Here's another one of our interviews from the Streaming Media West 2009 show. In this interview, I spoke with Dr. Pete Kocks, President of Truveo and VP at AOL Video. I asked Pete if he could provide some tips for our audience with regard to video search engine optimization. Truveo is a well known video search engine and they certainly know a thing or two about what it takes to index and rank videos so I knew that Pete would provide some great insight into video search optimization.
At the Online Video Platform Summit, I was honored to speak on a panel titled, "Optimizing Video Search and Visibility" along with Pete Kocks, Tom Wilde of Ramp (formerly Everyzing) and Lou Schwartz of Multicast. In the following video, Pete provides a bit of a recap with regard to the 2 important topics that he discussed with the panel.
Video Search Engine Optimization Tips
Pete talks about what he considers to be 2 very important, but often overlooked tips for video search engine optimization.
1) Page load time is extremely important.
We rank order all the different major websites on the Internet to see who's fast and who's slow. ... We don't really want to send somebody to a place that is a slow moving site. That's also true, by the way, for all the major search engines. ...It's very important that the pages load fast...
I hate to say it, but this is one of the seemingly obvious tips that I have not put enough emphasis on in my own presentations. If you think about it, the search engines don't want to spend time waiting for your site or video to load and more importantly, they do not want their users to have to wait as that waiting can cause an increase in abandonment and a decrease in satisfaction. The job of a search engine is to satisfy its users and providing relevant search results is key to that, but there are other factors that provide for a good user experience, not the least of which is page load time. After all, the more quickly that a user can come back to the search engine, the more quickly that search engine can monetize the traffic in addition to providing better usability, which in the end, will increase the likelihood of that the user coming back where the search engine can monetize again.
Search engines want people to constantly be coming back to them to find what they are looking for. If it takes them too long to find it because the end site is slow, they're not going to send traffic that way. So, if you want to increase traffic to your website, make it fast, really fast. It's much more important than many other things...
2) Thumbnails are the what the user clicks
The other, and this is very noticeable to anybody that is in the video search space, is the thumbnail. If you're creating a thumbnail for your video, you should spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what that thumbnail is. First and foremost, it's what the user clicks. ...If your videos are contained in a list of other videos, regardless of where that list is, and yours is the better thumbnail, most video search engines and most algorithms will take into account 'Oh, the user decided on this one and not these other ones to click on,' and therefore, that one becomes more popular. So, it's really in your best interest to make the best thumbnail you can for all the content you have.
On the Difference Between Web Search and Video Search
In web search, people do keyword search, they type in keywords, they then refine that until the very specific thing that they're looking for is found. In video search, people come into our website, they type in a couple different keywords maybe, and then they immediately start browsing the result set, not just looking for a specific video, but really looking to be entertained.
In considering this difference between web search and video search, you can see even more why page load times and thumbnails are so important.
If you haven't already, check out Truveo.com as they are perhaps the worlds largest video search engine. Additionally, if you are a content producer, consider submitting your video MRSS feed to Truveo by setting up a . Although Truveo does a great job crawling the web to find video content, it is always a good idea to tell the search engines where your video content resides so they don't have to look for it.
Thank you Pete for your time and thanks for the great tips.