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Unlock Video SEO: Boost Your Website's Visibility and Rank Higher

Learn video SEO fundamentals and optimization tips from Daniel Roch, founder of SeoMix agency in Nantes.
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Can you define VSEO in a few words?

VSEO stands for Video Search Engine Optimization and refers to the practice of making videos visible and referencing oneself through videos. VSEO will enable you to improve your positioning and make your content appear both on video hosting platforms, such as YouTube or TikTok, and on traditional search engines.

Unlock Video SEO: Boost Your Website's Visibility and Rank Higher

Where can video content appear on Google?

When a search is performed, videos can appear in a number of ways. Internet users can exploit the filtering system offered by search engines and ask to obtain only video results, in the same way as for news or images.

It's also possible that Google deems that for a specific query, it's relevant to display videos in an insert, which appears in the top or bottom corner of the screen. But this varies enormously from query to query. Video content may appear every time, or it may never appear at all. What's more, the system is constantly evolving. There was a time when videos were frequently highlighted in search results. This is less the case today, and I haven't noticed any significant evolution following the rollout of the latest updates.

It's worth noting that today, Google makes more updates to its algorithm as it goes along, and in particular automatically with its internal algorithm. On a given query, a video may appear today and disappear tomorrow. It's important to check from time to time, as Google can change the search intent or refine its understanding of the query to modify the types of results that are displayed.

How is the contextualization of video content crucial for SEO, and what text elements need to be optimized?

Basically, a video, like an image, is a computer file that cannot be directly interpreted by Google since a search engine has neither human vision nor hearing. For images, we are fortunate enough to be able to rely on alternative text to describe the image, but there is no equivalent for videos. To contextualize video content, we need to respect several rules:

  • The video environment: a video embedded on a site or in a blog post must be accompanied by several descriptive elements, such as subtitle details, a description, or a summary. This information helps the search engine understand and interpret the video's content.
  • Choice of platform: YouTube may be the obvious choice, since Google can easily draw on the platform's proprietary database. By uploading a video to YouTube, the user also fills in a number of fields that will facilitate understanding, such as title, description, tags, etc.
  • schema.org markup: this is structured data, invisible to the surfer, but which search engines will analyze and interpret a variety of video elements. This markup provides information such as author, date and time of upload, video description, title, etc.

How does Google evaluate video quality?

Video popularity is one of the main criteria. The more views, comments, shares, and "likes" a video receives, the greater its visibility on hosting platforms like YouTube as well as on search engines. Google will also assess the video's credibility by examining the links that redirect to it.

The length of the video is of secondary importance to Google, which will first assess whether the content meets the user's intention. For example, a tutorial on how to repair a lawnmower cannot reasonably be condensed into two minutes. In this kind of scenario, the length of the video becomes a factor to be taken into account since it is expected that the issue will be fully covered. The context of the query determines the importance of the duration, but it will not systematically influence the positioning of the content in search results.

Can a thumbnail influence a video's SEO?

Thumbnails have no direct impact on search engine ranking. It can be compared to the meta description of a web page. On the other hand, a well-designed thumbnail can significantly increase the click-through rate, which is why it's important to analyze the construction of the thumbnails that appear in search results.

On Google, are videos referenced in the same way and according to the same rules, regardless of the platform on which they are published?

There are several reasons why Google behaves differently depending on the platform on which the video is hosted. On some platforms, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, videos are inaccessible without a connection, which leads Google to ignore them altogether. In addition, some platforms are disadvantaged by the fact that, as explained above, Google has privileged access to the YouTube database. As a result, content hosted on Vimeo or Dailymotion is less frequently highlighted in Google's search results.

At the agency, when we talk to customers, we recommend publishing content on YouTube to ensure maximum visibility. This not only ensures that Google's robots will understand the video but also allows us to benefit from the platform's technical power in terms of server, bandwidth, etc.

Will the forthcoming arrival of Search Generative Experience further encourage the optimization of video content?

Based on tests carried out within our agency or by other SEO experts, we have not observed any particular emphasis on video content in Google SGE. However, this finding should be treated with caution, as the tool is still in an experimental phase and its operation may yet evolve.

For a brand or advertiser, what are the main advantages of good video SEO?

It's a great marketing tool. Depending on the target and positioning, video can facilitate conversion. While people over the age of 35 carry out more conventional web searches, the younger generation tends to gravitate naturally towards video content. Some Internet users, for example, do most of their research on TikTok. Video can therefore be a way of broadening your target audience as well as producing high-value-added content that showcases a company's product or expertise.

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