google has actually started to build it into the algorithm. To us, that means if your website has engagement objects on it, video or mp3… it is going to be received by the algorithm better and your site will actually have an opportunity to rank better.
While this is very important, it only covers one side of the video discovery paradigm, namely - video hosted on a website.
So, what is the value of videos hosted off-site (e-commerce videos in particular) on dedicated video sites such as Youtube, Metacafe, Dailymotion and others?
Shoppers Watch Product Videos on Dedicated Sites
Thanks to videos accessibility and convenience we're all increasingly using this medium for consuming information and learning about the topics that interest us. Google and Yahoo caught on to this trend long ago and now promote this behavior by offering us blended search results and the option of "video search" explicitly. Yahoo went to the extreme of offering us to request filtering for video even before we enter our search query.
The huge availability of video content, coupled with the aforementioned advantages of the media, is encouraging people to attempt to find video content for all their queries, including any pre-purchase product research they're engaged in. At worst all that's been wasted is a minute's effort, but at best, the user gets an opportunity to see the product first hand, learn about its features, and perhaps even watch a review.
For online retail vendors this spells out one glaringly obvious fact: Not having one's products available on video portals means they're missing out on an increasingly popular exposure opportunity. When one considersYoutube is now the world's second most popular search engine, one begins to fathom how great this missed opportunity really is.
Additionally, if you've noticed, YouTube is testing e-commerce linking features with some partners like Zappos which indicates that even YouTube understands that people search for products.
There Are Some Benefits from Off-Site Linking
As you likely know, one important component of Search Engine Optimization is link building. It would stand to reason then that there would be value in having relevant linkage between videos hosted on various distribution sites back to related pages on a given website.
Professional SEO specialists reading this are probably guffawing in their seats right now because some video sites, such as Youtube, have the links in their video descriptions categorized as "no follow". However, some video destination sites do allow for "followed" links which can present an off-page SEO opportunity.
Advancing along this line of thought: What if a particular video, located on a video hosting site which hasn't classified its outgoing links as "no follow", was well ranked for a very specific key-phrase, and then deep-linked back to a particular page on a website dedicated to the very same topic?
SEO wisdom teaches us highly relevant deep links are a very desirable proposition. In theory at least this should have further SEO value for the video owner's site.
Regardless, adding links to videos hosted off-site is one way that e-commerce retailers can drive additional visits to product pages when viewers are interested in additional information (pricing, availability, etc...)
Treepodia's Announces New "Video Distributor" Feature
A few e-commerce video service providers have realized the value of video distribution and most recently, Treepodia, an e-commerce video technology service provider, they're calling "Video Distributor". It's an automated and scalable service for ecommerce vendors that's capable of uploading a vendor's entire catalog of product videos to YouTube.com, Google Video, Metacafe, Dailymotion and other video sites. Video Distributor is being offered either as a stand-alone service package or as an add-on for Treepodia's "Smart Video Platform". .
According to Treepodia's VP for marketing, Dr. Melody King, the service is targeted at helping online retailers increase their visibility:
"We know they (e-commerce vendors) are struggling to increase their visibility and achieve higher search rankings cost effectively. Video Distributor ensures product videos are viewed by as many customers as possible and improves search rankings for our customers products. Our commitment to automating the process was motivated by our desire to make this affordable."
Dr King referred us to the following examples of top results secured for their client's videos:
Video Distributor secured a top Google ranking for ElectronicShopping.com for its "Morphy Richards smoothie maker" while for WellPack.fr, the service secured a top Youtube result for the query "Kenwood Robot Chef".
When we asked Shmuel Gniwisch, CEO of Ice.com and Diamond.com, about his impressions of Treepodia's Video Distributor, he shared the following:
"We're thrilled with the results we've seen using Treepodia's Video Distributor service...Our organic search rankings are much higher now that our product videos are available on the major video sharing sites, and we're experiencing an increase in traffic to our site in part due to customers linking directly to product pages from YouTube.com and other video sharing sites. Searching for white gold solitaire earringsalready brings up our video (Ice.com) first"
Leveraging off-site distribution is an important strategy that all e-commerce retailers who are leveraging online video, need to pay attention to. It is nice to see that some e-commerce video service providers are enabling this functionality for their customers.
Congrats to Treepodia and its customers.