Universal Search Video Results and the effect it can have

Thu 26 March 2009 16:24, Jon Myers

Online video is going from strength to strength in 2009. There has been a lot of talk about it over the last few shows I have spoken at. People really are wanting to understand exactly how they can use it to its best abilities. So I thought I would throw in a few pointers of my own for what you can do with Blended Video Search as part of an SEO strategy and the ways you can get quick wins and SERP listings.

From an SEO perspective I think people are finally starting to see the impact it can have for them and the traffic it can drive for their search campaigns. Not only does video optimisation offer you some fantastic Brand equity and content at the top of the SERP’s pages on Google it can deliver and drive a lot of traffic to your site pages as well at a very cost effective return considering the placements in Google are free! The real fore runners who embraced this in the early days from a big brand perspective were Dove Soap with their Dove Evolution.

Universal Search Video Results and the effect it can have

From a non big traditional brand perspective the early adopters which I still like to talk about a lot in presentations are the chaps from the US called Blendtec with the Will it Blend series. These guys really embraced the YouTube channel and the integration with the natural SERPS to deliver amazing business results. The numbers are outstanding, 175,000 subscribers and 3.3 million channel views and around 75+ million video views in 2.5 years. Which for free marketing is not a bad amount of people viewing your products!


It has made Tom (the man in the white lab coat) and instant celebrity overnight blending everything from golf balls to glow sticks in the early days to the point now of things like the I-Phone (which was watched 6.5 million times), to the blender appearing on Jonathan Ross on Friday night on the BBC where he re-enacted the Mobile phone blend.

With this ability to integrate the videos from YouTube into the natural SERPS you now have some fantastic options. SO HOW DO YOU DO IT?

I think the barrier until now has been that people are aware of it but don’t realise how you optimise for it. It really isn’t that difficult, key requirements are:

  1. Use YouTube – this is a must!
  2. Get your keywords you want to target tagged well in the Title and Description
  3. Comments about the video matter a lot and the keywords in the comments should be relevant to the words you want to rank for plus the frequency of the comments says to Google that there is interest in this video
  4. It is good if lots of people view it and more importantly they watch it all the way through to show interest and relevance to the Search Engine
  5. Get links to the page that the video is sited on and tag the anchor text keyword rich
  6. Importantly embed the video into your own site you want the traffic not YouTube
  7. Embed videos into relevant text pages on your site. The context provided by the text on those pages will help the search engines understand what your videos are about.
  8. Frequency – make sure you are getting a steady flow out and optimising them as discussed above
  9. Create a video sitemap. Such a quick win to make Google aware of your content to crawl. Also create a video library on your site. Write keyword-rich content for each video in the library you have.
  10. Distribution – Use Tube Mogul. It is by far the best a quickest way to get the message out there. It gives you a specific video distribution plat form with great targeting options.

It is going to be interesting to see how video moves forward. We know from research by Enquiro over the last few years that Video or “Rich Media” content attracts the eye and engages the user longer that text based results but until recently it has been how can we see accountability from it?

We are now able to actually get from Google really good statistics with some great improvements from to its YouTube Insights platform, which are looking to complete with what the likes of TubeMogul can offer. It means you can now get Geographical data around videos including favourites, ratings and comments as well as the usual demographic and view data.


We have also now seen reports published from the like of Forrester Research that are saying  video is “The Easiest Way to a First-Page Ranking on Google” this is a bold statement built I can see where the research piece is coming from. They also go on to say that only 20% of Marketers actually tag up their videos the way I have mentioned above and there is less video than text page content in the index which really does present great opportunities for some great quick wins.

I think people and the Search Engines are still trying to understand where to go with it at the minute. It is getting used in many different ways such as SEO, Online News Broadcasts and even as a display ad options with banners in YouTube.

It is such a potent win which I hope the information points to above it may not be long before we see video options within PPC advertising, I have seen some early testing examples from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo around this so watch this space on that one. I know Yahoo has tried this in the US and is looking at UK options at this very minute.

All I can say is if you have the video content or can get it, embrace the tips and ideas above, regardless of if you are a big or small brand this can deliver you good traffic volumes and returns for your marketing efforts.

  • Comments (9)
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Comments (9)


  • Great post Jon, we recently did some of that with our subsidiary Data Recovery company with some good results, a good reminder to get it moving again!

    On a more serious note i think most brands miss the threat to their search engine reputation management that universal search poses. Have a look at KFC to see what I'm on about, the chances of displacing negative video content when view count makes up a large part of the ranking position are really small.

    Do you think consumer action groups are going to target brands with video on youtube more and more to have a more direct impact on the brand's credibility?

    Vr 27 mrt 2009, 15:20

  • Thanks Louis

    Some good points and I agree it is not all about just getting your own positive content into the SERPs but as part of on going Brand Reputation management you have to make sure you are watching out for people placing negative content about your brand on the web. The faster you spot it and highlight it to the likes of Google the faster you can put a plan in place to sort it out.

    It will be interesting as more and more people warm up to how Universal Video is used and indexed as it is likely things like you mention could well happen.

    Zo 29 mrt 2009, 20:52

  • Just thinking about how one would go about displacing something like the KFC video which has millions of hits. I spotted something interesting looking for Barclaycard - they have a competition video in the top ten, so it made me think that KFC should have a day out and sponsor some snacks. Run a competition and make sure that they can either make the competition rules an amusing piece of Video or that the actual activities of the competition go viral. I am sure that a bunch of creative’s could really come up with some great activities that would be YouTube worthy?

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 13:04

  • Hi Thomas

    Some good thoughts here as well for people to think about, for ranking the videos views is a part of it so with this many it is a tough one to compete but going viral and competitions is always a winner for fast views and frequency.

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 16:50

  • yep, I agree with Jon, the number of views is going to be tough to compete with.

    If you had to create a competition with the entry instructions as a youtube video you may have a shot but thats going seriously grey if not all out black hat IMHO

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 17:02

  • I think we have only seen the beginning of online video and its power. More and more people are starting to head to the computer to watch their TV.

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 17:47

  • I agree Nick, as I mentioned in the post a lot of people are still trying to understand how to use this as an opportunity. As you say more and more people are watching TV on the PC and as marketers if we look at how we position the online TV/video content in the natural SERPs along side the online TV it will produce good traffic generation or viewers as TV ads do now for television shows.

    Ma 30 mrt 2009, 19:00

  • hi John & all,

    Here is for the community: Check out this article for an automated transcript solution for multiple video tools, at least some must have the ability to extract text to contextually help you present your videos. http://www.streamingmedia.com/article.asp?id=10923

    And for John, I only have questions :-); Do you see a clear advantage in using Google Videomap over MRSS?

    Vr 3 apr 2009, 15:00

  • Hi Michel

    Good to hear from you and thanks for the interesting link. I have seen a few of the transcript tools and agree they have a use.

    On the Google Video Sitemap or MRSS and which one to use. They are both a good option. I would always say stick with the Google Sitemap as it offers a bit more functionality and customisation but Google can cater for and accepts no problem MRSS feeds which you can read about here:


    Di 7 apr 2009, 18:34


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