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Are you Taking Advantage of the 2nd Largest Search Engine in the World?

youtube_logoYouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, according to Reelseo and comSore.

In December 2009 YouTube had 50 % more searches than Yahoo web search and 180 % more than Bing.

YouTube searches grew 35 percent year over year to more than 3.9 billion search queries. It accounts for 28 % of all Google searches.

Many companies have a goal to utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – to get their website to be responsive to search engines and users. They can do this by understanding keywords and modify titles and content appropriately.

But what about YouTube, (28%) of all Google searches, how can a company participate? Two points to consider when creating a YouTube initiative.

First, YouTube and Google (who owns YouTube) look at video content differently than text. For text, the “crawler” moves through all of the content. Creators of the text content have certain guidelines as far as titles and headings that help give the crawler pointers to key words and content bits. For video, the crawler cannot see what is in the video. It has to rely on your title, description and keywords. Consequently, when you post up your video, you have 25 to 50 words to connect with the search engine.

Also, YouTube keeps track of how much of your video the viewer watches. They compare your watch completion to that of other videos of the same length. If your video is watched more all the way through than others, then it is deemed to be of greater value to the user, hence recommended more often. Consequently, you get few points for attracting a user to your video, if they drop off in the first few seconds.

Watch through is also important to YouTube because they recommend other videos when you are done. If you drop off in the middle, the service does not have an opportunity to get you to watch another. In a given month, the average YouTube viewer watches over 90 videos per month, often more than one at a time.

The second point to consider is the fact that with YouTube you are building a “Channel”, your creation of content should not be an event, but needs to be looked at as continual programming. A company that puts a couple of videos up on YouTube then waits for “viral” connectivity is likely to be disappointed. The vast majority of viewers who look at that content will be people who are directed to the videos through the company’s website or email marketing. While that can be useful (a picture is worth a thousand words), it does not take advantage of the power of search.

When looking to draw search traffic, a company needs to have a plan to create continual content. Users (and search engines) prefer up to date content. It is assumed that if you are creating content regularly, your overall content will be of greater value to viewers. If people have watched your past content all the way through, it is likely that your current content is also of value to searchers. YouTube will select certain videos that the search engine views as being of particular value to a select group of searchers. You can increase the odds that the new videos in your channel are more likely to be recommended with thoughtful titles and tagging,

In the creation of a YouTube Channel that gets thousands of views every month, I have tested a number of different constructs to pull viewers. Much of the experience utilized, came from my years as a sales and marketing executive in high tech. However, a good part of the success has been built on the time that I spent as a film buyer for a major movie exhibitor.

The impact of a well viewed channel is significant. Organizations have seen significant increases in key metrics. Content is picked up and distributed by others. Awareness of your offering and education of your prospects/customers can be effective at dramatically lower costs.

This post was written by Mark Goodman. Mark spent many years working for Motorola. He was the first business manager in the cell phone group, rising to positions in distribution, marketing, and business management. Mark also developed and implemented internet strategies. Then he went on to manage service, parts and major account business opportunities.

Subsequent to his experience at Motorola, Mark worked in sales management for a Silicon Valley company.

He currently has a business focused around using video and social media to create an e-conversation. You can reach him at mgoodman@e-conversation.com  or the website for e-Conversation Solutions www.e-conversation.com.