YouTube SEO is just a part of creating a marketing or promotional plan for a web based video. Whether done by a professional or as a DIY endeavor it is about as basic as shooting the video. At least it should be. Unfortunately it seems like YouTube SEO is the most easily (and often) overlooked part of uploading a video.
Youtube is the biggest video hosting site in the world and the third largest site on the web. It is so big that it has its own search engine. Yes it is part of Google but it does have its own, in house, search engine. So why don’t people pay more attention to SEO of video when they upload to YouTube? Every day I see countless videos with either bad SEO or none at all.
I am going to make a “how to” video on the proper way to do YouTube SEO on a channel and on individual video pages. For this post I want to focus on an ongoing experiment I am currently running. I think it illustrates the benefits of proper YouTube SEO on organic search results.
I made an info video that was my analysis of the new YouTube commenting system. It was a demonstration of what you can do with good YouTube SEO of video and other little tricks I have picked up over the years. I think it illustrates that a good foundation page can do wonders for a video promotion or video marketing campaign.
The story about the new youtube comment system broke Sept 24th of this year. I didn’t post the video until October 3rd so it was kind of old news by then. The entire tile of the video was; New YouTube Comments System Creates Opportunities.
I checked on the video last night (6 days after posting it) by searching on several search engines for the term; New YouTube Comments System. I figured that was generic enough as a search term yet the main point of any story on the topic. I searched without being signed into the search engines and without quotes or any modifiers on the search term.
The Results of YouTube SEO Pre-Planning
Google: Page 4, second position out of 1,420,000,000 results (my blog post)
Google Videos: Page 2, sixth position out of 662,000,000 results (the video on YouTube)
Bing: Page 1, top position out of 158,000,000 results (the video on dailymotion)
Yahoo: Page 4 top spot out of 158,000,000 results (the video on dailymotion) Interestingly the official YouTube blog post announcing the news was 2 spots below my post in the Yahoo results.
aol: Page 4, second spot out of 1,100,000,000 results (my blog post)
Analysis of My YouTube SEO Results
Go ahead and check it if you want. It would be interesting to see if the results I am seeing carry over for you and to what extent. I tried to be as anonymous in the search as I could. I did the search on Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer with their web histories dumped. I tried it on another computer that I don’t use and on several mobile devices. The results were very similar across the board. Except in Firefox the story/video was on page 2 on bing, and on Internet Explorer it was on page 3 on aol.
This brings up an interesting observation. Do different search engines give different priority to video sites? I noticed that Bing ranked the video version I put on Dailymotion higher than the version on YouTube. Yahoo (powered by Bing) was the same. On aol (enhanced by Google) my blog post containing the video embedded from YouTube showed up first. Everybody talks about YouTube SEO or SEO on Google because Google is #1. But many people still use Bing and even Yahoo and aol. Those search engines don’t use the same algorithm as Google and this needs to be remembered when doing YouTube SEO.
Apparently you should give some consideration to uploading your music video or video marketing campaign to several high profile sites. This is good SEO anyway as it can help create backlinks to your website or social network. It seems to have the additional advantage of bypassing the limitations on exposure presented by the big search engines favoring one video site over another.
This experiment was designed for a specific set of circumstances. It was built around a news release so there was a narrow window of relevance. Because of this there was no time to build back links to the posts. They had to stand on the strength of their content and their initial SEO design. Of course the sites the video was uploaded to helped as well because of their position on the web.
Remember that with a video, like an image the search engines don’t know the content. You have to tell them in your video description, title and keywords. The actual content of your video is very important of course because that is where you get views and social shares. Bad keywords lead to association with sites that are not relevant to your content and from there to bad comments and short view times from those who do click on you expecting something different.
Note: With marketing videos where there is a lot of speaking Youtube now tries to create a transcript of what is said in the video. It posts that on the video watch page. In this way the search engine can now see into the content of your videos. It is therefore important to bring good SEO practices into the script of your video marketing effort or web based show on YouTube.
This post is another experiment. While it is about a specific Youtube video it is of more general interest and will be more evergreen over time. This will allow page rank to develop and be helped by backlinks and references by other sites. This is important on Google. From what I have been reading such links still account for up to 40% of search ranking in Google.
I can’t close without making a point. If I can do this for myself I can do it for your music video, or video marketing campaign too!