By Joanna Fletcher
In 2007, Google began returning search results from all Web sources including images, news, products and videos. So began the era of video tagging to ensure that video content is included in search engine results just like traditional Web pages.
Web pages include tags, entered right into the page at code level, which are visible to search engines but do not appear to the average viewer. You can see an example of tags, if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, by going to a Web page and choosing “View Source” from the right-click menu. Scan this code for “keywords” and you will see a list of relevant words that people might use to search for this web page.
Adding video tags is fairly simple, but you do need special software to do it unless you know or are willing to learn a good bit about HTML coding. The software can also index your video and add different tags at different points in the timeline so that people can get their own highlight reel by just picking out the appropriately tagged sections. A basic tagger appears on YouTube and other video and photo uploading sites like Flickr.
In general, it is better to use YouTube or QuickTime to put video on your Web page. These tools let you add tags relatively easily, but only QuickTime is viewable on both PCs and Macs. Web crawlers (also known as spiders or bots) can read these tags, but you will get a better ranking on the search engines when you surround the video with relevant text, title the video and any links using keywords, and fill out the description tag and keywords for the page.
If you used YouTube to embed or link your tagged video, now that YouTube is owned by Google, you can be sure that your video will be found. However, don't forget to register your Web site with Google, Yahoo, and any other industry-specific or local search engines that may apply. You can wait for the Googlebot and other Web crawlers to find you, but it could be a long wait.
Best Tags to Use
Opinions differ on which tags are best to use. Some say use the most popular tags, and others say be as specific as possible. If your video is business-oriented, specific tags will help people find exactly what they need more easily; if it is more casual in feel, use the popular tags to maximize your view potential. You can find a list of the most popular video tags here: http://www.d2videos.com/top_tags.php . The word on the street is that any video with BANNED in the title or tag will get lots of attention. Choose your tags, and choose your audience.
About the Author
Joanna Fletcher is a netizen who has lived, worked, and played in virtual space for most of her life. Her entrepreneurial flair is topped only by her tolerance for failure.