Sunday, January 31, 2010

Online Video Platform Summit: Optimizing Video Search and Discoverability

One of the most challenging areas for online video publishers is to optimize their video to be more discoverable by search engines, and for businesses, this is critical to bring new traffic and customers to their web sites. Publishing video content in a way that it can be easily indexed by search engines has been proven to increase higher first-page Google rankings. It's not smoke and mirrors, and it's done through video search engine optimization (VSEO) which, as my good friend and publisher of ReelSEO, Mark Robertson says is, "video SEO purely an extension of SEO."

Search engine optimization (SEO) is defined as:
"The process of making a site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. SEO includes technical tasks to make it easier for search engines to find and index a site for the appropriate keywords, as well as marketing-focused tasks to make a site more appealing to users. Successful search marketing helps a site gain top positioning for relevant words and phrases." - Search Engine Watch SEM Glossary
While traditional SEO techniques are focused on text-based search, the rules are different for video search since it can't be discovered on its own by search engines. Nico McLane attempted to uncover the mystery behind VSEO in her Streaming Media article, In Search of Video SEO That Works, and concluded that the secret's in the sauce and no two recipes are the same. Mark Robertson says that despite the hype, there is still a general lack of understanding when it summed it up this way:
“Video SEO is not a means in and of itself, it is a strategy and a set of best practices that need to be combined with best practices for producing, publishing, and syndicating online video content. It is the application of SEO best practices when publishing online video content to ensure maximum visibility across search engines and ultimately, your target audience. Ultimately, the ROI depends on many factors but is similar to that which can be achieved with traditional, oragnic SEO.”
In a report by Forrester Research's Nate Elliott, he pointed out that search engines have been blending specialty search results (e.g., video, news, images, blog posts) into their standard search result pages for several years, and concluded that optimizing video content to take advantage of "blended search" is by far the easiest way to get a first-page organic ranking on Google. In fact it's 53 times more likely to generate a first page Google ranking than traditional SEO techniques.

In this panel session from the Online Video Platform Summit on optimizing video search and discovery, Mark joins Dr. Pete Kocks of Truveo, Lou Schwartz of Multicast Media, and Tom Wilde from RAMP, in a discussion moderated by Tim Siglin of Braintrust Digital. See this related post for detailed bios on each pressenter - Online Video Platform Summit SEO Panel - Optimizing Video Search and Discoverability.

Optimizing Video Search and Discoverability
Thursday, November 19, 2009 10:30 AM PST

Video discovery via search has seen rapid growth over the past few years with the explosive increase in the online video market. But it's not enough to achieve a high Google ranking; making video more discoverable through video search engine optimization (SEO) is key for businesses to maximize visibility, drive traffic to their sites, and reach a targeted audience. Panelists in this session will discuss the importance of increasing user engagement with video SEO—using keywords, metadata, relevant content, media RSS, and video syndication—and social media marketing through demonstration of use-case scenarios.

Moderator: Tim Siglin, Chairman, Braintrust Digital, and Contributing Editor, Streaming Media magazine
Dr. Pete Kocks, President, Truveo
Mark Robertson, Founder, ReelSEO
Lou Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, Multicast Media Technologies, Inc.
Tom Wilde, CEO, EveryZing, Inc.

Highlights from the Panel

According to Mark, there's been a shift in how people discover video and data shows a rise in videos discovered via search engines and a slight decrease of videos discovered on social video sharing sites. Videos dominate universal search and he says the key is:
"to create unique and valuable content, and to publish that content with best practices for SEO in mind. Nothing works as well for SEO as creating good, unique, and valuable content."
Tom Wilde said that "video" as a search term dominates with 85-90% of search coming from Google web search. Users look for video through search, but Tom identified the challenge of video discoverability as one of the key emerging problems of the web, and that rich media content misses out on monetization opportunities when it can't be discovered through search engines.
"Search engines have historically had very little to work with in terms of properly discovering and indexing multimedia content. The value of multimedia content is trapped inside of files, out of view of search engines."
Tom said that including text transcripts with the video and "content optimization" helps unlock the value of online video and exposes it to the web at large. Lou Schwartz cited the Forrester report, that video is 53 times more likely than text to appear on first page of search result. He also shared how metatags within the video, show up as text in search and makes the video more visible and discoverable. Tagging helps reduce the amount of flat text that you publish as html and focuses on specific topics that the search bots can pick up.

