Are we talking offsite benefits or on-site benefits?
I think if the videos are good enough, the benefits are likely to be both offsite and onsite.
At PubCon, in discussing some odd Google results with those who had them to show ;) , I saw some striking indications that time and engagement on a site was a big ranking factor, even for sites you wouldn't otherwise expect to rank. While in the particular results I was checking, video wasn't the attraction, it might well have been.
Embedded videos, if good enough to be engaging
, can definitely keep visitors around. If you've produced videos for your site that are good enough to be shared, then they are also potentially a strong social factor.
But IMO the "presence" of video has no direct correlation to ranking.
Very true. I see some corporate sites cranking out some amazingly dull video simply because video is one more thing on the checklist, and that kind of material is not likely to help rankings.
A take-away from PubCon that's been making the rounds, originally tweeted by Dana Lookadoo, is... [api.twitter.com
Optimized video is 53 times more likely to show up on page 1 of Google than a standard HTML page.
This doesn't tell us, of course, how much this might apply to your
video and your
search terms vs how much Lady Gaga might be distorting the stats, but it's a striking statistic that's worth exploring. I don't remember which speaker originally mentioned it... but it was on the first day... and it helped set the tone which ran throughout PubCon, that SEO is no longer just links and keyword repetition, titles, and headings.
This also takes us back to the original question, of how much of the traffic to the video hub sites ultimately rubs off on your own site. I'm viewing video as a social strategy that can both drive traffic (and links) to your site and provide onsite content and longterm onsite benefits. Engagement, I feel, is a major consideration.
Social video may not be applicable to all niches, but it's definitely a strategy to be looked at.
There's some discussion, in this thread from a year ago, about some of the factors involved in transferring traffic and benefits from offsite videos to your own site ... Getting my YouTube videos to appear and rank in SERPs http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4156318.htm