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My business partner is convinced that having a video on a page is inherently good for SEO and will improve its ranking. I'm trying to find some evidence to confirm or deny this theory. My hunch is that answers to questions like this are right on the money: videos are like any other form of content. Good content will drive traffic (and therefore links, and therefore SEO), bad/irrelevant content won't.

Does anybody know of any resources that have either confirmed or debunked the alleged inherent awesomeness of having a video on your page?

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4 Answers

"Inherently" is the keyword here. Just putting videos on your page has zero impact on rankings from a on site optimization stand point.

What videos help with are your engagement metrics (time on site, bounce rates, etc). Google has started taking these metrics into a more favorable account when deciding how to measure a users "experience" of their suggested results.

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Google doesn't use your bounce rate or time on site. They don't have reliable access to that kind of information on a large enough scale to use. They don't use google analytics data so the best they could do is use toolbar data which is extremely limited. The closet they may come is seeing users bounceback to their search results page but that's it. –  John Conde Mar 9 '12 at 21:20
    
@John: You comment above seems to missing some verbs. I found it a little hard to sense of. :/ –  Ilmari Karonen Mar 10 '12 at 15:05
    
Yeah, the word "use" was missing multiple times. Weird. Imve editted it so it is now coherent. –  John Conde Mar 10 '12 at 15:44
    
@JohnConde while agree with you mostly about organic data, they have a significant amount of data from AdWords that correlates strongly with metrics such as bounce rates, time on site, match to search etc - you know - all those things that add up to Quality Score. –  Mike Hudson Mar 10 '12 at 23:13
    
It's still limited data as most websites don't use adwords or adsense. –  John Conde Mar 11 '12 at 17:51
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@Ryan Steel is correct, there is no inherent value, just the value based off of the quality.

One way to assure some quality is to make sure you follow the schema on http://schema.org/VideoObject on your video pages so that Google knows as much relevant information about your video as possible.

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One of the reasons why people suggest that video is beneficial to SEO is because Google deliberately surfaces videos in it's blended results.

So where once, there were no video results in a search engine results page (SERP), now almost every search triggers a video/image blended results page.

That then means that if you have a video that's on a relevant page, with proper best practice implementation and tagging etc, your video could show in results against competitors where a normal organic snippet would never show.

There's also the engagement piece. A video is much more highly engaging as content than text, so time on site, and time to return to search results could be greatly extended.

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As Mike Hudson said, now that video appears in Google's universal results, having video gives you another opportunity to appear in serps and engage people in your site. However, having one video on one page probably won't have an impact. For video to have an impact, you need to take it seriously and work with a strategic approach. Create video tutorials, updates, demos, and add them to your site. Make sure to create a video XML sitemap, and add schema microformats to each video.

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