The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry continues to evolve. More and more experts are finding out ways and thinking up new strategies to make their websites – and their content – friendlier to the search engines. Nowadays, it’s no longer such a mystery to figure out how to rank higher, find faster, and optimize better.

For the most part, SEO covers just text and image content. That’s because search engine robots understand only text. But times are changing, and we’re seeing new innovations in video SEO that bring us closer to being able to rank published video content more systematically in search.

Why is this important? Well, it’s important for the simple fact that people are publishing videos on the Web more than ever. On YouTube, the well-established leader in this industry, users upload 20 hours of video every minute – and 10.5 million hours, or 120 decades, every year. More videos are uploaded using other platforms, which include Vimeo, Metacafe, and Viddler, among many others.

It’s not surprising then that experts and innovators are paying more attention to video SEO. Recently, YouTube introduced a new feature – Automatic Captions – that is helping advance the state of video SEO, and is poised to provide more incentives for video publishers to come up with quality content. Using Google Voice’s voice recognition algorithms and speech recognition technology, YouTube can now generate captions for videos automatically. These captions can then improve the process of searching for something on the site, and can even enable users to jump to parts of the videos they are looking for.

Of course, these captions also make up the text content/ transcripts of published videos – transcripts which can be searched and indexed by the robots. But the real impact of automatic caption is that it takes these transcripts and puts them together with a YouTube video’s timeline.

A similar innovation, SpeakerText, is generating buzz among video SEO practitioners, publishers, and individual users. SpeakerText is an easy-to-use tool that lets users find, read, and share what other people are saying inside of videos. Taking YouTube’s recent feature to a whole new level, SpeakerText not only produces automatic captions and transcripts; it also allows users to highlight quotes (or specific portions) of the video transcript and then produce hyperlinked text that they can paste on their blogs and videos. The hyperlink, of course, points to the exact moment inside the video where the linked text or quote came from. So essentially, with SpeakerText, the transcript becomes part of the video itself; users can use skip backwards and forwards within the video just by clicking on the text.

Image Credits to Mashable

SpeakerText currently only works with YouTube, but it’s inevitable that the service will soon be provided for other platforms. After all, video SEO is gaining increasing relevance.

As we wait for other new solutions to emerge, it won’t hurt to follow a couple of simple – bonus! – video SEO tips:

Be as accurate as you can. It will be difficult for other people to find your video content if all your uploaded files are titled as “Mov.1” or “Wmv.3” or some other generic, indecipherable file name. So think visually and be accurate in writing your title and the description of your video. Write down what actually happens and what people actually see when they watch your video. It will also help to include as many accurate tags as you can.

It doesn’t always hurt to be generic. Sometimes users (like me) go to YouTube with no clear idea of what to watch. Yes, sometimes people just want to be entertained. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that when adding tags to your video, it doesn’t hurt to add relatively generic words and phrases like “funny clips”, “creative commercials”, “basketball highlights”, or “video spoof”. That way, you’re also positioning yourself to be found by users who aren’t exactly searching for anything specific.

Embed. Do you have your own website or blog? If so, then copy the videos that you’ve uploaded on video publishing platforms and paste them onto your site. To give them better chances of appearing in search results, create a video sitemap and submit it to search engines. Because the sitemap includes a link to the page in which the video appears, you can give search engines the links directly to your videos and provide them valuable descriptive information of what you’re publishing and broadcasting.