Video is expected to be a major area of investment for publishers and marketers this year and, luckily, optimising it seems to involve stuff you’d already know.
“Many of the same principles behind regular SEO apply to video SEO,” says Suranga Chandratillake, Blinkx’s CTO and founder. “A lot of it revolves around simplicity – as with your regular web pages.”
As existing engines don’t cut the mustard when it comes to video search, Blinkx is among a number of start-ups that are aiming to dominate the space.
Unlike many of its competitors, it indexes words spoken within videos, as well as the text set around them on pages.
As with run-of-the-mill searching, Suranga says one of the major problems it faces is wanton Flash usage:
“It’s very tempting for people to build very complex, dynamic, Flash-based sites, but that sort of thing is very hard to spider. It’s better to have one video per page and very obvious demarcation between videos. Most video search engines also look to see the description in your text links, so it’s very important you provide that.”
The benefits to Blinkx of fostering video SEO best practice are clear. According to Emarketer, only 37% of online video viewers currently use search engines to find video content.
The company also earns cash through PPC ads alongside listings. It distributes its search platform to the likes of Lycos and Microsoft through revenue-sharing deals, and says it will eventually launch an advertising system for its own engine.
“We currently see our own search engine as a showcase for our technology,” says Suranga, “but we will [introduce ads] in the long term.”
Ultimately, the plan is to turn Blinkx into “a remote control” for IPTV, he adds:
“In the long term this is about TV content being delivered over IP networks. It will need to be searched through and switched in the same way web content is today.
“Although the content isn’t quite there, we’re already looking at working with set-top box manufacturers to understand how we can embed what we do in their systems.”