It was an interesting week in the business of online video with news coming from both major search engines.
Google announced that you can now embed YouTube videos in business profile pages in Google Maps. Videos are displayed in the Photos & Videos tab in the extended listing tab that appears when you click on a listing.
The Google blog points to the following example:
According to Google, Local business owners can "easily" add YouTube videos, although I would argue that some will need help to fully take advantage of the opportunity. Long term though, Google plans a plug and play version accessed directly from the Local Business Center.
Not to be outdone, Yahoo! announced its bid to carve out a niche by adding video sharing to its Flickr photo website. Ninety second videos can be posted along with pictures on Flickr pages that permit users share images photo-album-style with select people, as opposed to the way videos are displayed on YouTube for the world to see.
"We are not trying to be the highest volume site, but we are trying to be the most interesting, authentic and personal." says Flickr director Kakul Srivastava .
What does this all mean? Firstly, if you consider that most North American Yellow Pages directory publishers have been selling video for the better part of the past year, there now appears to be a full court press on for the local business advertiser. For YP publishers this is potentially great news because, should they do the right thing and take out their own YouTube channels, they can increase the value proposition - clicks and calls - with the additional exposure will be certain to bring.
Lastly, if you consider that Search Engine Watch reported on a comScore study showing that during one week in January, there were 220 million universal search results of the total 1.2 billion search queries in the U.S - just over 17 per cent of all searches on Google - showed at least one result with video, news, images, maps etc., then it becomes obvious that the time to optimize for universal search is NOW!