At the Search Engine Strategies conference a few weeks back, we had the pleasure of interviewing Bruce Clay.  We asked Bruce about the importance of online video when it comes to organic and universal search ranking algorithms in Google. For those of you not in the search marketing industry, Bruce is sort of a "big kahuna."  He founded back in 1996, before some of us even were on the internet, and his firm Bruce Clay, Inc. , is the is one of the top SEO and SEM firms in the world.

In our interview with Bruce, he discusses "Engagement Objects" and talks about how these engagement objects, in particular video, are thought to be of crucial importance when it comes to organic and universal search.

What is an Engagement Object?

An "Engagement Object" is an element or multimedia component that you can add to your website that is engaging and causes users to interact with your website.

Bruce also talks about variables that are important to the Google search algorithm and discusses how the introduction of universal search has resulted in a change in the number of variables that are considered for ranking.   Previously, it was accepted that Google used 120 variables to rank websites.  Since the introduction of universal search and more use of engagement objects across websites, the thought is that Google has increased the algorithm variables to 200 variables, most of which can be attributed to these engagement objects.

"...In the case of video, we believe that as one of the more important engagement objects, google has actually started to build it into the algorithm.  To us, that means if your website has engagement objects on it,  video or mp3...  it is going to be received by the algorithm better and your site will actually have an opportunity to rank better.

Now today, we haven't seen it much as an incidence of ranking, mostly because not everyone is doing it. ...I dont think weve yet seen even the tip of the iceberg.

I think, that a year from now, we are going to be sitting here saying - 'if you don't have video, if you don't have engagement objects on your website, you are just not going to rank.  It will make you last amoung equals if you don't have it."

Thanks to Bruce Clay for taking the time to talk with us ;-)