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To YouTube Or Not To YouTube?

     
7:47 am on Jun 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some of my content lends itself to being recorded on video and posted to YouTube, where people are searching for the keywords and -phrases I target with that content. I've been thinking about trying to reach that audience by uploading those videos, but what's holding me back now is a fear of being outranked by YouTube. YouTube is already ranking for many keywords I target, sometimes very competitively, perhaps too competitively because it's usually not the video people are looking for but the thing itself. If I upload the videos with titles including the keywords targeted by my pages, it's possible those videos will start to rank and possibly dilute my direct traffic from search results. On the other hand, YouTube has a large audience and it's possible I will reach new people with the videos, which will include a link to the relevant page in the description. I don't expect much in the way of monetization with video ads, if I enable them at all.

Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice?
1:47 pm on June 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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We've done a fair number of YouTube videos. Some of them attract a decent amount of traffic, but most don't.have anywhere near the traffic of our Web articles on the same topics.

We get very few referrals from YouTube, so I have the feeling that people who search or browse for videos on YouTube are mostly interested in watching videos and would rather click on another title in a YouTube playlist than read text on a related Web site.

I haven't noticed any of our YouTube videos outranking our Web pages in Google Search.

For a niche site like ours, YouTube seems to be useful mostly as a free hosting service for videos that enhance the content of our Web site and ancillary blogs. Going forward, I expect to make more YouTube videos for embedding on our pages, but I see that more as a way to serve our Web site's audience than to reach a new audience of YouTube users.
10:51 pm on June 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Why not do both? Build keyword rich content pages that contain Youtube videos. The videos may be presented in a variety of ways on the page.

I choose to open these videos in a new child window (which can be expanded to full view) but the video can also be embedded. Works well on mobile responsive pages.

Then the videos would also be at Youtube where you could experiment to see how to get the best response with traffic. Best of both worlds.
11:51 pm on June 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The two are not similar ... both exist for different reasons. However there is no reason not to play in both arenas and in that regard I agree with keyplyr.

However, some browsers (FF for example) will look at how the embedding is done and might present a popup warning regarding click-jacking, etc. Keep that in mind as you go forward.

However, it is nice that youtube will front the bandwidth instead of your site ... and as we all well know: the web ain't free.
11:56 am on June 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Firefox warning click-jacking because of a Youtube video? Never seen that and I use Firefox exclusively. I do know that the Youtube embed method changed a while ago.
4:31 pm on June 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Sorry ... I meant FF with NoScript installed.
9:40 am on June 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Good input, thanks!

I have some self-hosted videos but these don't show up in the Web search results like YouTube videos do; only in Video search, which brings in a few visitors, but not very many. However, each of those self-hosted videos may very well have a positive effect on the rankings of the pages where they are embedded. It's original content, after all, and I wonder if that could change when they're hosted at YouTube instead. Bandwidth is not really an issue.

I might try uploading a few videos to YouTube without embedding them on the site and see what happens with views, click-throughs and search results. I'll look for pages with little competition in the Google search results to see how I stack up against YouTube in ranking for those keywords.
11:16 am on June 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I agree - youtube videos are great for supporting content within the site. I always enjoy seeing a video if I am on the fence and almost ready to buy a product a video is like the icing on the cake...now I need to take my own advice and create some videos.
5:09 pm on Sept 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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A thought: Why not "a taste" (~movie trailers, summary, highlights, "teaser") of the video content on YouTube and the full topical video self-hosted?

Has anyone played with this approach? Comments or suggestions?

Hey, it's an old thread . . but I just stumbled upon it . .
6:26 pm on Sept 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Why not create your own site instead to upload your videos on and become the go to place for your kind of videos. That way also your in full control and not competing for attention with hundreds of other videos.

If your videos are really good and not your average goofy youtuber who is talking about how many oreos he can fit in his mouth then there is a lot more potential on your own site than youtube where you will just be another one of 1 billion youtubers (and whos to say your video would even be picked to rank anyway).