Video & Google’s “Universal Search”


Throughout 2005 and 2006, Fortune/CNNMoney, Entrepreneur, Fast Company as well as other publications drove tremendous attention into the online video market.  Online video production found itself in features from Top 10 rising business lists, to articles on “Jobs for the college grad.” YouTube was becoming a household name after its merger with Google in late 2006, and other video sites were quickly gaining market share within their own niches.  As the large influx of video shakes itself out, it will change the method of search, but not the way many companies are making it out to be.

Up until just 2 or 3 yrs ago, video was commonly seen as a vanity product and hardly used properly when applied to a website.  The quality was poor as it would “stream” (playback), which meant that the user had to be patient to let it load.

Enter the Flash video (.flv) format.  Now most video plays through a Flash format, which means less interruption and good video quality.  The user can jump from one video to the next, without waiting but a few seconds for it to load.  Now, the video revolution is here.  And since it has become more popular, marketing agencies are revising their sales strategies.

True/False: “VIDEO WILL DILUTE THE SEARCH RESULTS”

Have any of you heard this?  Elaborate tales of video taking place of the regular web results we see in Google. The “tale” is how Google’s Universal search approach will combine regular web results, with images, news, and video results, thereby diluting a websites regular front page placement in favor of a related video.  Which it will do, when appropriate for those involved in music, acting, or generally has the media spotlight on them.  However, in most applications of business this is a scare tactic. Unless you are trying to rank for search terms such as Darth Vader, Sade, or Britney Spears, yes, this will affect your placement.  But to assume every search were to be this way is simply not true.

Answer: False

If a representative attempts to “scare” you into purchasing video because of the potential to have your search results diluted, fire them.

True/False “WEBSITE VIDEO WILL LIFT THE NUMBER OF CONVERSIONS”

Concise, informative video that is professionally shot and easy to play back will definitely lift conversions.  Wharton School of Business claims that prospects are 72% more likely to product or service when video is used, and they decide faster.  Video gives you a chance to make your own story for the company or organization you represent.  The viewer gets a chance to hear your voice, see you interact, and this makes them more comfortable with you.  Keep it short, make it informative and friendly, and ask the person to contact you for further questions.

Answer: True

The message we want to get out is that having a well made video on your website is a great addition, but the company selling the video and trying to scare you into doing it is not the company we would choose.  One day, web video will play a greater role in search engine marketing, but so far, its impact has been minimal on organic search results.  This makes sense because a video (or image) is not necessarily the best result if someone is looking for financial, legal or insurance services; 3 top industries of the internet.  However, on a personal level, video does help welcome what could be your next client, customer, or recruit, and for that purpose alone, video is worthy investment.

If you have any questions about hiring a video team, or methods of using video, we welcome your comments and will promptly reply.

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August 18, 2008

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