Dr. Pete Kocks said that search is more than keywords and is more behaviorally-based. He shared two important tips to improving video SEO:
  1. Make sure your video has a fast load time.
  2. You need to have a killer thumbnail
Several key factors can play into slow load times, such as player file size, video file size, true streaming vs. progressive download, pre-rolls, network congestion, bandwidth constriction, among others. Viewers will abandon the video if it doesn't load fast, Truveo ranks the order of all the major video sites and Pete says,
"We don’t really want to send somebody to a place that is a slow moving site. That’s also true, by the way, for all the major search engines. …It’s very important that the pages load fast…"
Since people tend to click on related videos, thumbnails shouldn't be an after thought, but part of your video SEO strategy, as Pete advises,
"If you’re creating a thumbnail for your video, you should spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what that thumbnail is. First and foremost, it’s what the user clicks. …"
Mark concluded that, the goal is not to optimize for search engines but for user experience, and as long as you're providing relevant text that's useful to the user coming to that page, then that's going to help with the video SEO

Related @ovpsummit Tweets

    1. @truveo Web search is about keywords; video search is only 10% based on keywords. #ovps09
    2. @multicast videos are 53x more likely than text to appear on first page of search results #ovps09
      RT @Beet_TV: Nielsen: Time Spent Viewing Video on Social Networking Sites Up 98% Year-Over-Year In October
      from TweetDeck
    3. @multicast video drives people to take action #ovps09
    4. RT @llcrowe: Challenge of driving video "discovery": Starts with transcrpt...? Ovps09
See these related videos:

See these related posts for more Video SEO tips:

Be sure to check out the Ooyala webinar on "Reel" Video SEO Strategies & Best Practices, February 4, 2010 at 11:00 am PST, featuring Mark Robertson, Pete Kocks and Sean Knapp
Here's what Mark had to say about the upcoming event,
"Video SEO has become somewhat of a buzz word these days for internet marketers and online video publishers alike. Having videos that rank well within search engines is certainly an attractive proposition.However, the true value of video SEO lies in positioning video content in front of a growing number of internet users who are actively seeking out that content using search. Just as with general SEO, Video SEO is about publishing content in a way that follows best practices to ensure and maximize indexability and discoverability. Join myself, Pete Kocks, and Sean Knapp as we discuss Video SEO strategies and best practices.To register for the webinar please click here."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Online Video Platform Summit: Online Video Platform Showcase, Day 1 - Kaltura, Kyte, VMIX, Delve Networks

As part of the Online Video Platform Summit, eight of the leading online video platform providers showcased the features and capabilities in two sponsored sessions over the two-day event. This session from day one features Kaltura, Kyte, VMIX, and Delve Networks. While each of these providers have similar offerings, they all differentiate themselves by their video publishing platforms, analytics and monetization features, scalability, integration, pricing, strategy and market presence. According to the The Forrester Wave™: US Online Video Platforms, Q4 2009, an evaluation of six leading online video platform vendors, "71% of the US online audience watches video on the Internet, and the number of streams consumed should more than double by 2013", so whether you're a large media publisher or a small retailer, every organization needs a video strategy and online video platforms power video for an organization.

While the report was criticized for not being inclusive of the many OVP providers in the market, Forrester maintained that it employed a specific 37-criteria evaluation of online video platform vendors. That ruled out all but the six in the report, with Brightcove and Ooyala leading the pack with their end-to-end product offerings that target organizations of all sizes. VMIX and Kaltura followed closely behind with comprehensive offerings and are Strong Performers, while Twistage and Fliqz serve more narrow segments of the market and are Contenders.

Regardless of the Forrester report, watch this video to learn more about Kaltura, Kyte, VMIX, and Delve Networks. Also, see Jan Ozer's article Choosing an Online Video Platform, on

Online Video Platform Showcase - Day 1
Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO, Kaltura
Daniel Graf, Co-Founder and CEO, Kyte
Dan Charleston, Senior Vice President Business Development, VMIX
Alex Castro, CEO, Delve Networks

What are the main functions and features customers should be looking for when evaluating online video platforms?

My friend Kris Drey of Vidcompare offers this advise:
"It’s important to know your use case for online video prior to getting started with your search. Identifying the purpose of your video effort be it a start-up marketer looking to extend brand reach and increase time spent on site, a large media publisher looking for content management, syndication, and distribution, or a SMB looking for an internal training solution with multiple log-ins, and administrative rights. Once you’ve identified your needs you can look for a provider who can accommodate the top 4-5 features that address your goals."

