YouTube’s New SEO Algorithm May Hurt Your Attorney Videos

Are you the type of person who has ‘bought’ YouTube views?

C’mon…admit it.

Maybe your video production company promised to get you a ton of views after your videos were posted.

Lo’ and behold, only days after your attorney videos were uploaded you have hundreds and even thousands of views without you having to do ANYTHING! How awesome is that?


Here’s why. YouTube will penalize you for gaming the system. With all those great views, how many “Real” comments did you get? How many of those ‘viewers’ actually watched your ENTIRE video? How much social interaction did your ‘viewers’ have with you and other commentators?

How many times were your videos “Liked” on YouTube?

How many other similar videos did your ‘viewers’ watch after ‘watching’ YOUR video?

Are you beginning to see what I’m talking about?

YouTube looks at your video in totality. Not just the number of views. They throw all that into the mix and come up with some algorithm to weigh the credibility and relevancy of your attorney videos.

Face facts. The total number of views alone will get you very little SEO traction.

Now YouTube has decided to change it up…again.

They are placing much more emphasis (notice the emphasis on the word emphasis?) on the total length of time a viewer watches your video along with all the other metrics they use to judge credibility, authority and relevance.

Go try getting your ghost viewers to sit through your 5 minute video 5000 times. Good luck with that one.


The big problem is that they’re boring. Dull. Uninspiring.

They’re not compelling.

If true, then getting a viewer to sit through your entire video will be challenging and probably painful. That could seriously impact their ability to watch your entire attorney video, thus affecting how YouTube ranks your videos from an SEO standpoint.

If your viewers are not watching till the end, you’re likely not converting them to callers either. Notice the tie-in between YouTube’s SEO theory and conversion? They go hand-in-hand.

Your goal is to understand how to convert an online viewer into a caller.

Join me in the next few blog posts as I share with you some insights that will help you do this.


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2 Responses to YouTube’s New SEO Algorithm May Hurt Your Attorney Videos

  • Barry Doyle says:

    Given that Google owns YouTube, it shouldn’t be surprising that they are taking moves to 1) improve user experience and 2) penalize spammy, manipulative tactics. This is what they have been trying to do with the Panda updates, etc. in SEO. It’s interesting that they are selecting completed views as a marker of relevance.

    On the plus side, it should keep people who simply slap up the crappy lawyer commercials you see on TV up from climbing to the top of YouTube. If you switch the channel when the commercial comes on, you are not watching it all the way through on YouTube.

  • Barry, you’re absolutely right. It makes a lot of sense. If the viewer is watching a video till the end, it means they are more likely interested in the content. Also, from a call to action standpoint it’s much more likely that a viewer will develop trust after watching your video completely rather than after only a few seconds.

    I personally believe that lawyers who create great compelling educational attorney video, this revised algorithm will not hurt them at all. In fact, I think it will benefit them greatly.

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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins