A few weeks back, I was asked by Jeff Boudier, VP Business Development for Stupeflix, if I would be willing to answer a few questions about Video SEO for their blog.  You can view the whole interview here, but I thought that I would like to provide a few of my thoughts to ReelSEO readers.  Id love to know your thoughts.

How is practicing video SEO different from regular SEO?

This is a great question.  In my opinion, being that I am a SEO professional with a background that pre-dates video SEO, I see very little difference in terms of best practices for video SEO.  In the end, video SEO is purely an extension of SEO and it is primarily about:

  1. Creating quality, engaging, and unique content.
  2. Publishing that content in a way that it can be easily indexed by search engines,
  3. And describing that content in a relevant manner that follows best practices for SEO.

The only differences at this point in time are that;

  • #2 is a bit more tricky with regard to video indexing as guidelines often change and search engines are still working to better understand Flash
  • #3 is primarily about on-page text and metadata

In the future, I see both of these differences becoming less and less relevant as search engines becoming more attuned to crawling and classifying multimedia content.  In the end, video SEO, much like traditional SEO, will be about creating great content, and publishing that content according to publishing best practices.

What are the most common misconceptions about video SEO?

I think there are a few common misconceptions about video SEO.

First off, being that my background is in traditional SEO, I feel that video SEO should be focused more so on driving organic traffic back to the source of the video content.  As a result of this, my passion resides more so with hosted video SEO, i.e., search engine optimization of video that resides on the company's website.  I find it odd that video distribution is often lumped within the definition of Video SEO.  Certainly, distributing video to video sharing website like YouTube is a simple and effective way to get video assets placed within search results pages.  However, to me the strategic advantage of distribution has much more to do with branding and does not as easily result in an increase of traffic to the original source.  I do think that distribution is an important consideration for increased visibility of online video content, but I hesitate to call it video SEO.

Note in retrospect - By no means do I mean to reduce the value of video distribution. I think it is incredibly important and advise almost everyone to distribute your videos, especially to sites like YouTube, Metacafe,Dailymotion, etc...  not just for search engine visibility, but because these sites have a tremendous audience and social factor that will increase brand awareness as well as views to your videos.  Additionally, I should also state that there is a proper way of distributing video in a way that makes it more user-friendly, and as a result, more advantageous when it comes to search engine placement.  Therefore, distribution can certainly be optimized, I just hesitate to call that video SEO due to my background.  I guess I'd call it Distributed Video Optimization or Posted Video Optimization or something.  Anyone got a good buzz word for it?  I dont.

Secondly, I see blog posts across the internet on a daily basis that seem to point to video SEO as a unique and almost magical way to get great rankings within search engines and generate business.  At this point in time, while it may be easy to distribute a video asset and gain high ranking in the SERPS (search engine results pages), purely ranking in search engines for a set of keywords does not always translate to an increase in business.  Additionally, as search engines mature and as more and more video content is added to the web, those that excel with video SEO will be those that create great, informative content that is relevant to their business, product, or service.

Thanks to Jeff for giving me the opportunity to rant a bit about Video SEO.  For those of you that don't know about Stupeflix, they have a REST API that can turn pictures, videos, and text into video content. Here's an example implementation of their API producing videos on-the-fly based on the latest Twitter updates and Flickr images matching the video channel query for "Tiger Woods" - http://stupeflix.tv/tiger.woods/

  • http://www.mycompanymarketing.com seo pro

    Video SEO offers many of the same benefits as traditional SEO and the provision of good quality video on a website will give readers and other website owners a great reason to link to the site, complementing video SEO efforts even further

  • jim louderback

    I call it YTO - for YouTube Optimization, or MCO - for Metacafe Optimization as a way to differentiate. They are very different

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      I like that Jim... That's what I'm going to begin calling it

      • jim louderback

        Hey Mark, can you contact me? jim AT revision3 DOT com

  • Richard vd Boogaard

    Hi Mark,Good post. Having a discussion on hosted versus posted video fits my style, as you know...I tend to disagree with you. If video SEO is more about branding, why does that brand message have to be conveyed on a brand channel (i.e. own domain) instead of on a branded channel on YouTube? If your focus is on sales, I can totally follow you, as YouTube will not necessarily translate into direct sales (although there are notable exceptions such as Monty Python). Like most branding vehicles, YouTube operates in the first stages of the sales funnel (reach, attract, engage) but not so much the transactional side of the funnel (convert & support).The reason-why video SEO on video sharing sites can be much more effective than hosting the videos on your own site is simple - a measurable community factor helps to spiral the video to higher rankings. In YouTube's own words: "become a valued member of the YouTube community." The more users engage and interact with your content, the more bonus points you get from Google (akin to their page rank system). Since most websites do not have a community behind them, trying to propel video content to the top of the charts appears to be a lost battle from the start.So brands should be asking themselves why their own website is so important to them? And why it's a bad thing if users learn about your products/services in environments they already visit.However, as I concluded in my article on this site, doing both may be a sound strategy as well.

    • angelacarey

      Excellent article. Thanks for sharing!