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Submitting Video to search engines

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One of our forum members, Joel of My Pet Garden, was interested in finding out more about how some of the different video search programs worked, and I mentioned that I would try to put together a thread that looked at them in more depth.


The one that he seemed the most concerned about was Google, so I decided that would be a good starting point. I took a number of the instructions from the Google video help pages, and tried to bring them all together in one place. Joel has now uploaded a few videos, and will be sharing some of his experiences with us about the process.


This information is available from the Google Video Search help pages, and some of it may change in the future. But, it's spread out over a number of question and answer pages, and the organization of the material could use a little help. When Joel asked for some help with Google video, I mentioned that it would be a good thing to cover here as a thread, so that we could share the process with others from the forum.


Joel should be providing a followup thread about his experiences with submitting to Google video, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them. Thanks.



Google's video search


Google's video search is more than just a search engine for videos. It's also a place to upload and store those videos.


The video program isn't a fully completed project, and is labeled "beta," which isn't uncommon for Google. Many of the different services that they have released over the past few years have been in a "beta" testing mode for extended period of time.


There are a number of requirements and steps to follow when submitting a video to Google, but from the service seems to be popular, and people are searching for and watching videos from Google. And you can include a link back to your web site when you submit a video, so people can visit your pages after they watch your film.



Ownership and legal rights


While Google Video is in beta, they do have an established process for submitting your video to them to be included on their site.


The first step in submitting a video to them is making sure that you have the necessary rights to even make a submission. This means such things as copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and so on.


Copyright means that you are the owner or creator of the artistic work, or that ownership has been assigned to you by the creator.


Trademark means that you own any trademarks associated with the labeling or creation of the video, or have a right to use those trademarks.


Right to publicity means that people whose likenesses are within the video have given their authorization for your use of their images.


If you are the copyright holder of the video submitted, you retain all copyrights and legal rights to your video, and do not confer those upon Google by uploading your video.


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act applies to videos hosted by Google, so if a video appears, and they receive a notice of copyright infringement, they will follow processes described in that act. They describe those processes in considerable detail within the Frequently Asked Questions section within the Google Video Search pages.



Technical requirements


One requirement is that you must have a web site associated with your video. If you don't, they suggest that you build one, or contact a designer, and have one built for you.


They list a series of technical requirements for submitting a video:


The video must be in a format we accept. Please review our preferred video and audio specs.

The video must contain recognizable video content (video container files that do not contain video will not be accepted).

The frame rate should be above 12 frames per second.

The video metadata must be accurate and relevant to the content you upload (no spam).

The video must be at least 10 seconds long.


The file formats that they presently accept are these:

  • AVI,
  • ASF,
  • QuickTime,
  • Windows Media, and
  • MPEG formats.


Specific video codecs that they accept include H.264, H.263, MPEG 1/2/4 and motion JPEG.


To upload videos, you will need to create a Google account, and you will also need to download their program that enables you to upload videos. There are some hardware requirements associated with that software. It needs:

  • Windows 98 or higher, or
  • Mac 10.3 or higher, or
  • any OS that has Java 1.4.1 or higher.

You also need a broadband connection to upload video.


They mention that "you can upload as many videos to Google Video as you like, without any size or length limitations."



Editorial guidelines


When you submit a video, it doesn't appear immediately. Google will first review it to see if it meets their technical requirements, and its editorial guidelines. The editorial guidelines list a number of things that they do not want to see in a video submitted:


illegal content

invasions of personal privacy

pornography or obscenity

hate or incitement of violence

graphic violence or other acts resulting in serious injury or death

violations of copyright. Please see our DMCA policy for more information.

Within their discussion of meta data and transcripts, one of the other things that they mention they look for is spam. Meta data and transcripts are the keys to your video being found in a search on Google's video search. That information should match the content of the video, and not over do it, or mislead people.



