The other day someone mentioned a new service, Traffic Geyser, that claimed top results in Google through online video distribution.
The software itself is pretty basic – it basically provides an interface that allows you to upload a video file, add data that will be passed on to the video sharing site, and then submit the file to a number of video sharing sites. It isn’t fundamentally different than a list of links to major video sharing sites except you save time by only uploading the video once (whether that is worth $100 per month is questionable in my mind).
The concept is not really that radical actually. SEO software (like Web Position Gold) does the same thing with Web sites and Web search engines, and more recently I’ve seen a number of services that aggregate links and pass data to social bookmark sites like Social Poster.
Traffic Geyser simply saves you a bit of time adding video to video sharing sites, and if I were in the online video business I might even consider buying their software – if it were $20 for a lifetime license (as opposed to the ridiculous price tag of $100 per month).
What I found to be a bit snake-oilish was the claim on their Web site that “Pay Per Click isn’t the answer.” They show a few case studies where high performing videos rank #1 in Google for targeted keywords.
In my experience I haven’t seen a lot of online businesses make a living out of selling high results in Google and proclaiming that customers didn’t need to purchase Google ads. In fact, that is tantamount to writing an e-mail to Google asking them to blacklist you.
That being said, a few things I want to address here.
1. Videos can perform well in search – if they have backlinks
Traffic Geyser is not lying when they say that pages in video sharing sites can perform well in Google’s organic search. Video sharing sites like YouTube and Google Video are going to be interwoven with domains that have a lot of PageRank to pass around. In fact, if you run a query for “PRWeb in Plain English” in Google you will see that the YouTube results rank #1 and #2.
Now here is the catch – the high performance of these videos is primarily the result of the links pointing to the URL hosting the videos. We launched these videos as part of a broader marketing campaign that involved distribution of PRWeb press releases with the embedded video and posting of the video to a number of blogs.
Over time, the links pointing to the video page made that page a good candidate for a top result in Google. That is something that Traffic Geyser neglects to tell you however – that you can put your content out there, but someone has to care enough to link to it if you want long term results, which leads me to my next point.
2. Videos can perform well in search – if they have good, relevant content
Traffic Geyser sells their $100 per month subscription with royalty-free images and a “slideshow creator” that allow you to produce “video without a camera.” Basically, they want to give people the tools to come up with anything that can be uploaded into video sharing sites.
If content doesn’t matter to you, your customers, or your brand, then this approach will probably work. Otherwise, you may want to think a little more carefully before you start driving people to your content.
When we wanted to create our video content, we went out and hired Common Craft, one of the most talented production teams out there (who have also done video work for a little company called Google). We wanted to make sure that the thousands of people who were going to see our video, left with a good impression of our brand and a desire to enter into a long-term relationship with us.
That being said – we didn’t spend a fortune on the production budget and we were the first client that contracted them to make a video. We found them because they were creating some great independent materials on social media technologies. One idea? Go out onto video sharing sites and see who is creating great video content in your space.
At the end of the day, you might be able to get a top result for a short amount of time but if the traffic that is flowing through search engines to your content sees shoddy craftsmanship – what is that going to tell them about your brand or product and more importantly, what do you think they are likely to do? Would your typical consumer entrust their business to a company when their only impression of that company was a video that looked like it was made by a fifth grader in two hours?
If you care about your brand or your company, you may want to consider what it is you are putting out there for public consumption. Additionally, good video content is going to get you more back links and better placement in search over the long haul.
3. You don’t need to upload your video to 25 different video sharing sites
On principle, I’m not crazy about software that goes and pushes content to a number of different social media sites with no regard for the etiquette of those sites. In practice, it simply isn’t effective. You are better off focusing on one or two of the top video sharing sites than getting your video onto 15 or 20 different ones.
Again, over the long haul one of your goals is to make your video on YouTube perform well. If you have your video spread out over 15 or 20 sites, then your links are also going to be spread out. Would you rather have one YouTube video with 100 back-links or 20 videos dispersed with 5 back-links each? Let me put this another way – would you rather have a page 1 result in Google or dominate pages 5-6?
4. You’re better off not spamming video sharing sites or pissing off Google
I’ve sort of alluded to this already, but I’m really not crazy about the idea of blasting off some crap content to a bunch of video sharing sites on principal alone. The idea behind these video sharing sites is that the infrastructure is present to create a two-way flow of communication between you and the people you are interested in connecting with. The video is the vessel that carries your message to your intended audience but it isn’t just a one-way message because people can comment on your YouTube video, add it to their blogs, and even write directly back to you – in text and with video submissions! You can also build out your network in video sharing sites and over time, people will subscribe to your channel and be immediately notified when you upload new videos.
Participating in social media can be a way of creating real connections with customers, stakeholders, etc. when done correctly. When abused, it normally doesn’t end well for the perpetrator.
At any rate, my overall perception of Traffic Geyser is that some guys in San Diego cobbled together some software and are selling it for $100 per month and going on a marketing blitzkrieg, claiming top results in Google. It is snake oil – the latest craze and it will be antiquated in the next six months leaving Traffic Geyser customers feeling disappointed and the Traffic Geyser owners feeling happy because they just made millions of dollars by teaching people how to make terrible video content and spam the Internet.
Remember – all those social media sites are free to use. When approached properly they can perform even perform well in search. Just make sure that when people come to your content, there is something for them to see.
My advice – if you have $1200 to spare (the cost of Traffic Geyser over 12 months) use the money and buy a camera or take a class and learn how to build your own great piece of video content. It isn’t that hard. Alternatively, think about hiring out a local production firm or even a local freelancer – and upload your video to the top two or three video sharing sites yourself.
You can also announce it using embedded video in a PRWeb press release 😉
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