The holiday season is well on its way in the U.S. with our biggest feast, Thanksgiving, and largest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, behind us. Now, it’s more crucial than ever for advertisers to work like Santa’s elves to ensure their products and/or services land on everyone’s list. As both an online consumer and a dedicated online video enthusiast, I decided to write my own wish list specifically focused on online video. I am asking for a lot, but I feel optimistic that even if I don’t get everything this holiday season it’s possible I might get it sometime next year.
Here is my video wish list:
1. Include more timely, relevant videos in the SERPs. When I search for a popular musician, such as Michael Jackson, to learn about the latest happenings I saw broadcast on the news, please don’t show me his music video from 1987 or a video with his face in a strange couple’s ultrasound.
2. Offer more video channels for Google beyond YouTube. Currently, YouTube is the most popular online video site with an ever-growing audience. However, I would like to see Google shake it up a little more and include new types of video sites or edgier iterations of YouTube. Give us all you’ve got, Google!
3. Deliver more B2B and B2C online videos in the SERPs. As a consumer, I would like to see more videos that bring to life a product or service that I am searching for. I want to see more visuals with audio rather than clicking through ads only to find long narratives of text.
4. Provide video ads that are “Super Bowl worthy.” I want to see advertisers develop compelling videos that warrant a repeat view from both a content and entertainment perspective. Don’t bore me with a dry infomercial that doesn’t leave me hungry for more. Make my click worth the search and I’ll enthusiastically help your viral marketing campaigns by forwarding a link to your ad to my friends.
5. Target online audiences with video. With the majority of the online audience using video, I would expect to see more improvement in how advertisers target their audiences, specifically in the SERPs. Rather than just a contextual paid search ad, how about targeting your audience with a video ad? Yahoo is already allowing advertisers to do this with Yahoo Rich Ads in Search (RAIS), but I would love to see Google roll out a similar feature.
6. Make mobile video easy and accessible to all mobile devices. I dream of the day when I can search for a video and actually play it directly from my mobile device without the annoying message that lets me know that I need a required plug-in. Currently, Flash and video search are just not a good combination.
7. Allow for more real-time videos, specifically in the SERPs. Wouldn’t it be great if you not only searched and found information on a preferred retailer’s latest sales event, but you could also watch a live version of the event, including snapshots of available in-store merchandise?
8. Find new and inventive ways to optimize your videos. Search engines are limited in how they “read” video files to determine relevance ranking. I would like to see inventive ways to incorporate more search-engine friendly text with videos beyond the archaic methods of meta descriptions and anchor text. Or better yet, I would like to see search engines become even smarter in how they read videos. The new YouTube video captions could be a means to achieve this end.
9. Introduce new players to the online video space. With more than 40% of the market share, YouTube is definitely the dominant online video channel. How about a friendly competition to encourage continued innovation? I would like to see new players enter into the space.
10. Catch up with mobile and social marketing. Now that online video’s popularity is spreading as quickly as word of mouth; it’s time to see more of a video presence in both mobile and social. Seeing is believing—let’s see it materialize more in social and mobile.
This is my fervent video search wish list for this holiday season. Seeing that I’ve been an extremely loyal and passionate person when it comes to online video, I can only hope that online video Santa gives me everything that I want throughout the season or even into the new year.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.