Follow these OVPs on Twitter:


See these related posts:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Online Video Platform Summit: Best Practices Roundtable - Online Video Publishing Strategies and Tools,

A best practice is a technique, process or tried and true method that can evolve over time through the process of discovery, trial and error or other process and is recognized as the most effective way to yield successful results. What may start as a good idea can develop in a standard practice that can be adopted by any group, organization or industry. When it comes to online video, best practices are commonly shared as advise or tips on how to produce, deliver and measure the effectiveness of your communications efforts. In this panel session from the Online Video Platform Summit, presenters from both online video platform providers and enterprise customers share their own best practices for online video publishing. Some of the topics include content creation, distribution, audience engagement, measurement, call-to-actions and conversion as well as both the opportunities and challenges for enterprise content creators.

Best Practices Round Table: Online Video Publishing Strategies and Tools
Moderator: Paul Riismandel, Director of Curriculum Support, School of Communication, Northwestern University
Matt DeLoca, SVP Sales and Marketing, KIT digital
Wayne Kao, VP Product Engineering, VMIX
Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Intel Global Communications Group
Linda Crowe, Digital Multimedia Communications -- Group Manager at Sun Microsystems

The opportunities have never been greater for businesses to promote their brands, products, and services with compelling online video content. The barriers to creating and distributing professional-quality video have been eroded with the development of affordable content creation tools and the solutions available from online video platforms. Still, if video is not one of your core competencies, it can become a costly and time-consuming effort. This session brings together leading industry professionals to discuss and demonstrate cost-effective tools, techniques, and best practices for online video publishing.

A Few Highlights from the Panel

According to Matt DeLoca, the things that companies should take into consideration when developing an online video solution are: content creation, management and distribution and recording. He noted that a few years ago, many companies didn't have the content or know how to create it, he said:
"It's amazing how things have transformed in the last few years, the presence of content is not the issue, the issue is how quickly they can get that content transformed and tagged. The evolution over the next few years is about distributing that content around multiple sections of the website as well as partner sites. And now it's gone a step further, it's really about socializing that content and making it available on lots of sites based on user preferences and the way they interact with the content. So, the most important thing I talk about with customers is, make sure you have good content and you've encoded it in the most appropriate ways for distribution, but really maximize the ways that you can leverage that distribution."
Matt added that there are two main principles to distribute you content. The first is to "push" that content under your own preferences where your audience is going to be - your web site, a press room, product pages other an Internet or Intranet site. The second piece is about making the content sociable for your viewers, which is more of a "pull" mentality, where they see the value for an extended audience to share it on blogs, Facebook pages and to apply their own distribution methods using their own preferences.

Wayne Kao said that for his customers, they start with the overall objectives to formulate an online solution. Their key is to create an efficient process and workflow so customers can focus on content creation and easy upload. Flip cameras have become very popular for many of VMIX's customers in the news and radio business since most can't afford the big expensive HD cameras. This form of instant online video publishing has really taken off and content creators can always go back later and refine the video with additional editing.

Both Ken Kaplan and Linda Crowe also talked about the "need for speed" in corporate video, and while there are clients and customers that still ask for content on videotape or DVD, most are happy to receive an online video version rather than a physical media asset.

The key is less focus on the technology and more focus on flexibility.

Related @ovpsummit Tweets

RT @dboyll: Check out Sun's viral "Shouting in the Datacenter" Geeks FTW! @llcrowe #ovps09

RT @dboyll: @llcrowe advice for those building/buying OVP: focus on automation and flexibility to change w/standards & user needs #ovps09

OVP Summit Best Practices panel rounds out day one w/ @deloca @kenekaplan @llcrowe and Wayne Kao @vmix (didn't get his Twitter name) #ovps09

RT @dboyll: Linda Crowe is @llcrowe of Sun: check out their industry-leading enterprise OVP implementation, ChannelSun


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Online Video Platform Summit: Measuring Success

For businesses, all roads lead to monetization, and there's no other tool more important than video analytics to capture how your video content is consumed on the web. While definitions vary on what is considered a "view" or an "impression" and no real standards currently exist, everyone recognizes the need for real-time data to measure and maximize the ROI of their online efforts. In this session from the Online Video Platform Summit, the CEOs of four leading analytics and video technology companies, Tubemogul, DigitalSmiths, Visible Measures and Accordent, discuss how video metrics help video publishers better understand audience behavior and the performance and reach of a viral video, social marketing campaign, online video ad, corporate training video or other content, and how it drives productivity and revenue.

Measuring Success
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 3:00 PM PST

Description: Without solid, performance-based metrics, there's no way to measure the success and ROI of your video content. The ability to measure video traffic beyond "views"-including audience dropoff, what sites and search terms are referring viewers, and audience geography-offers content publishers deeper insight into both the viewing habits of their audience and the extent of their video's reach. Panelists in this Online Video Platform Summit session will demonstrate video metrics in action and talk about what to measure, how to measure it, and how to turn those measurements into actionable business intelligence.

