YouTube keyword research tool - is there any point?

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By Dave Ashworth
on 10/11/09

One of the key tools that I use when carrying out a bit of SEO keyword research is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool - it provides an excellent insight into the search behaviour of it's users and will help you pick out the competitive keywords within your niche as well as few pointers towards some of the low hanging fruit you hear about.

However, I am currently a little more sceptical as to the value of the introduction of a YouTube Keyword Tool, especially as it follows the introduction of YouTube Promoted Videos - essentially, Google AdWords in the YouTube arena.

The reason for my sceptism?  Well, I know that YouTube is considered the 2nd largest search engine and that it's reach should not be underestimated, but when you think about the context that YouTube is used in, is there really any value to the advertiser of these promoted videos?

First off, Web Marketing Advisor have a YouTube channel and this is useful to us and searchers, in the context of universal search - a user searches for SEO within Google, they are provided with various results - including an SEO video.  But how many users would actually use YouTube as the primary search engine for such content?  The answer, not many:

The term "search engine optimisation" yields no results for related videos, but does inform that Pussycat Dolls and someone from American Idol had a fair few searches.  This is where I doubt the value of YouTube ads, people use it not to look for information but to watch something - be it a music video, a film or tv clip or Ukrainian folk covers of their favourite pop songs.

Ok, you could argue that it's not really the best term to use, however, given people generally know what they want from YouTube, my argument is that in the various context of searches, paid placement for videos are not going to work for an advertiser.

For me, YouTube and Google are two very different search engines, I would be interested to see if YouTube Promoted videos has actually worked for someone promoting their goods, services or even videos - until I see something to suggest that it can work, the jury is out, and it's not looking promising.