Making your video news more discoverable: best practices for news publishers

Monday, May 24, 2010 | 9:00 AM

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Video has always been a unique storytelling tool, especially useful when reporting the news. From raw, citizen-reported videos from the streets of Tehran, to student documentaries highlighting under-reported issues in local communities, or investigative reporting done by professional news outlets, just about every type of news video can now be found on YouTube. Video is also tightly integrated into the Google News experience, providing users different ways to consume and enjoy news, while giving news publishers the opportunity to reach a greater and more diverse audience.

We are working to make it easier to get your video content indexed in Google News, but ensuring it’s found in a timely fashion is another matter. So we thought we’d share six best practices for how news publishers can increase the discoverability of their news videos.

1. Timely uploads
Videos should be uploaded as quickly as possible -- this will help them reach the news homepage faster and be grouped with the most recent articles.

2. One story per video
Instead of having one video that contains multiple segments covering several different stories of the day, it's a better user experience (and easier for us to index), when there is one story per video, and the video title is specific (not something generic like “Breaking News”). At the very least, the description of the video should match the first story in the video.

3. Categorization
If you are providing general news coverage, select YouTube category “News & Politics” (which is youtube_category_id 25) when uploading your video. If you have multiple channels, clearly identify each category (politics, business, entertainment, sports, etc.).

4. More detailed descriptions
Similar to the first paragraph of a news article, descriptions of the news video should convey the who, what, when, where, and why of the story in a few sentences -- the more detail you can supply, the better.

5. Rich tags
Another way to convey the content of the video is using the keyword tags. Providing keywords that might not be in the description gives us more knowledge of what the video is about. Especially helpful are proper nouns: the names of the people, places, companies, etc. mentioned in the video.

6. Make it Embeddable
Be sure your video is embeddable on other sites since this is currently a technical requirement for being displayed in Google News. Additionally, if your videos are geo-blocked in certain regions, they will not appear in Google News.

If your news organization isn’t already making its video content available on YouTube and Google News, we encourage you to get started. More information on how to submit your news videos to Google News can also be found in the News Publishers Help Center, and you can watch this video for additional tips on news search engine optimization.

Posted by Benoit Lafortune, Sr. Strategist Google News, and Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager