Earlier this year, I was contacted by Nico McLane for an interview on the subject of Video SEO. Nico was looking for specific guidance with regard to the topic of Video SEO. To give you a bit more background, Nico wrote the following in an early email correspondence;
"The subject of VIDEO SEO frustrates me because everyone is telling us we need it, but for who and for what benefit?"
As we all know, Video SEO has generated a ton of buzz and hype within both the online video and Internet marketing industries over the past year (good for ReelSEO of course). There are a ton of companies that claim to offer video search engine optimization services and tons of blog posts popping up that offer readers tactical information about video SEO.
That said, I happen share similar frustrations with Nico in that I think that despite the hype, there is still a general lack of understanding when it comes to the subject. This is true not only with regard to the definition of "Video SEO", but also true with regard to an understanding of the actual benefits, tangible ROI, strategy, etc... I wont go into too much depth here with my feedback on the subject as I have written about this several times in the past. However, I can sum it up with the following:
"Video SEO is not a means in and of itself, it is a strategy and a set of best practices that need to be combined with best practices for producing, publishing, and syndicating online video content. It is the application of SEO best practices when publishing online video content to ensure maximum visibility across search engines and ultimately, your target audience. Ultimately, the ROI depends on many factors but is similar to that which can be achieved with traditional, oragnic SEO."
So, why am I telling you this long @$$ story?
Well, Nico wrote an excellent in-depth article titled, "In Search of Video SEO that Works" which was just published in the June/July 2009 issue of Streaming Media Magazine. Nico, among other things, is a talented writer for Streaming Media Magazine and streamingmedia.com; which, if you haven't already, I highly suggest that you subscribe to (click here for your free subscription).
Streaming Media magazine's readership is heavily weighted with C-level executives, presidents, owners, and industry leaders in large organizations. With that in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to solicit some additional expertise to join us in the discussion for a balanced view of the topic. Because Everyzing has worked directly with several large organizations with regard to video search and video search engine optimization, I reached out to their CEO, Tom Wilde, who participated in the interview.
In the interview, Tom offered the following when asked "What makes for good VSEO?"
"Optimize the video's presentation page using standard SEO techniques; this is also true for videos uploaded to sharing sites. Logical file naming schemes, site structure, use sitemaps and relevant keyword usage throughout the landing page will result in good VSEO."
Check your indexed videos - An Added TIP
As we've covered in the past, you can easily add a video XML site map or MRSS feed of your own hosted videos to Google for proper indexing. As Nico mentions in the article, two-way RSS feeds are also becoming much more dynamic.
"Even Google Video search is experimenting with outgoing RSS feeds and observing how video results are extracted and re-purposed"
Nico goes on to offer a simple and effective tip show you how to view a feed of your own indexed videos, as output directly from Google Video (see the image on the right). This tip may help you troubleshoot issues you may experience with only some of your videos from your sitemap or MRSS feed getting properly indexed:
- Simply do a search on Google Video (video.google.com)
- Restrict the search engine query to your site by adding "site:yoursite.com"
- Then add the following tag: ?&output=rss.
For example to view an RSS feed that shows 10 videos that are indexed in Google Video for our site, you can view the feed at http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=site:reelseo.com&num&output=rss
In pondering the future of video search, video SEO, and the semantic web, Nico concludes the article with,
"It's like trying to think about the size of the universe. If you sit and think about it too long, it's exciting and a little bit scary to have such endless possibilities. The secret is in the sauce, and no two recipes are ever the same."
I recommend reading the article in its entirety (http://www.streamingmedia.com/article.asp?id=11224) as she offers a thorough background of video search along with several actionable tips for both hosted video SEO, and syndicated video SEO.
Nico - thanks for the opportunity to share our opinions & expertise :-)