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Choosing YouTube as a communication channel.

YouTube is owned by Google whose commercial interests lie in driving PPC revenue. However, it’s also the second most popular search engine in the world and therefore a great way to find your video online.

As with SEO itself, there are several factors you can optimise that will determine where in the YouTube Search Engine Results Page (SERP) your video will appear.

These principles will determine the order of search engine results on YouTube:

  • Metadata – video title and description tags
  • Number of comments and shares
  • Backlinks
  • Date added
  • View count (and channel view count, number of subscribers and playlist adds for YouTube)
  • Rating and flagging (where applicable)
  • Incoming links (exposure on other sites, other embeds, RSS links)
  • For many brands, the lack of control associated with simply uploading a clip to YouTube and embedding it in a website is inappropriate. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer: you’re the product being sold.

It’s important to remember that YouTube is a channel, not a platform. Many brands have been attracted to YouTube by its free model. However, as with the free lunch, there is no control over choice of the ‘recommended’ content viewers are presented with at the end of each clip. And naturally, a good deal of the data that Google collects from viewing behaviour is not made available to content owners.

If your strategy needs you to increase your YouTube view count with every view, then you may choose to embed the YouTube player on your site. In this case, a little bit of geekery goes a long way to removing some of the unwanted YouTube features from the player. All you need to do is add “?” to the end of the URL in the embed code, and then add parameters immediately afterwards as follows:

modestbranding=1 remove the YouTube logo from the player controls
rel=0 do not show related YouTube videos after the completion of your clip
showinfo=0 do not show video title in the upper-left corner when the video is paused or stopped
controls=0 do not show the player control bar & YouTube watermark at the bottom of your video
If you specify more than one parameter, separate them with “;”