There have always been and will increasingly be terminology confusion in the online marketing field.  Everyday there are new ideas, innovation concepts and cutting-edge technologies on the horizon, and search and social marketers are in a constant uphill run to absorb the latest trends and lingo.

Add all of that with the need to explain what we do to people outside of the industry, and it becomes very important for us to attempt to keep it simple.  Some of my favorite misconceptions are:

Garbage bag on the persons head for using the term video SEO

Blame the companies that tell you they can get you x number of links in x amount of time for x amount of money.  These are the broad misconceptions, then there are the specific ones, like video search engine optimization.

Video Marketing & Search Engines

There are many marketers out there calling video optimization, video SEO or video search engine optimization.  This is a big no no.  Search Engine Optimization is the process of selecting targeted and relevant keywords and key phrases related to a websites products or industry to help ensure that the site ranks when those keywords or key phrases are searched for.  Indeed, this is a very broad and basic definition and SEO covers so many other things, but you get the gist.  So if you apply that to video, calling it video search engine optimization, you are essentially saying that you are selecting targeted and relevant keywords for the video so it shows up in search.

Video filmstrip in black and white for optimizing video for the web

Videos cannot be crawled by search engine spiders.  Spiders do not have the ability to go inside a video and index the content of that video (considering the fact that they currently can distinguish a very simply image, perhaps someday that capability will exist).  Therefore, it is not the video that is being optimized, but the content surrounding the video, i.e. the title, the description, the tags, etc.  That means we are doing video optimization or optimizing video for the web.

To clarify (or confuse) even further, when you search in Google for a keyword, a video can come up based on its content.  So how is that not video search engine optimization at work?  Google is ranking that video based on the content that surrounds the video, not on the content of the video itself.  With search sharing sites (not a search engine) like YouTube, the algorithms in these sites is also based on the content that surrounds the video.  This is why a YouTube video will rank in Google.

Optimizing Video for the Web

When marketers use terms like video search engine optimization, they are essentially telling someone that you can put a video up on your site and voila, the search engine spiders will crawl it, index it and know what the heck it is about.  Do not make that mistake.  Make sure you optimize your video for the web by creating targeted, keyword rich, high-quality content on the page where your video lives.  Video is a huge component to the online marketing world, a format that can draw a large number of visitors to your site, so it is critical that it be used to the best of its ability.  And please stop saying video search engine optimization.