Moderator: Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing
Mike Newman, CEO, Accordent Technologies
Brian Shin, Founder & CEO, Visible Measures
Ben Weinberger, CEO, Digitalsmiths
Brett Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO, TubeMogul

In regards to the future of video analytics, Brian Shin noted a tremendous shift in the analytics space in general. He said,
"I think that the integration of analytics into everything that we do, the concept of web analytics will go away and I think you'll have just a unified analytic platform that's just tracking events."
Mike Newman noted that for his enterprise customers it's about business intelligence. There are always "bean counters" and finance managers that want to see objective data, metrics, tracking and discipline.
"Interestingly, the evolution we have seen is from starting with, "We want to create content" to "How are going to define success and how are we going to measure success?" and without those things in place we're not even going to start."

Ben Weinberger outlined the five things that you need to know about your target viewer to effectively monetize video. He maintained that you don't need to know who they are since that information is too specific and overwhelming. He expanded on these key points:
"What you do need to know is (1) what group they belong to, the basic demographic information (2) what is the viewing behavior of that group (3) when they are viewing, what is the appetite for consuming advertising (4) what platform are they on, since you're going to optimize the viewing experience for them (5) if you have all that information, what bucket are you putting them in, in the traditional ad sense. So that they're effectively being targeted with the right kind of ads."
Brett Wilson noted that,"the hardest part of online video is getting your video watched," and that approximately 50% of all the videos on YouTube have under 500 views and there's only .33% that have over 1 million views. He cited a Tubemogul research study that looked at how much a typical online video is watched, which found that most viewers click away from the video after the first minute.
"I think one thing we'd all agree on is that a metric we would all like to see become more standard is viewed minutes. So right along side a view you'd see how long they actually watched."
A few key take-aways from the panel were, that not all video campaigns are the same so figure out the specific ROI each of your campaigns, focus on reach rather than views and don't assume you've isolated the key metric. Key data can come from somewhere you weren't even trying to measure.

Related @ovpsummit Tweets:

OVP Summit analytics panel session, "Measuring Success" with @visiblemeasures @DsmithsBen @tubemogul @Accordent_Tech#ovps09


Friday, January 22, 2010

Online Video Platform Summit: Defining Online Video Platforms

The Online Video Platform Summit was held on November 18-19, 2009 as a featured event at Streaming Media West 2009, and was created to address the needs of the growing population of video publishers looking for solutions to publish their online video content. Over 30 online video platform providers shared their unique perspectives at the inaugural event, with panel sessions and platform showcases featuring an impressive line up of industry leaders, digital media executives, entrepreneurs, experts and innovators in the field of online video. As Streaming Media West Conference Chair Dan Rayburn noted, the real value of the summit was the ability to see these platforms in person, watch live demos and talk directly to the companies in the market.

We've seen exponential growth in the space since the event, with over 69 online video platform providers listed in VidCompare, and while many of the companies in the space do a great job at educating customers, there still is a lot confusion about what's actually needed for a business to launch video on the web. This opening session features an all-star panel that concentrated on defining online video platforms, and discussed the main functions and features customers should be looking for when evaluating online video platforms, the question of build vs. buy vs. free online video solutions, ways to monetize online video, how do online video platforms fit into the value chain of the video ecosystem and what sort of changes will we see in online video over the next few years.

Defining Online Video Platforms
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:30 AM PST

Moderator: Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, Editor,
Alex Castro, CEO, Delve Networks
Kristopher Drey, Founder, VidCompare
Bismarck C Lepe, Co-Founder & President of Product & Marketing, Ooyala
Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO, Kaltura

Description: There have never been more people publishing online video, and there have never been more online video platform solutions on the market. But with so many choices, it can be confusing to decide what services are right for your online video initiatives. This "lay of the land" session will set the stage for the rest of the summit, and panelists will highlight the specific value associated with the capabilities of online video platforms to provide attendees with a working knowledge to better publish, distribute, and monetize online video content.

Online Video Platform (OVP) Provider - An OVP provider is typically a SaaS (software as a service) solution providing end-to-end tools to manage, publish and measure online video content for both on-demand and live delivery. Typical components of an OVPP include video hosting, encoding, custom players, syndication, analytics, as well as interactivity and monetization through a variety of online advertising options typically 3rd-party ad-servers/networks. Most OVPPs offer scalable product packages for both self-serve SMB publishers up to large media companies. (from VidCompare)

Related @ovpsummit Tweets from the session: