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Every now and then, when I'm walking around at a marketing conference, I hear folks giving out secrets about how to get pages and videos up high in the rankings. And I grind my teeth and I just move on, because that's not a good place to have a discussion or argument about different search tactics. Here's the top four worst video SEO myths that I've heard, and why they're wrong. First, the idea that you can buy popularity. There's lots of services out there that will let you pay to have people come to your video, and click play, and come to your video and leave comments, and embed your video on different sites. Or do things like give thumbs up, or favorites to your videos. You can do that kind of fakery, and strictly speaking, it will work for a little while.
But Youtube, Google, and Bing have seen this before. It's not an original tactic. In fact, it's been going on for over a decade. If you get 10,000 views in two days, and then nothing after that, they're going to know something's wrong right away. They look for anomalies. So, any anomalies in views or comments or anything like that, could just get you pushed right down the rankings at best, because your velocity tails off. At worst, they'll find out and they'll actually penalize you. They'll push your videos down in the ranking or remove them. So, don't do it. The payoff is far too small, unless you are going to be buying video views forever, for those videos and that's just not worth doing. It's very hard to be sneaky about it, and it's impossible to sustain it or hide it from the search engines.
You will get caught. The second myth is that, Google can automatically index the voice track of a video. While YouTube does have a transcription function, and it's pretty good, services like these aren't yet at the point where they can drive rankings. Inaccurate transcription may mean inaccurate classification. And remember, that's one of the crucial elements of video SEO. So, make sure that you get your own transcript done. The third one is that you have to use YouTube to rank a video on Google. This is simply not true. I've seen many videos rank that were hosted on other sites. That said, YouTube is the primary search engine for videos, so, it's not a terrible idea.
You might just want to use another service because you want to avoid ads or you want a more customizable video player. There are reasons that you might want to make that trade-off. And the fourth, and arguably the worst of all the myths is that there's some magic formula. I get lots of emails from services and systems claiming they can draw thousands of visitors to my site by pushing my video to dozens and dozens of different video hosting services. This may work some of the time, but more often, your video ends up on dozens of low quality hosting services completely unwatched.
You're much better off directing your efforts and resources on a single hosting service like YouTube, or Vimeo or V Zar, (INAUDIBLE) on real audience building. And that's what this really boils down to. Shortcuts don't exist. They're possibilities, but they don't exist as long term video SEO tactics, just like they don't exist as long term marketing tactics. So, do it right. Make it easy for search engines to classify your videos, and work to build a natural audience interest in them. Focus on best practices and video SEO can be a great traffic driver.
- What is video SEO?
- Debunking video-ranking myths
- Picking a video hosting service
- Researching topics and keywords
- Choosing the right title and descriptions
- Facilitating viewer comments and ratings
- Using social media to announce videos
- Creating an optimized playlist and channel
- Analyzing your success