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Search Engine or Not, Businesses Should Consider Their YouTube Presence

Published on 24 March 15
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Throughout the previous decade, much has been made by digital marketing commentators about the rise of YouTube as a resource for business marketing activity. In recent years, after Google's 2006 acquisition of the company, a debate has broken out over just what YouTube is. Can it be categorised as a conventional search engine like Yahoo, Bing or its parent company, or is it nothing more than a large and influential internal search engine? Commentators are also asking legitimate questions about YouTube's role as a marketing tool.

Is YouTube a Search Engine?

In his 2014 article, ReelSEO's Greg Jarboe claims he was among the first commentators to label YouTube the third-largest search engine back in 2007. The following year Jarboe highlighted the fact that YouTube's search traffic was about to surpass that of Yahoo, making the video platform the second most popular search platform on the web. The article goes on to argue that YouTube is also the largest social media site, overtaking Facebook in terms of unique visitors per month.


A video-hosting platform, a social media site and a search engine. This varied definition of YouTube has not sat well with other commentators who see an important distinction between these types of online resources. Rose McGrory puts forward the
counter-argument that the function of genuine search engines is to pull up pages of every kind from all over the web, depending on the given search term. She argues that as YouTube returns only its own video content, it cannot be legitimately referred to as a major search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

YouTube and Business

Regardless of YouTube's exact definition, it is worthwhile for businesses to consider their online video presence. The benefits of tapping into the more than one billion unique users of the site per month are difficult to overstate, particularly for businesses that are looking to target younger audience demographics with concentrated, multi-platform advertising campaigns. Digital technology companies in the UK are using and recommending YouTube to their peers, from London graphic designers to Leicester web hosting agencies. As well as designing company websites and providing addresses, web agencies such as pixelutopia can advise business leaders on the best way to integrate YouTube into their brand's identity.

The most well-kept and content-rich video channels take time, effort and money that not every business leader is willing to spare, so YouTube is not for everyone. However, if a business is to launch a successful online video presence, they must be willing to properly structure their channel, harness SEO techniques as they would with their web pages and online copy and pay attention to the number of viewers their content receives. Those who are in the correct business sectors, and who are willing to invest in good video content and channel organisation, have come to see YouTube as an essential marketing tool irrespective of whether they consider it a social media site, a search engine or simply a platform for hosting video content.
Search Engine or Not, Businesses Should Consider Their YouTube Presence - Image 1







Throughout the previous decade, much has been made by digital marketing commentators about the rise of YouTube as a resource for business marketing activity. In recent years, after Google's 2006 acquisition of the company, a debate has broken out over just what YouTube is. Can it be categorised as a conventional search engine like Yahoo, Bing or its parent company, or is it nothing more than a large and influential internal search engine? Commentators are also asking legitimate questions about YouTube's role as a marketing tool.

Is YouTube a Search Engine?

In his 2014 article, ReelSEO's Greg Jarboe claims he was among the first commentators to label YouTube the third-largest search engine back in 2007. The following year Jarboe highlighted the fact that YouTube's search traffic was about to surpass that of Yahoo, making the video platform the second most popular search platform on the web. The article goes on to argue that YouTube is also the largest social media site, overtaking Facebook in terms of unique visitors per month.

A video-hosting platform, a social media site and a search engine. This varied definition of YouTube has not sat well with other commentators who see an important distinction between these types of online resources. Rose McGrory puts forward the counter-argument that the function of genuine search engines is to pull up pages of every kind from all over the web, depending on the given search term. She argues that as YouTube returns only its own video content, it cannot be legitimately referred to as a major search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

YouTube and Business

Regardless of YouTube's exact definition, it is worthwhile for businesses to consider their online video presence. The benefits of tapping into the more than one billion unique users of the site per month are difficult to overstate, particularly for businesses that are looking to target younger audience demographics with concentrated, multi-platform advertising campaigns. Digital technology companies in the UK are using and recommending YouTube to their peers, from London graphic designers to Leicester web hosting agencies. As well as designing company websites and providing addresses, web agencies such as pixelutopia can advise business leaders on the best way to integrate YouTube into their brand's identity.

The most well-kept and content-rich video channels take time, effort and money that not every business leader is willing to spare, so YouTube is not for everyone. However, if a business is to launch a successful online video presence, they must be willing to properly structure their channel, harness SEO techniques as they would with their web pages and online copy and pay attention to the number of viewers their content receives. Those who are in the correct business sectors, and who are willing to invest in good video content and channel organisation, have come to see YouTube as an essential marketing tool irrespective of whether they consider it a social media site, a search engine or simply a platform for hosting video content.

Search Engine or Not, Businesses Should Consider Their YouTube Presence - Image 1

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