One of Google's stated key focuses is geographical relevance.

Google has just launched project Venice, which promises improvements to ranking for local search results by finding results from a user's city more reliably. -- And they are carrying this ethos through to YouTube, the most social of Google's offerings!

Project "Suggest" has improved the ranking for predictions in YouTube to provide more locally relevant queries. So if you are in the US and search for "Lady Gaga", they would share results such as her Times Square performance, but perform the same search in India and you are more likely to be offered the her performance of Edge of Glory at the F1 Grand Prix After Party in New Delhi.

This means that if someone local to you is looking for information on what they should do to get ready for the changeover to timeline for pages for example, and you've created some video tutorials on the subject, your videos are likely to be shown to them above those by experts that are further away from them.

Great news for local businesses!

Google also announced, "Improved snippets for video channels." They already display snippets for these results including direct links to the videos in the channel, but "this improvement increases quality and expands coverage of these rich "decorated" snippets."

Now I'm a social girl not a developer or SEO specialist, so I don't mind telling you this one had me flummoxed, I mean it sounds great but what does it actually mean? First I had to find out what the heck rich snippets are, this very helpful blog informed me that they are "a form of structured content intended to provide more information about the page or business" Or in this case, channel. It also went on to tell me that for my videos on YouTube to show up properly "you need to make sure you have used all the tools YouTube gives you to generate rich snippets"

According to Google's latest announcement they have also made improvements to their backend used to generate the snippets, so hopefully geeks in training like myself will find it easier to figure out. And this is really worth figuring out as not only is YouTube a search engine in itself but of course those results also show up on regular Google searches. And they are usually high on page 1!

Also, there are less videos than blogs or websites. A recent search for the term "grow business facebook groups" (a search term for one of the videos I shared recently) returned 358,000,000 general results, but there were just 4,190,000 video results. So, vlogging could start really improving your local business reach.

The key points I'll be actioning due to this are:

  • Figuring out how to generate effective rich snippets that include location (I've found a really useful post on this site to help me do that!) And...
  • Always loading the location my video is posted from on the map provided in the video editor.

Over to you: do you use YouTube? Has it helped you get found on Google yet?

Gemma Thompson

Gemma Thompson is a communicator and endlessly curious. Use of Facebook & Twitter led to excellent brand awareness for her start-up business a few years ago. In less than a year she had a substantial ROI and was being asked to teach others how she was doing it! She is now a full time social media consultant. If you want help marketing your business through twitter, facebook, YouTube, blogging or LinkedIn get in touch!

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10 Responses to “Google Changes Make a YouTube Channel a Must for Local Businesses”

  1. Paul Johnstone says:

    Now Vlogging I'm sure will be great but I can see that taking longer to take of than the humble Blog

    I will be keeping my eyes open for more and the opportunity.

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks so much for your comment.
      It certainly does take a little longer to begin with but as with all things practice makes it quicker! Some of the vlogs I've done lately have been quicker than writing a blog! Mind you I do think there is room for both, it does very much depend on the topic and on your audiences learning style!

  2. Ahmad says:

    Google's emphasis on geographical results and returning location-relevant results – especially after the Panda update – is admirable. I agree that this indeed is good news for local businesses, and now presents a great opportunity to market your products, services, your brand or your own self through Google.

    • Gemma Thompson says:

      Yes it's exciting times for local businesses … and for consumers!
      The challenge for most local businesses will be creating engaging content!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Ahmad, I really appreciate it :)

  3. matthew hunt says:

    yes and be sure to choose your location on your youtube videos too and try to mention a location in the audio too, b/c youtube can read audio in videos and I believe it's a small ranking factor. add local modifier to video title, description & tags too. if you add your NAP (name,address, & phone) you get a citation for google places too.

    • Gemma Thompson says:

      Thanks for those extra tips Michael, the more we know the merrier we will be! Great stuff!

  4. Andy says:

    Nice post thanks, all the small businesses have a massive opportunity to be seen and heard to attract new business.

    • Gemma Thompson says:

      Thanks for your comment Andy, Found you on YouTube and it's great to hear another Brit accent contributing :)

  5. Sarah says:

    Gemma – Thanks so much for this great blogpost. I'm dusting down my Flip camera as we speak ;o)

    Thanks also to Matthew Hunt for the tip re chosing and mentioning locations.