Looking For Video Search

    December 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

As search engines build up their capabilities for indexing and delivering video, a session at SES Chicago detailed how to get videos properly noted by various engines.

Do you, as a publisher or advertiser, see yourself in pictures? Does video search and advertising models hold the key to your future? Picture the topic in your mind and share your thoughts on WebProWorld.

It’s all about the metadata, WebProNews’ Chris Richardson reported from Chicago. “The better the descriptors, the better you are when you get indexed and ranked,” he observed from the morning session on Video Search.

Spiders will get video content into sites like Yahoo, Blinkx, AOL/SingingFish, and AltaVista. Google spiders for content and accepts user submissions of material that doesn’t violate copyrights; Blinkx also accepts user-submitted content.

Karen Howe from AOL’s SingingFish subsidiary, which has some 60 million content streams indexed, stressed the importance of including enough metadata to get content indexed properly. Howe listed some RSS fields content creators need to be aware of if they want to index and rank appropriately:

Creator of content (artist, athlete, actor, anchor)
Copyright info (dates, names and so forth)

Secondary level of metadata: Publisher, album, album descriptions, notes, publication location, program title, team name, conductor, director.

SingingFish will try to fill out missing metadata if content does not have good descriptors

Jon Leicht from well-known SEO firm SiteLab stressed metadata repeatedly during his talk at the session. From his perspective, file naming is critical. While that meta selection should include meta keywords for ad campaign purposes, the metadata must be descriptive of the video’s contents.

John Thrall, Yahoo Media Search Engineer, noted how the growing adoption of broadband connections has helped drive demand for video content. Yahoo has only been in video search for about a year, and Thrall said video search is in its infancy.

What about the future of video search? More content will drive more demand, as the number of content creators and sites expand their participation. As more people adopt portable video media players like Apple’s latest video iPod, demand for video content and an easy way to find it will follow.

On the bad side, spam and spammers will probably figure into the mix, as more people search and access video content. Popular keywords and phrases are bound to attract the attention of those who want to attract attention for advertising placed into videos.

Advertising and other ways of monetizing all this video content indexing wasn’t discussed in-depth during the session. That’s the important feature publishers will want: how to make money on their content.

It’s not unlikely that Google and other competitors have been working on ways to insert ads into videos. How that is done, and how revenue will be shared with publishers, has to be part of future discussions of video search.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.