If you’ve followed this blog at all over the last few months, you’ll know I’m building OutdoorEquipment.com into the Internet’s only website with real outdoor testimonials from people who have owned and used the gear for months.
It’s a unique vision that hasn’t been implemented before and judging by the outdoor community’s feedback, is something greatly valued.
However, it appears that Google doesn’t like me. Yup, that’s right. The same guy who preaches that you should build a website that doesn’t suck, goes out and does it, and then gets shit on for it from Google.
Here’s what happened…
Backstory Into How Google Universal + Video Works
I’m the first to admit that the going has been very slow with building up OutdoorEquipment. Getting a deeper understanding of how video SEO works and it’s integration into Google Universal search has enabled me to expand my SEO knowledge and provide greater service to my SEO clients.
But let me tell you what I’ve learned more than anything else: Google Universal + Video sucks.
It’s a strategy that can be effective, if executed with others, but as a sole strategy it is a lot of blood, sweat and tears for little reward.
- Video hosting is expensive. Options like Vimeo or Vzaar lower the costs, but it’s still really expensive. You can go the YouTube route, but then you’re sending traffic to YouTube, not your site (more on why that might be a good idea in a minute).
- You need to rank #1 in Google Video search in order to appear in Universal search. Now that is crappy. If you aren’t #1 in Google Video, you don’t appear anywhere on the front page of Google’s universal search (the main Google search results page). This means you can rank #2 in video, but get barely any organic traffic.
At least, that’s how it was until a few days ago…
How Google Destroyed a Great Idea
Let’s face it: You need organic traffic from Google to build a sustainable website long-term. Other traffic sources are valuable, but without love from Google, you’re sinking like a brick. Until December 5th/6th, any videos I ranked #1 for in Google Video put me in the top 10 of Google Universal search (if it pulled a video, which it doesn’t always do).
But then, something happened. Here’s a screenshot from my Google Webmaster Tools account for the search visibility of OutdoorEquipment:
While I’m still ranking #1 or 2 in Google Video searches (and still am) for queries like, Granite Gear Vapor Flash Review and Nano Puff Pullover Review, Google’s removed me from the Universal results. It either doesn’t display a video anymore in the case of ‘Granite Gear Vapor Flash Review’, or just skips me entirely, as is the case with ‘Nano Puff Pullover Review’. Google, why you hate me? lol.
What To Do When Google Smacks You
But what do you do when Google destroys a legitimate, unique, kick ass website?
Frankly, I don’t know. It’s tough to pick yourself up and dust yourself off after 6+ months of hard work. I have two options:
- Give up on it. While I hate to fail, I’d hate to waste anymore of my most valuable resource: Time. But the feedback from the outdoor community has been tremendous. It really feels as if I have a winner here from humans, just not Google.
- Move away from Google Universal + Video.
I’ve explored option 2 before Google decided that my site wasn’t worth of video thumbnails in Universal. Here are the benefits:
- No video hosting fees. Host the videos on YouTube.
- I no longer HAVE to rank #1 in order to MAYBE appear on Google’s front page of their normal SERPs. Instead, I can rank #1-10 in Google Universal and still get traffic. That is an important lesson to anyone trying to decide whether to self host videos or go through YouTube.
- Get greater exposure on YouTube.
- Potentially have 2 listings on Google’s front page. One for my website and a second with my YouTube video.
- No longer have video thumbnails to increase the Click Through Rate to my website.
- Sending traffic to YouTube instead of my website.
What Am I Going To Do?
I don’t know. I just started marketing OutdoorEquipment.com. I ran/am running a Facebook contest that’s going tremendously well.
I’d hate to throw the last 6 months of work (and money in development) away. But I’d hate to waste more time and money.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your suggestions.