YouTube Captions – Automatic Closed Caption for Videos

Since the introduction of Universal Search (aka Blended Search), search engine marketers have been considering optimizing videos to rank high on search engine results pages as part of their SEO efforts.

Some of the techniques SEO specialist use to optimize a video are:

  • Using a keyword rich title for the video
  • Tag video with relevant phrases
  • Add a keyword-smart caption to the video
  • Surround the video with relevant content
  • Provide a transcript of the video content
  • Generate links back to videos
  • Add descriptive meta data to videos
  • Allow comments on videos

In order to maximize viewership, Internet marketers use third party video hosting sites such as YouTube, Metacafe and Vimeo to publicise their videos.  However, the challenge with the video files has traditionally been the difficulty search engines have had with understanding and ranking the content.

The introduction of Youtube Auto-Captions can change the way video production and video SEO are done.  Google software engineers have developed a solution that uses speech recognition technology to automatically transcribe what is said in a video and add it to the video as a closed caption.

YouTube Video Captions and Subtitles

The goal of Youtbe captions is to make the videos more accessible not only to deaf people and viewers around the world who would like to translate the video in English to other languages, but also to search engines.   Google can use the same speech recognition technology used in captioning and adding subtitles to videos, together with their ranking algorithm, to analyze video content, index and rank them accordingly.

Of course machine generated caption texts are still far from accurate.  Currently, like any other speech recognition application, auto-captions require a clearly spoken audio track. Videos with background noise cannot properly be auto-captioned.

The challenges caption generators face are issues such as various languages, a massive vocabulary, people’s accents, poor audio recordings and background noises.

Video captions are generated for a limited number of Youtube videos automatically. However, video owners can are able to manually request their videos to be transcribed. Nevertheless, they need to check to make sure the captioned transcript is accurate.  This can be done to all past video files uploaded to Youtube.

Filed Under: Search Engine OptimizationSocial Media Marketing


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

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