Video Presenter - Will an instant video presenter affect your Google ranking?
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Video Presenter - will installing one affect your Google ranking?

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You've probably seen them around: websites using a video presenter, or spokesperson, who pops up on screen or even "walks" onto the web page you are visiting. Just like the one on this page. They look pretty cool, and they add a human element, thus making the page more interactive.

I've been asked by Bell Media, the makers of BellHD, to comment on whether or not their video will affect search engine optimisation if installed on a website.

They made the request after several website developers advised their customers (who wanted an instant video presenter) not to install one as it would adversely affect the search engine optimisation of their website.

To cut to the chase, the short answer is no, I don't believe a website video spokesperson will affect SEO - at least not one from Bell Media.

Now, don't get me wrong - the video will certainly add to visitors' download bandwidth usage - that's logical. BUT, it's the way Bell Media deliver the product which makes all the difference.

Video presenter demonstration

Test a video presenter on your own website. Please enter your URL below. To get your own, please go to the BellHD website.

Let's get technical

Website Presenter In website development, or rather server technology there is what is called the "DOM" - or Document Object Module. In essence, what this means is if something is at the start of the DOM, it will load first. Have you ever visited a web page with a large file at the top, and the whole page loads slowly until it displays? That's because that particular object (or page element) is at the top of the DOM.

However, if you embed a large file, such as an autoplay video, which may affect page loading speed, you can manipulate the DOM so it loads when you want it to load - independent of the rest of the page objects.

Some companies who provide these video services may certainly affect the site loading speed, and yes, almost certainly be picked up by Google's new algorithm when it is implemented (read more about Web Page Speed).

Bell Media goes to great lengths to ensure their videos do not attract any sort of size "penalty", as well as allowing the page to load BEFORE the video presenter starts to stream, or play. Their video presenter has been set to be the last page element to load in the DOM.

You can see quite clearly in the screen capture below showing files loaded from the Bell Media server, that only the peripheral files are counted in the page load, and they total 55kb only. The video itself would be approximately 1 megabyte in size, yet this is not shown in the page load speed analysis.

Website video presenter

To summarise:

'Video Presenter' search results Will the Bell Media video presenter be an impediment to SEO if installed on a website? My opinion is NO
Will the Bell Media offering count to a visitors' bandwidth usage? YES
Will the Bell Media add value to a business by "humanising" its website? YES

Update: 24.03.2010

After this page went live on 18.03.2010, with a video presenter embedded in it, today (24.03.2010) it reached page one of Google for the phrase "video presenter", with about 3.5 million competing results. So you tell me - does using a video presenter adversely affect search engine optimisation? As far as I can see, certainly not a BellHD one!

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