Video Content Search Engine Optimization - Getting most out of your Business videos

When the search engines crawl normal content, they can get some kind of idea of what text is trying to say by using their natural language processing algorithms. They can get some idea of what this text says just simply because they put so much time and so much energy into developing these algorithms to get some kind of semantic feeling for what text means. Now, this doesn't translate directly into video because, part of the reason at least, is video is much bigger files. It takes a lot more processing to get an understanding of it. It is a lot more zeros and ones. With these Google and the search engines have provided Meta information that you can do about a video.
The two most important ones here are
  • Title of the video: what do you title your video. That's probably what people are going to search for, right. If it is the shoes video on YouTube or whatever it may be on YouTube. Those are a lot of times what people are searching for. That information turns out to be very important for video SEO.
  • The description is also very important because it gives you more text to describe it in more depth. This helps the search engines understand the video without having to go through all the intensive video processing.
As video SEO is maturing, we're starting to see more and more metrics start to affect the algorithm.
  • Engagement stats. The most obvious one here is views. How many times is a video viewed? I know that when I go to YouTube and I search for something, after I look at the text, the title and the description, I then look at the views. Has this been watched 30 times or has it been watched 10 million times? It seems very, very likely to me that click-through rates are going to correlate with high view rates also. Views are becoming increasingly important and are something that you should keep an eye on.
  • Ratings. So, on YouTube they offer a five-point scale. On things like Vimeo and other things, they use a thumb up and a thumb down. These are actual humans who are giving their opinions and their expertise on video content. This is very helpful because search engines are designed to provide results for humans. Any input you can get from humans is helpful for getting output for humans. 
  • Comments. What could be more human than commenting on videos? In YouTube's case, it is some of the lowest thresholds of intelligence we've ever seen on the Internet, which is really saying something. You have floor chant, below that you have YouTube comments. It is kind of rough, right. But this is a metric of actual human beings engaging with content and with the author or producer of the video. Its not the content of the comments, but the volume of it and the kind of themes that people are talking about. Are they saying, "this is awesome" or "this sucks?" 
  • Social metrics: Things like the amount of tweets or what people are saying in tweets, Delicious popular saves, or submissions to Reddit or Digg or any of those other things. How are people talking about this with their friends? So, you have things like the QDF algorithm, which is Google's Query Deserves Freshness algorithm. What this does is it will artificially inflate the ability for something to rank based on temporal metrics. So, if lots and lots of people are linking to something or tweeting about it, then it can artificially rank higher than things that normally wouldn't just because it is very important. You see this a lot of times with natural disasters. Things will just rise to the top when normally they wouldn't. Michael Jackson stuff. We saw lots and lots of QDF stuff really blowing, making things rank when normally there was no way they would. 
  • Duration: This one is more about the extremes, finding the outlier. If a video is three seconds long, it is probably not something that Google, Bing, or Yahoo will want to rank highly. At the same time, if it is something that is multiple hours long, they might want to rank it, but it is probably not what people are going to look for when they are doing video. One of the things about video and content on the Internet in general is that people want to consume it quickly. They like bulleted lists. They like quick pictures, inforgraphic types of things, and they like short videos.
Tactics
  • Video sitemaps: Have existed for a while, but the protocol was recently revamped by the major search engines. They've added the location of the thumbnail of the video, things like if it is family friendly or not, the URL of where the video is embedded. So, from an SEO perspective, this is really interesting. You can provide the URL of where it is embedded and then when the search engines index that content they'll link back to you. So, someone clicking on the SERP, clicking that thumbnail, is going to go to your blog, where you embedded the video, rather than to the hosting provider. A big win for us SEOs and for us content producers. 
  • Video Transcriptions. Take the audio from the video and turn it into plain text. This is something that the search engines can then use and interpret just like they do a normal web page. It is also important for human beings as well. People with hearing impairments or people using a different language can then go through the content and read at their own pace.