Online video has become incredibility opportunistic for many new businesses to enter the space, with more people claiming to be "experts" in Video SEO. But can anyone just say they're a video SEO specialist? What level of "expertise" is needed to distinguish ones self from those just claiming to be and exploiting our industry at the expense of real, committed experts as well as potential customers?

poser |ˈpōzər|, noun – a person who acts in an affected manner in order to impress others.
Definition of a "Video SEO poseur" – someone who feigns expertise in online video marketing and search engine optimization.

The lure of Video SEO for the poser

Watch this video below and ask yourself: How many "questionable" things can a Video SEO professional find?

With all the new opportunities and special promotional advantage to clients, it naturally follows that many companies are now and re-structuring their business marketing to advertise that they do Video SEO. But when any new industry grows like Video SEO certainly has, it picks up a lot of new companies that earlier adopters may find to have credentials that I find to be rather questionable.

The industry of search engine optimization (SEO) started out much the same way. Once it reached a level of mainstream business attention, a much larger pool of companies jumped in with a real knowledge of the workings of the search engines,  applying their antiquated marketing mentality to the new media. They would say things like, "Meta tags are all you need to show up at the top of search results!", or claim to "guarantee" top rankings, or many other questionable practices – some that were completely false, and others that were non-permissible "spam" activities. Be it ignorance or deception from these businesses, it thrived for a long time because it appealed to the nature of clients who were lured with false promises and short cuts. But the result was harmful to the legitimate SEO specialists, and leaving a black eye for the industry  for some years. Most people I would talk to about business events during this era, thought that a search engine optimizer was someone who did all of these things, and it to years to educate customers on the truth.

Why Video SEO posers are bad

Posers are all about short cuts. They don't want to bother themselves with real knowledge and experience of Video SEO, and so for them it becomes a lot more about image and promises, than  real substance. People without proper training, skills or experience leave a bad impression for customers of what the industry is about. That decreases the market value of the industry, which hurts everyone.

ALSO ►  Gary Vaynerchuk: YouTube Channel Review - Through the 'Reel' Wringer

So when I see a video done by people claiming to be experts who I really think aren't (and well beyond the benefit of doubt), I feel indignation, even taking it as an offense to my profession and myself. When people who only have a traditional understanding of video (and maybe a basic understanding of SEO) act like that makes them automatic experts with web video marketing and Video SEO, it really just gets my gonads and squeezes. Really, can just anyone say they're a Video SEO specialist? Or do we need to now set up some real standards?

Don't get me wrong – I'm actually very much in favor of new people and companies wanting to do Video SEO, as long as they're willing to learn it, first! Video SEO can be a really nice big pool; can you blame me because I don't want the new kids shitting in the pool?

How to pick out the Video SEO poser

Here are just a few quickies at the top of my head for how you can distinguish between a real Video SEO professional, and a wannabee:

  • See what video work they have online. Not just on their own site, but on any video sharing websites. (Are they promising you to show up in YouTube, but have very little YouTube content of their own to show for it?)
  • Request their search engine results. Is their video content showing up in Google's blended results?
  • Request conversion stats. What's the traffic? Comments? Links?
  • Request customer testimonials. Can they demonstrate any leads? ROI?

Message to posers: Learn Video SEO first, or be exposed!

Video SEO has now experienced enough growth as an industry that it needs to police themselves from posers, otherwise it brings everyone else down.  I want as many people as possible to benefit from Video SEO, just not at the expense of people like myself who are actually willing to learn it and do it. Our industry deserves to be treated a lot better than as a phony marketing ploy.

  • Andy G

    oh my mistake.... sorry :) I like your site

  • Jaan Kanellis

    Andy I am obviously talking about the crappy video in the posting. What the hell else would I be talking about?

  • Andy G

    I hope to God you are'nt talking about us.

  • Jaan Kanellis

    The funniest part is that these guys want you to pay them to make crappy video like the one above for you!

  • Jay Spencer

    I'd have to agree with Andy on that. Interesting article Mr. Crowell it's good to see that other people in the industry share the same thoughts.

  • Andy G

    regarding the video:

    1. I lost interest in the 1st 15 seconds.
    2. The speaker probably works at a local hardware store.
    3. cheesey and more cheesey
    4. way too long....internet video should be short and sweet.
    5. LOL times one million

  • Andy G


    I agree with you very much. We too get really frustrated with a local company that has videos in their portfolio that are clearly designed for TV and not internet. They are marketing themselves as video seo specialists. ReelSEO, SearchPro Systems and a few others are the real players in this space when it comes to ORGINAL creative content. These are sometimes the same SEO people that discredited the idea of optimizing video a year ago. Internet video should be for the most part INFORMATIVE with some viral factors if possible…….. that is one of the main functions of Google, to organize information due to relevancy. People usually search for information when doing a search on Google or any other major search engine. I wish I could name this company but don’t want to hurt anyone …..but they are right under your nose guys…. Anyways…Grant I really like this article and your audio piece. Great work! Hopefully we can all meet at an expo or something. I never had the opportunity to talk with you, but hope we can soon.