Startup Blog

Viral Video and SEO - Does YouTube Help or Hurt?

Posted by Mike Volpe on 12/15/08 11:03 AM

Based on the success of our Oughta Know Inbound Marketing video (40,000 views in 5 days) promoting inbound marketing, I've gotten a few questions about how and why we did certain things.  Here's one example and my answer that I thought I would share.

"Would it be better to distribute the video from your site instead of YouTube to get the SEO credits for visits and links? When is it best to distribute a video from YouTube vs. one's own site?"

Inbound marketing is a mix of SEO, publishing content and using social media.  Sometimes to get the best benefits, you need to balance the focus on just one technique in order to get the greatest overall benefit.

If we had ONLY published the video on our blog or website, I bet we would have gotten a few thousand views, not tens of thousands.  That's a big limit to how far our ideas spread.

But, by putting it on YouTube, we were able to get tons of views within the YouTube community, and the video was much more easily shareable in other social media sites and blogs because users can directly embed it themselves.  We also published it on our blog.  Over half the views of the video were from social networks like StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter, and we were able to get lots of internal YouTube views because we made it onto the top 100 most viewed list, again exposing the video to more people.  None of this would have been possible if we had only put the video on our website.

Here's the cool part... because we got all of those views and exposed the video to so many more people by putting it on YouTube, we actually got a ton of links into the blog article on our blog about the video, and to our main website as well.  So by not trying to focus on SEO, we actually got possibly a greater SEO benefit.

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: video, SEO

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