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YouTube, Google+ & Your Search Visibility

YouTube, Google+ & Your Search Visibility
Joseph Olesh

When considering video, YouTube is a given variable. The stats on YouTube’s activity are well known: 48 hours of new video content are uploaded every minute, and according to comScore Video Metrix, that equates to 2.7 million new videos every week. That makes for a considerable amount of content. If you want to compete in Search, YouTube needs to be part of your strategy.

Last week, Google announced that its latest algorithm change will affect 35% of web searches. This update is a further refinement of “Caffeine” — a high-powered search product that will provide “50% fresher results for the web searches […]” This means Google is now able to read/cover the web at a speed that is nearly immediate. If “Panda” meant for a more relevant search, “Caffeine” means a more relevant, faster search. (Google’s Panda update caused quite a stir to this ongoing discussion when it did away with “content farms,” sites packed with superfluous metadata that yielded low-quality results.)

MG Siegler of TechCrunch highlighted these striking fun-facts about Caffeine:

  • Every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel -if this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second
  • Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day
  • You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles

Looking big-picture, we can see Google’s greater strategy emerging. They began by cleaning up search results, then formatted searches so that the most relevant results indexed higher and faster. The stage, then, became set for a highly-connected, content-generating social platform: Google+. Match Google+ with the already-potent YouTube, and Google again finds itself as the preeminent web entity.

Regarding these algorithm updates, Eric Schmidt told Congress last September that Google made 516 updates to its algorithm in 2010. Even more mind-boggling, they tested over 13,000 updates… That’s a lot. If you do business online, this is something to pay attention to. Your visibility can change abruptly; make sure your content and strategy are up-to-date. In this, do not focus so much on the technical parameters; look at Search like Google does: content may be “King,” but quality content is better.

Create engaging content the online community will find useful, and you’ll be fighting the good fight. Here are a few tips:

  • Whether it’s text, photo or video content, upload regularly and frequently. Algorithm updates will vary, but Google will always prefer quality content that is regular and dependable. Speaking to YouTube directly, the more traction your channel gains, the better. Keeping your upload feed fresh will not only please your following, but add value to your channel.
  • Do not overlook metadata content. Your blog/photo/video posts have “Title,” “Description” and “Tags” fields for a reason; use them! When I want to attack a particular query, I’ll create a strategy that isolates that term, then deploy my metadata content accordingly. When done properly, this unified metadata strategy will help your YouTube video work with a Scribd document that is driven by multiple Tweets, all hosted by a WordPress blog article. I have had success with front-end loaded metadata in this way; adjusting your backend “header” code will further increase your chances of success.
  • Develop a Google+ strategy. Google is positioning Pages for Google+ as the ultimate platform for businesses to connect with their customers. In Google’s words: “Google is not just a search engine – it’s an engine of economic growth. Across the U.S., Google’s search and advertising tools provided $64 billion of economic activity in 2010.” Leverage this mass network of products by utilizing any functionality Google+ presents. Though not active yet, one could infer that Google+ will develop as a dashboard through which Adwords, Analytics, Places and YouTube could ultimately be managed.

What does this all mean? YouTube and Google+ are now being supported by high-level adjustments in Google’s search algorithm. Most businesses strive for “Page-One” visibility because it ultimately increases their ability to connect with customers and convert sales. Facebook and Twitter are incredibly robust platforms, but I’d highly recommend digital marketers take note of Google‘s recent moves; it’ll behoove your client’s interests to do so.


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