Gnome Likes: Video SEO, Business Listing Canonicalization & Getting Fresh

Here at Web Gnomes, we stay on top of the ever-changing world of Internet Marketing so you don’t have to. We enjoy learning new tricks of the trade and putting them to practice in the work that we do for our esteemed clients. Here is some of the most helpful Internet marketing info we came across this week:

Video SEO: Video Metadata Optimization

It’s always exciting to read about SEO that is related to something other than just text (not that text isn’t cool, but video is cooler!). This week, Terry Van Horne shared video metadata optimization tips over on Search Engine Watch.

So what the heck is video metadata? Metadata is “data about data.” In this case, it is data about a video. More specifically, it is data about a video on YouTube.

Why is video metadata important? Search engines are not that good (yet) at determining the content of a given video from the video itself. The video metadata helps explain to the search engines (and users searching for videos) what the video is all about. Just like Title tags for web pages and Alt tags for images.

On YouTube, you can fill out three main pieces of metadata:

  • Title: Put keywords at the beginning and branding toward the end. (E.g. How to Link Webmaster Tools to Google Analytics | Gnome Tips)
  • Descriptions: Put the most compelling information at the beginning. Unlike web page descriptions, YouTube descriptions allows you to add links to web pages or other videos.
  • Tags: Here’s your chance to target your keywords. Include broad and specific keywords.

For more in-depth information, see the YouTube Creator Playbook.

Edit YouTube Video Info - Metadata Optimization

To edit your video metadata, go to your YouTube account, select “My Videos,” and click the “Edit info” link next to the video you want to optimize (see above).

How To Canonicalize URLs As Backlinks In Local Search & Online Business Directories

This article from Search Engine Land by  highlights the importance of having a canonical version of your business listing across the Internet. This is important because otherwise the search engines may become confused and think that different versions are different businesses (and we don’t want search engines to be confused – ever!).

So what does this entail? Creating a unique, consistent business listing is one of the key components of a local search marketing strategy. In fact, it’s the first thing we do with our clients, when we do local search marketing consulting. And (secretly) it’s not rocket science.

You simply need to come up with one canonical (or standard) version of the following information:

  • Business Name: E.g. “Web Gnomes, LLC” vs. “Web Gnomes”
  • Business Address: Check this USPS page to get the standard format
  • Phone Number: Use toll-free number as primary (if you have one)
  • Fax Number: When was the last time you sent a fax? (Just curious!!)
  • Canonical URL: E.g.
  • Email: Use a generic email such as
  • Social Media links: Include the full URL

As the author points out, you may have other fields like “Hours of operation” and the like, but this is a good list to start with.

Then it’s just a matter of setting aside an afternoon (preferably at a local coffee shop) and updating existing information online to match your shiny, new canonical listing and/or adding your information to sites where you are not yet listed. The article has a good list of sites to start with, so I will not repeat them here.

Have fun!

Google’s “Freshness” Update – Whiteboard Friday

Yesterday, Google announced a new change to provide “fresher, more recent search results.” The basic gist of this change is that Google has determined that some types of search results are a lot more relevant if they are fresh. Examples include current events, sports scores, and celebrity news (I just couldn’t lump this in with “current events”). Makes sense!

There is always a bit of panic in the SEO field when Google announces changes. Rand and Mike address the concern that this change allegedly affects 35% of queries by pointing out that “queries” are not the same thing as “keywords.”

The main takeaway: Update your content often and make sure you have a sitemap. (Nothing new here…) But the video is still worth your time. It is Whiteboard Friday, after all!


Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

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