Apr 22 2010 | Dave Gibson : President | OverheadThe second I heard of YouTubes program to automatically translate and add closed captioning to all video content, my SEO ears went on high alert. Already we've been seeing videos gaining organic ranking - often above topic websites, and I've been preaching video to all our clients. After all, it does make sense since given the choice, what user wouldn't prefer consuming via video rather than reading - so give both visitors and search engines what they want!

YouTube opened the program back in August 2008 to enable users to upload their own captions, but went a few steps further when they began a limited rollout of an auto-captioning using their GoogleVoice technology to auto translate the audio and synch with the video. Now YouTube has announced broad expansion plans to aggressively auto-captioning their entire video base. Here is how it works:


While great for the hearing-impaired, it has us SEO geeks salivating. Will the captions be indexed and at what weight? While I've yet to find conclusive evidence that answers the question, the word on the street is that the content will be indexible and will therefore impact SEO. This makes sense in Google's emphasis on content on web pages and elimination of any focus on meta.

So for those creating videos with SEO in mind, you'll want to get your script writer together with your SEO specialist for organic search guidance.