The review process


Review can take a few days, depending upon how many videos they have to review, and the content in the video. If it is submitted in a format that they are not presently accepting, it may take longer.


If you set a price, it could take even longer. Right now, they have only allowed a few people to access the feature that allows people to charge uses to view and download videos. If you set a price for your video, it will be stored on their site, but not available for people to access. They state that they will be trying to make this feature available to the public soon, but don't provide an indication of what they mean by "soon."


Also note, that if you charge for people to see your video, they assess a small revenue share to cover infrastructure costs. So, there aren't fees for submission unless you charge (when available) for people to see your videos.


If you upload a video, and it doesn't meet their policies, or their technical requirements, Google will provide notice through your account. You should be able to see the status of your video by visitng the Google Video Upload page and signing into your account.



The Google Video Uploader


The way to submit a video for Google's video search is to actually submit the video. Google has software that you can download once you sign up for the program, which you can use to upload videos. You can upload files via your computer from camera phones, or webcams, or from a higher quality source, though you need to meet the technical requirements listed above. YOu also need to transfer the video from your devices to files on your computer using a video editing software.


If you are using a higher quality source, Google recommends submitting high quality video encoded at full-frame size and at a high bit rate. They are fine with interlaced MPEG2 at greater than 5Mbps and a 720x480 or 720x576 resolution.


Google wants you to submit video electronically rather than via physical media such as VHS, Beta or DVD.


The steps to add videos are fairly simple. Once you've installed the software, you are ready to add videos.


Here are the steps that they've detailed:

On your desktop, click 'Start,' then click 'All Programs.'

Open the 'Google Video' folder and click 'Google Video Uploader.'

Sign in to the Google Video Uploader.

Click 'Add' to upload your videos. (You can also drag and drop multiple files.)

Confirm that you own the necessary rights to the content.

Click 'Upload Now.'

Enter your video information on your Upload Status page.


Adding video information


An important part of the process is adding information about the video to help people find your video. This data is "metadata."


To add video information, you need to log in to your Video account, and go to the Video Status page. Once there, click 'Add' beneath the 'Video Information' column to submit a title, description, and other details of the video uploaded.


The information you enter in the metadata field should clearly describe the content of the video, and highlight anything that might distinguish its content from other videos. That information will appear above the video on the search results page. It should also be written in a persuasive manner, so that it may attracts people's attention.


Another option is to add a transcript to each video file being submitted. We're told this about transcripts:


A transcript breaks the content of the video into segments. Each segment includes the time when the words in the script are being said and the actual words of the script.


It is not required to add captions or transcripts to your video; however, we strongly recommend it. The more information you provide, the better your video can be searched.


To add a transcript and additional video information, visit your Video Status page and click 'Add' beneath the Transcript column. For formatting tips, please visit our transcripts page.


Adding transcripts is fairly complex, and they will not help create transcripts for files, but they do recommend some specific services, and have some instructions. Information from transcripts will be included in the information that can be searched for, so there may be a real benefit to including a transcript.


After you submit a video, and are notified that it is "live" (after passing their technical and editorial review), they will not provide you with a direct link to the video. You need to search for the video, and copy the link to the page where it appears.


The still images that you see when you watch a videa at Google are automatically generated images from the video stream, and are used to help people decide whether or not they want to watch the videos.



Optimizing video information


Write a descriptive title.

Provide a clear description of your video.


This is an example they provide of good metadata:

"This is a four minute news feature on the nuclear threat and the significance of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior by French agents in 1985. It features interviews with former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange, Guardian journalist Paul Brown, and Greenpeace Executive Director Gerd Leipold."

Choose the most appropriate genre for your movie.

Provide a URL for your website.



Removing, editing, or overwriting videos


You may want to make changes to your video, or remove it. Those are all things that you should be able to do, starting from your video status page.


Videos that are not yet live can be deleted immediately (and permanently). If the video has gone live, it may take longer to be removed from the system.


