On Monday (I know – sorry Im late on this), the Google News team put up a blog post titled, "Making your video news more discoverable: best practices for news publishers." with some tips and best practices on how to optimize your YouTube videos to show up well in YouTube News and Google News.
To begin with, in case you were not already aware, if you are a , you have the option to submit your YouTube channel information for inclusion both into the YouTube partner program as well as within Google News. As a YouTube news partner, you can receive featured placement on the YouTube news page, and if you allow your videos to be embedded, they may appear on Google News. I don't need to tell you how much of an impact this can potentially have on a video's views.
Of course, more views = more revenue for YouTube/Google as well. So, it is in their best interest to help.
As Inbal stated in a Google News Forum,
…we are working hard to make it easier to get video news content indexed in Google News. One of our biggest challenges is to ensure news video are found in a timely fashion. So we thought we'd share six best practices on how news publishers can make their news video content more discoverable to Google News.
Most of the following tips are good tips to follow in general when trying to make your YouTube videos more discoverable. They also are tips that seem to follow common sense. That being said, common sense is not common.
Optimization Tips for YouTube News Videos
1. Upload News in a Timely Manner
Duh!! Im guessing that if you were to upload a video about the relaunch of Google's Search UI (2 weeks ago), you likely wont show on any news pages. So – upload newsworthy video content in a timely manner.
2. Give Each News Item it's Own Video & Title
Rather than having a single video that contains multiple news segments, give each story it's own video. They mention in the post that this makes for a better user experience. They also provide some insight into news indexing methods as they state that "it is easier for us to index…" and that they recommend the "video title is specific (not something generic like "Breaking News”). At the very least, the description of the video should match the first story in the video." Overall for YouTube optimization, I cant stress enough how important titles and descriptions are.
3. Choose the Right Category
Another common sense one – but I imagine that they have seen issues here. Choose category "News & Politics" (youtube_category_id 25.) They go on to say, "If you have multiple channels, clearly identify each category (politics, business, entertainment, sports, etc.)."
4. Provide Detailed Descriptions
This is a big one that almost any YouTube user could benefit from. Folks – there are 5000 characters available for the description field. USE THEM. Even Google states "… the more detail you can supply, the better." They also mention that you should explain the who what where information about the news just as you would in a snippet/teaser for a news story within a few sentences. Keep in mind, it may be important to re-write this as opposed to just copying from your own site's description. Unique content is always better.
5. Use the Keyword Tags
Use keywords that describe the story and are relevant. "Providing keywords that might not be in the description gives us more knowledge of what the video is about." The go on to say that proper nouns: people, places, companies, etc. are particularly helpful.
6. Make the Videos Embeddable
If you want your video to be eligible for inclusion into Google News in particular, you will need to allow your video to be embedded. Currently (I think that it is interesting that they qualified this with "currently"), this is a technical requirement. Additionally, if your videos are geo-blocked in certain regions, they will not appear in Google News. There are plenty of benefits to having your videos embeddable when it comes to YouTube optimization in general. Besides, if you don't want your videos to be embeddable, then either get off YouTube, or don't complain – it is free video hosting.
With the post about optimization, they linked to (interesting that they didn't embed it) the following video from last year:
Id like to add one additional tip, that I will be writing more about in the coming days.
Leverage YouTube's Closed Captioning
It works, and I can prove that they (both YouTube and Google) are using it to index the contents of the video, which makes perfect sense. More to come on this.
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