A Business Technology Place

Video affects your search engine results

Last week I posted about how video is the fastest growing advertisement method on the internet.  Also this past week, Douglas Karr posted on Marketing Tech Blog the effects video can have on search results.  Karr gives a great example of not only how video can rank highly in search results but the importance of the description of the video as a secondary way to drive customers and prospects to your web site.

I decided to do a test of my own with a video I posted on YouTube last November. The video was part of game recap between Peachtree Ridge and Brookwood high schools that accompanied a football story I wrote for the Suwanee Patch.

I first logged out of Google so that my profile could not influence the search results. Then I searched “Brookwood Peachtree Ridge Football 2011”.  My video appeared as the number four  natural search result. The full story I wrote wasn’t even on the first page of search results.

Brookwood Peachtree Ridge Football Search Results

That’s significant. The video link is posted on my YouTube channel contains no backlinks (I just created the first one) and I have just a handful of videos on it. Yet it ranked higher in the search results than some media pages including the one I provide content to!

Just below my video was a second video from the same game. This content wasn’t sourced from YouTube. It was embedded on the owning sports site. At first I thought it was for a different game between the two schools because the date said 2008. After watching it, I discovered that it was the same game in November 2011, but the owning site posted it to a page for the 2008-2009 sports videos. This emphasizes the point that Douglas Karr made in his post that the surrounding page and content for videos will have impact on the search display and could affect your search results.

The lesson for technology marketers in all this is that videos can provide influence for their content but can also provide an added lift to your search results. If you are already using videos as part of your marketing strategy then find out how they rank in relevant keyword searches. If you are not making videos for products and services then now may be the time. YouTube is a convenient host but you can use your own site as long it’s capable of adequately supporting video playback and is setup to allow search engine indexing.

Increase your search results rank with social media

This week, while at the eTail conference in Baltimore, I heard vendors and speakers talk about increasing Internet search results rank by contributing content to sites classified as social media sites. How does this work and what does it really mean? I’ll translate into simple talk to explain.

Search engine ranking basics

The complete system and criteria used by search engines to rank pages are not known. Marketers and search engine consultants base recommendations to clients from pieces of information that are published by the search engine providers as well as best practices and experiences from things they have done to effect search engine results in the past.

One common principal behind using social media to increase search engine ranking is called link building. In basic terms, the more external web sites that link to your web site the better. This is because the search engines see external links to your site as an indicator of authority and relevance. The higher your authority and relevance, the more likely your site will show in search engine results. Think of it as people voting for a candidate in an election.

Using social media to build links

Each time content is created on a site, it’s an opportunity to write your about brand and you’re your product/service can solve problems or benefit others. Typically each time you do this, you would also include your web site address. When the search engine robots look at the social media sites they will index and count that external link to your site.

So how can you create relevant content on social media sites with links back to your site? Here are few examples:

  • Leave comments on blog entries. Make sure your comments are relevant to the topic of the blog entry and add value to the discussion. This is not a space for a sales pitch.
  • Create blogs entries about your brand, product, or services. Explain how they add value.
  • Pay others to create blog entries about your brand, product, or services. If you do this, the bloggers must disclose they are being paid for writing their review.
  • Create views on Squidoo that reference your products and services and how they meet customer needs.
  • Share links to your site on a book mark site like delicious or digg

Caution here: Not all social sites allow search engines to index their site content. Individual posts on Facebook and Twitter are two examples. While that content may not count in the number of back links, they could still end up creating more links from Internet users that follow them and subsequently create their own content.

Let the web be a web

Once you start posting your brand, product, or service on these sites then others will copy, forward, repost, or tell others about what they see if they find your information useful and helpful. This is basically like spreading your message via word of mouth. But the great thing is that once the information is published on the Internet, it becomes a little sticky because it stays published for others to see and read.  It’s like a testimonial that keeps on testifying.

Checkout this publication from Google to see other tips on increasing your search engine results rank.