On his video Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guide,
Brian Dean says
"… if you optimize your video around a keyword that doesn't already have a video in Google, it's going to be VERY hard for it to rank"
Does anyone have a different perspective on this?
I'm asking about ranking a video on the universal search results page on Google, not on the 'video' tab on the search results page.
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Sort of… it's not going to trigger a "Videos" panel because that requires at least three relevant videos in order to trigger. But that doesn't mean your video can't rank as one of the 10 Blue Links (standard set of search results). And, of course, is someone adds the word "Video" to the search, it increases those odds even more.
Keep in mind, Google is really starting to dig multiple medium pages… so if you have a page with the video embedded along with a full transcript of the video and all that – then that page is going to have a slight advantage over a page that is just a video or just plain text that talks about the same thing. The reason is that different people like to get their information in different ways – some like to watch a video, while others like to read it on a page so they can skim, hit what they want, and get out. When you have an offering that provides both methods of accessing that information, Google will sometimes give it some bonus points in ranking because it allows both types of users to be satisfied from the same page. Google doesn't have to guess which type they are – it can send them there and make everyone happy. (Now, of course, Google has to be fairly confident that no matter what medium the information is coming from that it's going to satisfy the intent anyway – you're not going to rank just because you have keywords on a page and a video and text that doesn't really say or do anything).
"Brian Dean says
"'… if you optimize your video around a keyword that doesn't already have a video in Google, it's going to be VERY hard for it to rank"'"
So … how do any queries end up with videos in the 1st place?
Sorry. That dog won't hunt.
Actually that dog could indeed hunt if you think about how it could be possible. Many people produce videos to rank and get traffic on YouTube without caring at all about Google results. So videos will get made anyway. Google could indeed have a threshold on needing X amount of video results before offering a carousel (though I find individual videos in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) fairly often, especially on how-to and tutorial type searches).
I'm certainly not going to state that Brian is right in this case, as one certainly can position a singular video in the SERPs, and even more so one can embed that video within a dedicated page and get it to rank. I just think that it is possible for Google to have thresholds AND for videos to be produced before that threshold is reached, until it is. 😃
Micha » Ammon
You're still contradicting his circular logic. There always has to be a first video included in a Search Engine Result Page (SERP) at some point. It's not about "very hard to rank", it's about what's relevant to the query.
Ammon » Micha
I see it as just different perspectives. You're coming at it from what can be done if done right, while I get the feeling Brian was all about just doing it the easy way.
It reminds me a lot of when everyone was raving about absolutely needing a constant stream of 'fresh content'. The reason was simple – some SEO users sucked so badly that the ONLY way they could rank was with the freshness boost, and indeed, sucked so badly they didn't know enough to know that was a problem.
Of course 'fresh content' wasn't the only thing that could rank, but it was the only thing a certain level of amateur could reliably rank. I get the feeling that the "only position videos that already have a carousel" is sort of the same thing.
Micha » Ammon
Well, I hope it's clear I'm only responding to what is in the original post here on Facebook. I can't watch every video people refer to all the way through.
As a general rule, I would steer clear of arguing for any definitive interpretation of what Google does to populate a query. It will always change over time. Things are rarely "carved in stone" in search.
I'm hoping BD meant something else.
On a challenge, I ranked a "Best Texas Blue Turtle Soup" video top of page 1 in 52 seconds.
No other video existed for that keyword.
It's a dumb keyword but it proved a point.
Interesting. That keyword suggests a recipe and recipes seem to trigger a lot of video results. But that's helpful, thanks.
I think I know what he's getting at, but its not described how I would. It comes down to user intent and if you would expect to see videos appear for the query. For example, if you search for "how to pluck your eyebrows" then you'd expect to see lots of videos. If you search for "what is whey logistics" then not so much.
If there's no other videos then that will feed into Google's machine learning behind the user intent and will also make it less likely that a video pack will appear in search results.
For all videos I have made, I have it on YouTube but also embed it with a decent transcription as a blog post. That way you get the best of both worlds. Even if Google isn't expecting a video, it will still make the content richer.
Thanks, that's what I thought too. But Brian Dean's comment was a dampener considering I'm thinking of Videos on search terms that are currently not showing any videos et'all. Hence wanted to double check so I don't invest a ton of time only to discover that it was pointless.
Brian » Sitaram
Make a few videos and optimize them well. You'll know quickly if videos for your keywords can appear on page 1. Good luck.
Brian's had a howler here… amongst the things others have commented, he's not taken into account that people do actually click on the videos tab in search where if there's not much competition or no video knowledge graph on the main SERPs you would still appear.
Ok. Any stats on the approx click thru rate for the top 10 video results on the 'video' tab? Not sure if this data is available on
Google Organic CTR History – Advanced Web Ranking
Mark » Sitaram
I cant find any other data but there must be enough for Google to keep the tab. Its even the 4th tab along on a mobile so they consider it important.
Sitaram » Mark
Fair enough, thanks!