The Second Most Popular Search Engine

by Craig on November 5, 2009

Most know that Google is the undisputed top dog in search, but who’s number two?  Take a guess!

My small unscientific survey of about 10 friends or family members yielded incorrect answers.  Most people guess Yahoo or Microsoft/Bing. However, the answer lies in a site that may be associated with videos of funny cats, rather than a portal for information.  Yes, YouTube.com is the second most widely used search engine on the web with about 2.6 billion searches (and growing!) every month.

What does this tell us? While people have started to turn to YouTube as a source of information, most haven’t realized just how big it has become.  For example, while the exact phrase “how to bake a potato” is found about 800,000 times in Google, it’s found exactly 4 times on YouTube.  Rankings aside, this disparity means that any one item from Youtube’s search results is far more likely than any one item in Google’s to be seen in the results.

As you may have surmised, there is opportunity behind this disconnect!  If it’s (relatively) easy to be found on YouTube, then get on YouTube! It’s not hard to change any content you have to a video or create some original video content. Plus, people feel like it’s less of an investment to watch a 3 minute video clip than to read a 300 word story.

Here are some ideas for local businesses:

  1. Start off with a video of yourself and your business talking about what it is that you do. On your website, put this video where your introductory copy would normally be.  Not only are you more likely to get your message across, a video of yourself helps to build trust and put a face behind a name.
  2. Create a how-to video related to your industry. My dry cleaner showed me a neat trick on how to get animal hair off of clothes in 10 minutes by using one of those masking tape rollers.  While this kind of video will attract traffic from all over the web (that’s good!), it will also help to establish you as a (very helpful) expert to locals.
  3. Interview people! Who doesn’t love to share their opinion?! Ask people how they feel about a related topic in your industry.  For example, if your a dentist ask 10 people “What do you dislike most about going to the dentist?” Then talk about what you do to alleviate those common fears.
  4. Get video testimonials. This one is my favorite.  There’s nothing more powerful than a good testimonial, and a video testimonial is 10 times more authentic than words on a page.  Ask a couple regular customers if they wouldn’t mind providing a recommendation on camera.  Film it and put it in a prominent spot on your site and in your local business listings.

If you have any other ideas or questions, please be sure to leave them in the comments!  I do read and respond to them all.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, but for all videos of third parties, you should get a signed release form allowing you to use the footage for commercial use!

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