If you want to edit a video, here are the steps that they provide:


Sign into your Google Video account here.

Locate your video on the Video Status page.

Click 'Edit' in the 'Video Information' column beside your video.

Update your video information. Please be sure to edit your video distribution options under the Advanced options link.

Click 'Save Video Information.'

Please allow several days for your new video information to appear on Google Video.


You may also want to overwrite an existing video file. To do so, you need to log in to the video uploader, click on "options," and in the new window that appears, check the box next to "Overwrite existing files on server," and click "OK." It's important that the new file name you've chosen for the replacement is the same as the one that you want to overwrite.



Major producers


There's a premium program that people who are "major producers" of video may qualify for. The requirements to be found a major producer?


If you have 1,000 or more hours of video and your videos have been shown on TV networks or distributed by major motion picture studios, you culd be considered a major producer.


If so, they have a form to fill out to qualify for that Premium program at https://services.google.com/inquiry/video





There's a "reports" tab on the video status page that allows you to see how many times people have viewed your videos or downloaded them to play on the Google video player. They note that the report is updated daily.

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Awesome post, Bill (as usual).


I think video will experience increasing popularity as the broadband market continues to expand, yet I think few people know even the basics about it (at least, I didn't, anyway).


My only wish is to have the industry move toward standardization, or the closest thing to it. Often times, I wish to see a video which doesn't offer many options in terms of what players can view them. Not wanting so many programs on my machine, more often than not, I opt not to view them if I don't have the appropriate player.

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Thanks, Garrick.


I'm looking forward to hearing Joel's thoughts on the experience.


I'll also be adding information about submitting to Yahoo!, which is a very different process. I don't know if we will see much standardization, maybe because multimedia really is in its infancy on the web. It's only really been recently that enough people have broadband to make it an attractive option.


The Google video help also describes ways for people to download videos to their ipods. Without the popularity of those devices, I'm not sure that Google would have decided that storing videos was a good idea.

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Thanks again for setting this up. Here are my notes on my experience setting up a Google Video account & uploading video to Google.


As of today I have uploaded 4 out of 4 of our My Pet Garden videos to Google Video.


The 1st thing I had to do was to get our videos into a format for Google. I got these on a CD from the company that hosts the same videos for our site. They were compressed to the following:


wmp video 9 compression at 350 K bit rate for speed, and 352X264 for the file (screen size). The audio was at 32. The two that are up and viewable as of this date can be viewed at:


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=53...tterfly&pl=true For the butterfly video, and at:


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=86...ug+land&pl=true for our Ladybug Land video.


You can compair Google's version of our Butterfly video to how it appears on our site by clicking the link below.





You can judge the results for yourself. Not bad at all. Of course I will experiment with this & get the largest & fastet file source for our videos. I'll replace one of the videos that I already uploaded with the bigger faster one to see if there really is much of a difference. I gather that what they are doing is taking our wmp files & transfering them to Flash. There must not be, or they do not have the ability to transfer a Flash file to the exact Flash format that they are using as Flash does not appear as one of their options.


You can also go to the Google Video home page and enter butterfly or ladybug into their search & our videos will come up on a pallet of related titles. What also impressed me here is the way that they "billboarded" our graphic title page so nicely without any instruction. Also when one of our titles is searched for the other comes up too as a cross refference of sorts.


The 1st step in getting these videos uploaded was to open a Google Video account. This is where I got my 1st glitch. Because I had set up a Google Ad Sense account previously I thought I needed to create a different pass word for this new Google account since I am using the same website address for both accounts. My application kept getting kicked back of course, because they wanted me to use the same pass word!


Once this new account was set up it was really very easy to do by simply following the prompts. Uploading the 1st video was pretty easy. I was prompted to a page where I had to add the video infrormation (title, discription of video, credits & also allowed to choose up to three catatgories I wanted the video indexed by) which was great.


