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Careful: Video Solutions & Video SEO Are Not The Same
Where 2 Get It, a location based services and mapping solutions provider for businesses, recently announced its own video search engine optimization solution: video inside landing pages for local businesses. However is this really Video SEO, or just SEO which happens to include video?
With declarations about Video SEO like those in Where 2 Get It’s recent press release announcing it as “one of the fastest-growing Internet search trends,” it’s easy to see why more companies are now promoting and augmenting their own marketing solutions with this same term. However, I often find this wider use generates increased misunderstanding—and sometimes lack of appreciation—of what Video SEO really involves. As a professional in the Video SEO space, and before that in the SEO space for many years, I can attest that Video SEO is just not the same thing as SEO, and despite what some companies may be implying, simply inserting video inside an page or site that’s optimized for the search engines just doesn’t qualify as a “Video SEO” solution.
A professional search optimizer who works with video will tell you that Video SEO has some very clear distinctions from traditional, text-based SEO. As someone who’s built web sites with video and optimized video for the search engines for a number of clients, here is how I’ve come to define the fundamentals Video SEO:
- Creation of unique video content
- A strategy of implementing related keywords and content inside and around the video
- Direct act of submission or indexing by the web search engines, or video sharing sites indexed by the
- web search engines, or even social media and networking sites accepting video and are indexed by the search engines
(Or, you offer a video program directly on your site allowing your clients or users to do this.)
Using some techniques, while separate from the actual video, are certainly good strategies for Video SEO:
- Individual, separate web pages dedicated to just the video content itself (these can also include a transcript of the video content)
- A video site map (links of all your pages
- A video section on your site (subdomain or folder) with inbound links to other video
- “Video” listed in your navigation scheme and site’s main link structure
Some things are not Video SEO but may have an indirect impact on search engine visibility include:
- Sharing features in the video (embed video, copy link, send to a friend, etc.)
- Ratings and comments
It is also important to understand the difference between a video solutions provider and a video SEO specialist.
The video solutions provider—hosting, content planning and production, publishing, exporting, distribution, submission, monetization, etc—is the catalyst. They can provide the tools or access to the solution; they do not implement the actual SEO work (video content appearing in search results) without external assistance.
The Video SEO specialist provides such assistance. They have the ability to actually implement any of these tools so the actual video content shows a direct improvement in a client’s search engine results—and more importantly, leading to higher conversions.
I had the opportunity to interview Manish Patel, CEO of Where 2 Get It, and ask him questions about his company’s example “Video SEO solutions” page Where 2 Get It featured in their press release—a single Office Depot storefront. Amish explained to me that Where 2 Get It incorporated its new video content feature as part of its Search Locator program, already touted as successful SEO local search solution for national, regional, even local brands. But does their new offering of video qualify as a Video SEO solution?
The answer: Yes, but only in their partnership program with Mixpo, which does provide video-specific landing page creation (separate from the Where 2 Get It page), submission to the search engines and video sharing sites, performance tracking, and multivariate testing. That being said, Where 2 Get It could have offered a much better example than the one featured in their press release. Some of the viewing on the video example don’t actually work (such as HD format), and a number of the standard video sharing and call-to-action features that Mixpo provides weren’t available, either.
Turns out that Manish agrees with my distinction. “The Office Depot example definitely falls more on the side of using video to supplement an existing SEO entity (the Office Depot local page). This example does not fully exploit or demonstrate Video SEO,” he said.
Glen Pingul, Marketing Director for Mixpo, confirmed that all of the features normally described in their video publishing platform are available to those participating in Where 2 Get It’s Search Locator program. So that would just mean that the press release example was not the best indicator of the features that could be offered to customers.
Its good to hear from the CEO of Where 2 Get It that they actually now do “get it”—meaning of course, the difference between Video SEO and SEO. While its an honest mistake, they should still replace their poor example with something that really showcases more of the actual Video SEO benefits they’re promoting, and hopefully other companies with similar Video SEO partnership will get better about doing that as well. Otherwise it will lead to the type of confusion that even CEOs will be at a loss to explain, and industry analysts like myself to do a double-take.
Grant Crowell is the Owner of Grantastic Designs and Senior Media Analyst for ReelSEO.com. His upcoming white paper, Video SEO: The Solution for the Newspaper Industry, is scheduled for publication in October 2008.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.