About a year ago, I asked my 22-year-old nephew for an explanation of some technological mystery. To my surprise, he didn’t know and suggested, “Let’s YouTube it.”
Being proud of how well I knew my way around Google (traditional text search, that is), I suddenly realized that my researching skills were becoming outmoded. That was the first time I’d heard YouTube used as a verb, and that was a foreshadowing of things to come.
In November of last year, 146 million Americans watched a total of 12.6 billion video clips online, double the number streamed just 20 months before. Forrester Research predicts online video views will increase by 24% during 2009.
Sure, many of these views are for entertainment, but online video as a reference tool is rising dramatically. A quote in a recent New York Times article on the subject summed it up well. They cited a 9-year-old saying, “When they don’t have really good results on YouTube, I use Google.”
Search engine optimization may drive the bulk of your traffic now, but don’t get too comfortable. The times they are a-changin’ yet again. If you haven’t started using online video, maybe it’s time.