The problem that I encountered was that I then went in search of this video "uploader" that I had just "downloaded". I looked on the desk top, did a search on the hard drive. The problem is that this "uploader" is not really "downloaded" in the sense that I am used to. It really is a pop up that I can access only temporarily & then have to request it again each time I wish to upload a video file. There is however a very cool aspect to this "uploader" that I discovered & that is that it acts as a sort of bank. You can fill it with video files that you wish to up laod & it will hold them there so that the next time I enter my account I do have to request the "uploader" again but when I do get it my files are there or at least the titles are there which are pointing to where the scourse material exists in my computer. In this case my CD drive.


Each of our 1st 2 videos took 15 or so minutes to upload. Our videos are between 5 & 8 minutes in length. I was then prompted to enter the discription as mentioned above. These 2 videos were verified & posted onto the Google Video site in 24 hours.


The 3rd video, "Dog Breath" where we instruct on how to brush your dog's teeth took 4 days for Google to verify and while it is verified it is still not viewable. I am guessing that this video had to pass some sort of legal review to determine that what we were instructing could not be deemed potentially harmful to humans or canines.


The 4th video, "How To Plant Indoor Bulbs" took only 2 hours to verify, but as of writing this reply to the forum it is still not viewable. I added this while writing this reply so I could have the process fresh in my mind. It too took about 15 minutes to upload.


In the end this was really easy, fun & with a very nice end product. It is very nice for us because of the direct link back to our site where the viewer can then purchase items they have seen on the video.


In addition to wanting to experiment with the bigger video format I will also submit to one of the transcript services that Google lists to see what that is like & I will post again to share my experience with that.

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I forgot to mention!


I forgot to mention in my post that the other issue that I encountered uploading video to Google was the absence of spell check when entering the video description. This is murder for a guy like me BUT it is very easy to simply go back into the account and make changes & repost.


Thank you,



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Thank you, Joel.


I appreciate your sharing with us your experiences in using Google Video.


Also when one of our titles is searched for the other comes up too as a cross refference of sorts.


I was happy to see that. Making it easy for people to find other videos submitted by the same person is a good touch.


And being able to go back in quickly, and make changes to the description and repost it is good to hear, too.


The 3rd video, "Dog Breath" where we instruct on how to brush your dog's teeth took 4 days for Google to veriy and while it is verified it is still not viewable. I am guessing that this video had to pass some sort of legal review to determine that what we were instructing could not be deemed potentially harmful to humans or canines.


I like the topic. I think that one has the most potential amongst the videos that you submitted to become very popular, because of the subject matter. There are lots of folks who own dogs, but I'm not sure how many of them know how to brush their dog's teeth, or even that they should.


I'm looking forward to hear about your use of transcripts. The text of transcripts should be searchable, so you'll have to let us know if that one gets more traffic than other videos without transcripts.

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I'd say Google and YouTube are top 2 right now but remember there are a ton of other smaller competitors.


You may not get as many initial views by posting your videos to these smaller sites, but as they grow over the years you'll have a head start over everyone in your niche because they usually rank videos by how many views they have.


If you want to see a list of some other popular video sites check out:


[self promo link removed.]


For example I saw a guy who posted a video to AOL for a popular video niche (a video about pets) and he had a million views if I remember! and this was a pretty new video!

Edited by cre8pc

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Guest joedolson

Hard to call "Google and YouTube" the top two, really --- since they are, essentially, one and the same.


Joost, iFilm --- they've got their own followings and potential.


Any video on any site can potentially go viral and gain huge traffic. However, this conversation isn't really about the top contributing websites --- it's a cross comparison between Google Video and Youtube. (Google, of course, didn't own YouTube yet in April of 2006, when this conversation happened.)

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If you can suspend belief that Yahoo and MSN Searches exist (3 shots should do it), you could sign up for Google's Website Optimizer and trust that they won't let their own tool screw up their own rankings :)


Lucky Balaraman

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