Is Video the Answer to the Google Penguin Blues?

Is Video the Answer to the Google Penguin Blues?
June 12, 2012

As anyone who even casually follows the world of SEO knows, Google released its latest (greatest?) algorithm update in late April, codenamed “Penguin.” As with last year’s Google Panda update, changes like these are big news because they can have a serious impact on the page ranks of various sites and web pages.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Google’s affinity for cute animals, here are two things you should know:

1)      While these updates do tend to get a bad rap initially from frustrated webmasters upon seeing their search rankings take a nose dive, not everyone is affected that way. And the truth is, Google isn’t trying to screw anyone over here – all algorithmic changes are designed to improve the quality of search results for web users. And personally, I feel that for the most part, they’ve succeeded.

2)      Even if you’re frustrated by the ever-changing rules of SEO that these updates can bring, it doesn’t really matter. Google is holding all the cards in this particular game; either play by their rules or find another sport.

So with that in mind, I tend not to be super-interested in dissecting the nuts and bolts of updates like Penguin. What I do find interesting, however, is how to continue to improve my company’s online strategy to get the best results (and I’d expect that’s what most marketers care about, too).

That’s why I was pleased to come across a couple of posts today that bypassed the nitty-gritty of the latest Penguin update (a new one was also released in May), and instead focused on one way companies can sidestep search issues while improving their overall SEO and marketing strategies.

The focus of both articles? Make more video!

Why More Video Leads to a Better Strategy

First, when too companies hear the term “online marketing” these days, they still interpret it as referring primarily to SEO. In fact, more than a few business blogs and content marketing strategies were launched purely as a mechanism for gaining higher search rankings, with much less attention paid to things like content quality and audience interest. Predictably, these are often the companies that are most negatively affected by updates like Panda and Penguin.

As SEO and marketing guru David Jenyns told recently, a well-rounded online marketing strategy is often the best counter-attack to the search engine blues, and video is a huge component of that concept these days. As he explains, “Google holds the key to a business's success or failure online, and using strictly SEO is like having all your eggs in one basket − you can't chance it, you must diversify."

The post continues to cite a recent Bright Roll survey revealing that many marketers these days expect online and mobile video to “gain the largest spend increase over the next two years.” This is hardly the first study to report marketers’ growing interest in online video content, but it’s another example of how smart companies are allocating their money away from so-called “traditional SEO” and investing more in new media practices based on popularity and interest.

The second thing to be aware of is that some experts have actually noted that the Panda and Penguin updates make online video more valuable when it comes to visibility in search.  This is a topic that really deserves its own post, but if you already believe in the power of video marketing, what’s really important is HOW to get the most out of it. (Business 2 Community recently published a very good article on maximizing video SEO, with several tips and ideas I’ve written about in the past as well.

The point is that Google will only continue to make changes in its ongoing quest to deliver the highest quality search results possible. As a result, companies that fail to adapt to the evolving state of SEO are putting their online marketing strategies at risk. There are LOTS of things you can do to improve of course, but one thing is clear – video content is a major asset right now, and it’s not going away.

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