Simply – appeal.
Videos are more appealing than long articles or blogs.
With mobile data faster and more affordable than ever, people love watching videos on their phones while they commute, while they wait in line, while they walk through Flinders St Station, and generally whenever they need the most effective means of walking like a zombie through a crowded area.
Also, Google loves video.
Time on site (TOS) is one of the major factors for a good search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Across the world of the internet, the average TOS is a paltry three minutes and 30 seconds. Think about how many sites you visit. You read the news, you check email, you visit the handful of sites you consider an essential part of your day. But what about a new site? You search for a product or a service, get a page of results, then click the first two or three, quickly see if they have what you need, and if not, reword your search phrase. This whole process can take only a few minutes, so how long did it take you to decide the website didn’t have what you need? Ten seconds? Twenty? Either way, that’s a long way from three minutes and this type of browsing can damage a site. If your website has consistently low TOS, then Google’s algorithm won’t allow your site to get to the top of the organic rankings. Why would it? Google is a business and only wants the best content on its own site. If your content isn’t convincing people to stick around, you need to change it.
The better your video, the more likely someone will watch the whole thing. Then, if your video is two minutes long, well-made and compelling, that’s almost a guaranteed 120 seconds of user attention. This is a big deal to Google. They want to “reward” sites by putting them front and centre, using their content and reputation to bolster their own.
Now, SEO agencies are stuck in the past. Big agencies generally have built their product around a certain set of parameters that they can manipulate to propel their clients’ sites to page one. They use backlinks (often through link farming) and keyword density to boost the site’s position. Their tactics are more about fooling Google, which can lead to SERP ranking improvements, but also a significant risk of a manual penalty. Once a site has a manual penalty, it can be a long road back and often damaged domains are just abandoned.
To really improve your SERP ranking, your focus needs to be the quality of the user experience – content, navigation, service – rather than just ways around the algorithm.