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TECH ADVICE: Why You Need a Video on Your Website

July 2009
By: Ken Freeman

Social media has taken over the Internet world like a storm. A true tsunami has crashed upon all websites that exist. The critical paradigm shift from a static to an interactive site came about as we moved from the 1990s to the 2000s. But over the past decade, new ideas have taken over the web—video and web logs (blogs). (In the fall issue of At the Center, I will discuss blogs.)

Google recently announced a major shift in the way they will look at a website for ranking on their search engine. Other engines are expected to follow suit. Google's ranking is changing hour by hour. It is important for you to realize that if you want to be seen on Google's search engine in 2009, you need to scrap all the old ways of rank building and search engine optimization ideas and follow the basics of what your site is expected to be from the visitor's viewpoint.

First, the Internet visitor expects video today more than ever. According to ComScore's report in November 2008, Google sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with nearly 5.1 billion videos viewed (representing a 40 percent share of all videos viewed), with YouTube.com accounting for more than 98 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 439 million videos (3.5 percent), followed by Viacom Digital with 325 million (2.6 percent) and Yahoo! Sites with 304 million (2.4 percent). On the heels of a surge in viewership in October, Hulu retained its position with 227 million videos viewed (1.8 percent).

Second, Google's shift has created a need for a video on your front page if you wish to be seen on the search engine's results. With the expansion of their algorithms to include video, blogs, and other social media such as micro-blogging, all website owners need to quickly consider adding video to their website. This is a direct result of the new 'Search Customization' or 'Universal Search,' which is the new talk of 2009. This has come to the web as the expectation of the user.

Google is now showing 'search customization' messages to inform searchers when their search results have been modified from 'normal' due to a searcher's geographic location, previous query, or web surfing and search history. It's a nice move to help searchers know exactly what is going on 'under the hood' at Google and override it if the wrong choices are being made.

Thus, you need a video on your front page, a video that is changed regularly.

Ken Freeman is a professional web and social media consultant. He has served pregnancy resource centers with marketing, advertising, web design, hosting, social media orchestration, and optimization support. Contact Ken Freeman at askkenfreeman@gmail.com or by calling 214-703-0505.



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