How video impacts search ranking

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Google’s algorithm Hummingbird was introduced in 2013 and has been honed and tweaked many times since. This update to Google’s search algorithm is good news for websites that provide quality content, and especially those who provide video. The new update takes into consideration the intent of the user, the context of keywords and the meaning of the search, rather than just showing you results based on keywords.

Google (generally speaking) exists to answer questions, so Hummingbird is more reflective of the user experience than Google in its previous form. Google has been using a similar type of functionality since the introduction of voice activation search, the small microphone icon on Google’s homepage allowing users to conduct a search by speaking. This allows Google to gather more information about the search query and provide more accurate and meaningful results for the user.

Providing original content is a key factor to determine search ranking. It is no coincidence that content ranks very high on SEO success factors. Some key factors:

Quality – are pages well written and have substantial quality content?

Research – have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content?

Words – do pages use words and phrases you hope they’ll be found for?

Engage – do people spend time reading or bounce away quickly?

Fresh – are pages fresh and about hot topics?


Google ranks content as one of the top factors, with quality being the leader. As such, your brand needs to be competitive in the online market; it needs to consistently produce original quality content to stand out from your competitors.

Video is still the favoured platform for people to use as an information resource. The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words, but according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research video is worth a staggering 1.8million words. If your potential customer prefers video to text or audio, then you need to ensure that your brand meets that demand. A good video can communicate everything you need to in a short, punchy and visually appealing format.

Allowing people share to your video content is also a great way to increase your search ranking: The more inbound links that are created for your website the better.

YouTube is still the most popular destination for video content, boasting the second largest search engine. And even though YouTube does not affect your search ranking directly, it affects your position indirectly. The number of likes, shares, followers, comments, subscribers and mentions affect your organic search rankings and also boost traffic. Social shares give you more inbound links and quality traffic. 95% of social media links involve real people, usually highly targeted audience in your social networks, which drives high-quality traffic to your website.

Video is “53 times more likely to appear on the first page than normal text” and search results with video have a “41% higher click-through rate than plain text.”



People view, click and play content that they find interesting online and that can be your brand’s content, whether you’re advertising or not.



According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, U.S., the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. With this latest research in mind, you do not have much time to capture the attention of your customer, ensure your brand has quality and meaningful content.

Rich, quality video increases dwell time, engagement, reduces bounce rates which all lead to a higher sales conversion rate.

For best practices position your video above the fold and provide clear, correct and authentic video titles and keyword tags. Users will not return if they are shown irrelevant or deceitful content; the video equivalent of a “click-bait” headline.



People don’t share everything online, so the content needs to reach the right audience.

Video content that is specific and relevant to your audience more likely to be shared and have a viral impact. A YouTube channel is another way for your brand to get noticed and indirectly affects your search ranking.

These changes in online search and consumer trends are a great opportunity; a chance to engage your audience in a new way, and to encourage them to spread your message.


Source: Google, IAB, Aimclear and Facebook