Video Bamboo – 4 Ways Video Content Can Hurt User Engagement, Content Quality, and SEO

When serving to firms cope with declining rankings or an algorithm hit, it’s vital to completely establish low-quality content. And that’s very true if a website has been hit by Panda (or if it’s prone to getting hit by Panda). Low-quality content can negatively affect person engagement, which is a powerful sign to the engines whether or not or not person expectations are met. For instance, are users spending time on the location as soon as clicking by way of from the search outcomes? Or are they bouncing again to the SERPs (which yields low dwell time)?

Video is a good way to offer wealthy content, however relying on the implementation and technique, it can be harmful SEO-wise. Larger-scale websites that closely use embedded video are likely to run extra danger than others (since content issues can lie undetected for a very long time). After seeing many examples of “video bamboo” throughout audits, I wished to offer a number of of the core issues I’ve surfaced. My hope is that site owners can consider their content material technique, weed out video issues, and enhance the quantity of high-quality content material on their web sites.

4 Risky Types of Video Problems

The 4 issues listed beneath should not the one video issues you’ll come throughout from a content material high quality perspective, however they do cowl vital areas. I’ll cowl every drawback I’ve surfaced and then present some fast suggestions and suggestions for coping with these conditions. Let’s soar in.

1. White Noise (Literally and Figuratively)

This issues rears its ugly head usually on larger-scale websites which have used embedded video content material closely over time. I’ve seen the issue typically whereas analyzing Panda hits, however I’ve additionally come throughout the issue on websites seeing gradual declines over time. In a nutshell, the supply video is just not current anymore. The embed code makes an attempt to show the video, however can’t, for the reason that supply is gone. This may be attributable to a lot of causes, which are sometimes out of the management of the location proprietor.

For instance, movies may be eliminated attributable to copyright violations. When that occurs, you possibly can actually see white noise because the video content material with a easy message saying the video has been eliminated attributable to copyright issues. As you possibly can guess, if the web page was rating and driving site visitors, then this gives a horrible person expertise as soon as customers hit the location. There’s a strong likelihood these customers will bounce off the location proper again to the search outcomes. And low dwell time is an extremely robust sign to the engines that one thing went horribly mistaken with the go to.


In addition to copyright violations, the unique proprietor could have merely eliminated the video. In that case, you’ll see a clean video (simply black display screen) with a message that the content material has been eliminated.

Again, this gives a horrible person expertise and will virtually assure a bounce again to the search outcomes. And when Google sees low dwell time in combination, you possibly can relaxation assured that problematic pages won’t rank extremely anymore. And worse, if that is taking place extensively throughout the location, then you possibly can run into Panda issues.


Basically, you may have the last word recipe for destroying rankings. Horrible person expertise, low dwell time, and damaged content material. Not good, to say the least.

2. Stacked Videos

During audits I’ve additionally come throughout pages containing “stacked movies.” That’s the place a web page comprises a lot of movies, all stacked vertically all through the web page (with little supporting content material). So you may need three, 4, 5, or extra embedded movies in a single put up as the first content material. Needless to say, this usually makes for a slipshod person expertise, could cause efficiency issues for customers, and can find yourself sending horrible alerts again to the engines.


By the way in which, that’s on desktop… Imagine 4 movies stacked on a web page you’re viewing on a cellular machine. I wager you’ll be screaming in ache as you try to play and traverse the content material. When operating Panda reports, it’s commonplace to return throughout pages like this. They may need ranked effectively at one time, however ended up dropping off a cliff after an algo hit. My advice is to judge the core objective of the web page, break movies up if wanted, or simply nuke sure movies to reinforce the person expertise.

Also, and I touched on this earlier, I don’t suggest closely utilizing embedded video as your content material technique. It’s not your personal content material, can simply be discovered elsewhere, and could make your web site seem like a scraper website (in combination). I’m not saying to by no means embed movies. That’s ridiculous…however it’s best to present distinctive and compelling content material in a user-friendly method.

3. Thin Content, Rogue Video

When looking down low-quality content material, an audit can floor numerous types of skinny content material. Video-wise, there are occasions I come throughout pages that include nothing however the video embed. The web page is basically clean to the engines aside from the embed code. There’s not an outline, there’s no copy, associated content material, and so on. Instead, there’s merely the video.

And to make issues worse, I typically discover rogue video pages. These are disconnected pages that don’t even include the location template, the principle navigation, and so on. They are almost clean pages that merely include the video. Needless to say, rogue pages can throw customers for a loop, pun supposed. Not solely can customers be extraordinarily skeptical of the web page and website based mostly on the shortage of design, however they will’t simply navigate to a different space of the location based mostly on the shortage of navigation. It’s an engagement killer.


