Should You Buy Links And Video Embeds For YouTube SEO?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

Paid links

SMX West’s video SEO panel taught me that the number of embeds your video gets is important to having it rank better at Youtube, and potentially in Google’s universal search results. So why not speed things up by buying a few installs and links for your video?

If more embeds means better SEO, there seems to be an argument for buying installs, just as there is for buying links in normal SEO. An embed is when someone copy-pastes the html code from Youtube to put a video on their site.

Buying embeds or links for a Youtube page is all the more interesting since there’s less risk than buying links for your own site.

  • It’s hard to see Youtube get penalized by Google, so your chances of wasting your money are less.
  • Even if a Youtube page is penalized, you can always reupload the video with some slight modifications and try again.
  • It’s not like you burned a website, with the associated expenses in time and money…

The problem is that it’s easier said than done.

Youtube Video Data Patterns

Quantitative Data: Embeds, Links…

There’s likely a pattern in the data in terms of the ratio of views to embeds and links. If a video has 100 views, it probably won’t also have 100 embeds.

Additionally, there’s probably a longtail curve in terms of what videos get the most embeds. A few videos with hundreds of thousands or millions of views get astronomical numbers of embeds.

The longtail curve of video embeds

The pattern also likely varies in accordance with the quality of the video or audio. For example, an amazing song will likely rack up more embeds per thousand views than an average track.

Qualitative Data: Video Star Ratings, Saves, Favorites, Adds-to-Playlist

There’s probably a large range of variance in the quality of videos. If that’s the case, the ratings look something like a bell curve: most ratings on most videos fall somewhere in the middle, and a few great / awful videos get extremely positive or negative ratings.

The bell curve of video quality

What The Video Data Means For Link And Embed Buyers

You’re likely to stand out from the pack if you buy links or embeds disproportionately to your video quality and popularity. This is especially true if you have very few impressions (eg under 1000).

One possible way around that is to buy traffic to send to your video. You can buy StumbleUpon traffic or you can even buy traffic from Youtube’s own sponsored video ads. See also Barry Schwartz’s screenshots.

But again, you may not have sufficiently good star-ratings, enough saves-to-favorites-and-playlists or other quality metrics to legitimize your embed buying and link buying.

One possible workaround is that the same way people sell Diggs, Stumbles etc., there’s likely an underground market for people who will manipulate Youtube quality metrics. Think of them as your own army of Google quality raters! ;)

The bottom line is that there are some interesting opportunities here if you have a budget for experimental tactics.

You’ll probably need to do a fair amount of testing to get around Google’s data beasts. But if you can find a quiet spot under the ratings bell curve, and in a midrange area of the tail, you might pull in some nice video rankings.

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Comments

  1. great post but I am still not convinced that more embedes means better SEO. Based on my experince it is actaully the age of the video and tags that have more impact having it rank better.

    Comment by waiss - December 7, 2010 @ 6:18am

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