Saturday, February 20, 2010

Video Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guidelines


I found an excellent article on Video Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guidelines at the Blinkx website. Blinkx is one of the best video search engines on the Internet. Below is the summary of what I read.

According to the article-

This growth in high-speed access has created unprecedented consumer demand in Internet-distributed rich media and, as a result, advertisers and content producers are rapidly diverting focus from text to video-based content. In addition to content from traditional providers, user-made rich media is also on the rise. In early 2008, YouTube had grown to over 4 million videos, according to comScore. Video content is not just being created—it is being watched by millions. Nearly 140 million users in the US watched video online, streaming approximately 11.5 billion videos in the month of March 2008 (comScore).

First generation video search solutions depended entirely on metadata. Including examples are SingingFish, Altavista Video (now used at Yahoo!).

Metadata is the textual data that is applied to a piece of multimedia content in order to describe it and can include user-provided tags, an editorially written title or summary, a transcript of the speech in the video or even information stored in the video file itself pertaining to its resolution, frame-rate and creation date.

Second generation video search engines use methods such as speech recognition, visual analysis and recognition and video optical character recognition to allow software to listen to, watch and read the text appearing on the video content itself.

As well as providing more information, this approach provides objective information—if a video contains speech on a particular topic, it really is about that topic, whereas if a video has been tagged as pertaining to a certain topic, it may, actually be about something entirely different.

Few Facts I read in the article:

Metadata is often lost during conversion

Not only should you create metadata, but you should also apply it each and every time your content goes onto a new service or is converted to a new format. Just because your .mov had great metadata stored in it, there’s no guarantee that YouTube won’t ignore it if you upload it to their service

Title and description

Titles and descriptions are the text most commonly applied to videos. If a video is hosted on a structured hosting or sharing site such as YouTube, insert this information in the provided specified title and description fields. If hosting on your own website, the title and description will usually be extracted based on proximity. In order to best represent your content on generic sites, it is advisable to have just one video per page with a simple textual title and description placed near the video itself. In the case of links to the video or other tags, it is advised to use anchor text as well.


If you are linking to a specific file that is hosted on a web server, ensure the filename is a sensible and descriptive one, ideally with hyphens or some other form of separating character in between words. For example, use “climate-talks-video.wmv” rather than “videofile.wmv” or “climatetalksvideo.wmv”.


Tags are growing as a facet of search and navigation, both for video and the Internet as a whole. If you use a video sharing or hosting system such as YouTube, you will generally be given the opportunity to provide tags (and are strongly encouraged to do).


Most video search engines allow the provision of a sitemap, starting-point URL or RSS feed. This invitation should absolutely be taken advantage of and used to provide the engine with a simple list of URLs that point to individual pages that host video.

RSS and Media RSS

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an-XML based standard for publishing time-oriented feeds of information. Considered outside the remit of this paper, the RSS specification can be found at

Media RSS (MRSS) is an extension to standard RSS that allows any content publisher to widely distribute multimedia content descriptions and links across the Web. In addition to providing standard media metadata, MRSS enhances RSS 2.0 enclosures to handle media types such as video shorts and television clips (Yahoo! Search Media RSS FAQ). From the point of view of SEO, MRSS and RSS are used as a language in which to describe your video to the video search engines.


Deciding on a format for your video content can be a critical decision to make with regard to how the content is going to be used. However, it makes little obvious difference to Video SEO.

Online video application stack