Side Note: Two Quick Examples of Bolstering Video Pages

Instead of offering skinny video pages or rogue video pages, I like to recommend bolstering your video content material. Two robust examples of doing this sit proper in our industry. First, Moz at all times gives a video transcript with their Whiteboard Friday movies. By offering the transcript, customers can simply scan and search the textual content for particular areas of the video, whereas search engines can crawl and index all the textual content material. This is sensible on a number of ranges.


Annie Cushing’s movies are one other nice instance. Annie has began producing extra coaching movies and makes use of a barely otherwise method than Moz. She usually gives video tutorials, but additionally gives a lite model of the video tutorial within the weblog put up (utilizing textual content and photos). Similar to the Moz state of affairs, customers can discover helpful items of content material within the put up, whereas engines like google can crawl and index the content material. So you may have advantages for each customers and engines like google. Again, very good.


4. Broken Embed Codes

The subsequent video state of affairs that may result in low-quality content material entails damaged embed codes. When performing a big crawl, I typically floor pages which can be speculated to include a video, however merely show damaged embed codes. So the pages don’t have any shot at assembly person expectations, and as a substitute, can destroy the credibility of the location in query.


In my expertise, this may occur when main modifications get carried out on a web site or CMS. The change rolls out, many of the pages are unaffected, however the video embed code breaks on sure pages (or all video pages). There’s no approach to establish this drawback except you might be regularly analyzing your content material by way of crawls or guide audits. So the issue can sit for a very long time. And for bigger web sites, this may find yourself impacting tons of, and even 1000’s, of webpages.

Un-Breaking the Broken

The finest approach to fight this from taking place is to set recurring crawls of the location. This will assist you to establish technical errors, content material high quality issues, and so on. As you dig into the crawl, you possibly can find yourself surfacing pages with damaged embed codes. In addition, you should use crawling instruments like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl to search for particular items of code (just like the embed code). Then you possibly can take that subset of the crawl and conduct a deeper evaluation.

Removing Video Bamboo – Tips and Recommendations

If you closely use video content material in your website, and have for a very long time, then it’s vital to concentrate on the potential issues SEO-wise. Below, I’ll present some fast bullets that will help you get shifting in the correct path. The aim is to establish video issues comparatively rapidly, and then execute modifications to rid the location of points that may be negatively impacting person engagement, content material high quality, and SEO total.

  • Identify Video Pages (The Obvious)In order to successfully analyze video pages, it’s worthwhile to establish them first. That will allow you to chop by way of the noise and deal with pages containing video content material. One method to do that is to leverage the naming conference used on the location. For instance, if video pages at all times include a sure phrase or listing, then you possibly can filter landing pages in Google Analytics by that textual content. That might be “video,” “media,” or different phrases current within the URL or titles.
  • Crawl the Site/PagesBy crawling your website by way of a software like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl, you possibly can course of pages in bulk. Then you possibly can search for issues throughout many pages at one time. For instance, I discussed earlier that you may search for particular items of code whenever you crawl a website (like video embed codes). That might help you floor pages which have the potential for inflicting video-related issues like those I discussed above.
  • Identify Pages With High ABRFirst, if you happen to haven’t carried out adjusted bounce rate but, do it right now. It will allow you to realize a stronger view of bounce rate than utilizing normal bounce fee (which is flawed). Once you do, you possibly can export your prime touchdown pages from Google analytics and kind by ABR. Then you possibly can establish excessive ABR pages, which may sign pages that customers should not spending quite a lot of time on. You management the time threshold when organising ABR, so analyzing excessive ABR pages can be a sensible transfer. And throughout that course of, you would possibly discover video pages inflicting issues.
  • Act! Don’t Just AnalyzeOnce you may have recognized video-related issues, it’s worthwhile to act. Don’t be happy with your self for digging up an enormous drawback, whereas nothing modifications on the location. Organize the issues you surfaced and develop a remediation plan. That would possibly embrace fixing damaged movies, eradicating movies which have copyright points, updating movies which have modified, 404ing pages which can be old-fashioned, and so on. Your aim is to extend content material high quality on the location and tackling these points might help you do this.

Summary – Video Bamboo Is Still Bamboo

Video could be a robust part of a rounded content material technique, however it will probably additionally trigger critical issues SEO-wise. And that’s particularly the case on larger-scale websites with 1000’s of pages of content material (or extra). Video issues can sit deep on a web site, off a webmaster’s radar, whereas negatively impacting person engagement, content material high quality, and SEO total. Don’t let that occur to you. Dig into your website, crawl your Web pages, and establish video points inflicting issues. If you do, you may make each customers and engines like google completely happy. And that’s at all times an excellent factor.

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