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Video Captioning and YouTube

When I first wrote about how expensive search optimization (SEO) was getting due to the rapid rate of advancement of Google’s research and development, I was thinking forward. That was years ago. Good SEO requires hands-on research as well as futures research. Today, Google is so far ahead of the typical SEO practitioner that every day is a wake up call for any SEO who has not been seriously investing in SEO R&D for the past year at least.

Today Matt Cutts boasted of YouTube’s new video captioning. That’s SEO news.

Google added closed captioning to Google video long ago. Blogoscoped discussed it back in 2006. Google announced it had added closed captioning to YouTube in 2008. As Matt shows today, there is small red CC icon on the lower right of videos. Click that CC icon on a video that has captioning uploaded and viola…text captions!

Starting yesterday if your YouTube videos are captioned, you’re ahead of your competitors in the online marketing game because your content is being indexed, semantically analyzed, and of course indexed for relevance. And most importantly for SEOs, Matt Cutts cares about this.

If you have no idea how to add captions to your YouTube videos, then you just got a wake up call and a warning that your search marketing customers are about to ask why the hell you haven’t been doing that for them yet.

This is not another magical new invention, but it is an example of how Google drives the world forward with each innovation. Anyone who bothered to think about YouTube for Internet marketing 3 years ago would have predicted that YouTube would eventually be closed-captioned, not only because Google video was already closed-captioned, but because the law requires somelevel of accessibility and Google doesn’t like to be criticized.

And anyone who follows Google seriously would have recognized this future development hiding behind almost every seemingly-artificial Google discussion about indexing Flash content.Why was there never a reasonable answer provided for that obvious concern? Because there was an obvious answer, driving development efforts that were not quite ready for market. And coincidentally, the market is still not ready for video captioning!

The market for video captioning services is about to explode, as this professional service jumps from the relatively obscure disability community (where projects like MagPie have been funded by the Department of Education) into the mainstream, due to a renewed importance for marketing reasons.

Here is a list of video captioning resources for those who need to catch up (see the list behind the “Video Captioning Resources” tab at top).It includes a note that you can limit your YouTube search to only see closed captioned videos, but when I tried that this one came up first and no, for what may be obvious reasons, it is not captioned.



  1. Todd Mintz wrote:

    Looks like you chose a good domain name :.)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  2. A cute baby

    Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 6:44 am | Permalink