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.

Who can see your videos?

Video marketing has become common place on Internet sites for businesses. You see it everywhere, including business home pages, product reviews, training videos, and even on YouTube channels.  But how many of you have experienced corporate firewalls and proxy settings from blocking your ability to view the videos?

The question is significant in the business-to-business targeted videos. If you make a video for your product and services and its targeted to other businesses, you need for your target audience to be able to view it while at work.

I can imagine some of the supporting arguments for why policies are set to restrict videos:

  • We don’t want employees watching videos at work
  • That would cause serious issues with network bandwidth and performance
  • We don’t support all the add-ons required for some video formats
  • Playing videos at work would be a distraction to other employees

My belief is that if you need restrictive policies like this for employees then you probably  have the wrong employee for the job. Employees should be professional enough to adhere to policies and to use their working time to engage in activities that are related to the betterment of the business and achievement of its goals. Video has now become  common place enough for businesses in use that it should be available as a mechanism to both send and receive information. A better alternative is to augment the existing Internet usage policy (if necessary) explaining the expected use of videos in the workplace.

Here are few examples of how video usage could help in business activity:

  • An IT team is reviewing products for a project portfolio system and three of the four vendors on the list have produced video walkthroughs of their product.
  • A marketing team is trying to review television commercial ads from a competitor to see how they are promoting their latest product.
  • A corporate communications team is reviewing media releases about a news story that mentions their product / brand.

What is your experience with either producing and posting videos or viewing videos from work? Have you had trouble with your target audience being able to view videos you have produced? Have you been restricted from viewing videos for research and had to watch them from another location?