Video SEO: Host Internally or on YouTube?

Apr 14, 2009 • 8:11 am | comments (5) by | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A HighRankings Forum thread asks if one should host videos on their own server or host them on YouTube.

I do a lot of videos here in my Search Buzz Video Recaps, which are weekly digests of what we covered here over the course of the week, so I have some experience with this topic.

Let me start off by saying that Google and most search engines have a very tough time understanding the content within the video. Yes, they are testing out speech recognition and other factors, but right now, these search engines don't rank videos based on the words spoken in a video. They determine the relevancy of the video based on meta data, content around the video, links to the video, the video title and so on.

That being the case, duplicate content is not really much of an issue in videos then it is with standard content on the web. Why do I say this? I publish our videos both on YouTube and on my own server because I am not currently worried about duplicate content in the video search space.

YouTube videos simply rank incredibly well. I also want my videos hosted internally so that I can publish an iTunes feed and gain subscribers not only to YouTube but also to my video feed, which can be subscribed to on your favorite RSS reader or via iTunes or other video/podcast readers.

If you had to make a decision on where to host your videos, I would tell you to host them both on YouTube and on an internal server (I use Amazon S3).

Here is my process for syndicating my videos:

  1. Upload video to YouTube and write descriptive title and description, plus link to my blog via YouTube
  2. Upload video to S3
  3. Create blog post, embed both YouTube video and a link to the raw video on S3.
  4. Create video XML feed file for iTunes and other podcast readers, which includes the YouTube video in description, but also S3 download URL for readers
  5. I make sure the XML file contains description, title, S3 URL, YouTube embed, link to blog post and other meta data

You can see my latest video on April 3rd, you can subscribe directly on iTunes or via your favorite RSS reader on watch it on YouTube or on my blog. Yes, I give a bunch of options and they all work well.

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

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