Posted February 26, 2007 1:30 pm by with 10 comments

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SERoundtable and Mashable are up in arms as YouTube videos have begun creeping up the SERPs. SERountable points out the #2 results for “shoes” right now is a YouTube video:

shoes serp

In one comment on SER, the YouTube video is called a legitimate result because it has backlinks.

Granted, it’s a popular video—12M+ views (though I now wish I could take mine back), 10K comments, 61K favorited. Yahoo Site Explorer finds 3000 links to it, including one from the Wikipedia entry on shoes (it’s no longer there and the page has been vandalized so many times that I can’t tell which iteration of the page actually featured the link, if ever). The word “shoes” does appear 35 times in the code of the YouTube page. And of course, it’s repeated a lot in the movie.

Is that enough? Should it be? The #1 result ( has 17,000 backlinks. #3 ( has 22,000. Each of those sites has tens of thousands of indexed pages with highly relevant content.

I know you’re curious: the Wikipedia entry is #5. It has about 700 backlinks. Maybe they’ll be able to get better rankings if Google acquires them.

Andy’s Update: We actually saw YouTube ranking for “shoes” a few weeks back, and it wasn’t pretty either.

  • Jordan McCollum

    Thanks for the update, Andy. I’d forgotten about that—I didn’t watch the video when you first posted about it. (I try to avoid NSFW stuff.) Oh, if only I could go back to my time of innocence.

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  • I think it is totally irrelevant. Shoes is a buying keyword, a broad one but still I doubt anyone typing in shoes is interested in a video. If they were they would type in shoe videos or something similar.

  • That’s the problem with Google, and other search engines for that matter, acquiring content sites. They now have a $1.5 billion reason for YouTube to rank better, and no Chinese wall will ever completely remove that.

  • Andy, I appreciate information like this about backlinks and new SERP influencers. At risk of coming off like a spammer looking for blog comment space, I’d like to get a message out there, and you seem like the type who could help.

    The message is this — 99.9% of bloggers’ output is not appropriate for or accepted by Wikipedia. However, I’m co-developing a wiki directory called Centiare that’s rivaling Wikipedia in terms of semantic web design and search engine optimization (on less-common topics than ‘shoes’, at least), and we would WELCOME (no, should I say, “WORSHIP”?) the contributions of bloggers who might want to create their own Directory listings for themselves and their blog. Just a reference page — I’m certainly not advocating using Centiare as a blog framework.

    For a blogger familiar with wiki editing, it would take them about 15-20 minutes, and then they’d have a permanent backlink to their blog, and a likely reference page for higher search result “finds” by prospective readers.

    See, I told you this was going to be too spammy. Anyway, I’m just trying to help bloggers get another piece of Internet real estate.

  • Scott Sala

    I noticed today for a search of “pantyhose of the month club” (disclaimer: I was researching SEM terms for a respectable client) resulted with a YouTube as the #1 organic, and the terms were not in any relevant order whatsoever, and even the “Added: 1 month ago” text from YouTube was used. Below the YouTube is a few links with my search text in the exact order. Really curious if you ask me. Oh, and the #1 link is about tr*nsv*stites, something that perhaps should not be ranked so high in this case.

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  • Google owns Youtube. I would say that you can count sites like Blogger and Youtube kind of a