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Google Shares Insights into Indexing & Crawl Budget

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Google recently published a podcast discussing what’s known as a crawl budget and what influences Google to index content.

Both Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt shared insights into indexing the web, as understood from Google’s perspective.

Origin of the Crawl Budget Concept

Gary Illyes said that the concept of a crawl budget was something created outside of Google by the search community.

He explained there wasn’t any one thing internally within Google that corresponded with the idea of a crawl budget.

When people talked about a crawl budget, what was happening inside Google involved multiple metrics, not this one thing called a crawl budget.

So inside Google they talked about what could represent a crawl budget and came up with a way of talking about it.

He said:

“…for the longest time we were saying that we don’t have the concept of crawl budget. And it was true.

We didn’t have something that could mean crawl budget on its own- the same way we don’t have a number for EAT, for example.

And then, because people were talking about it, we tried to come up with something… at least, somehow defined.

And then we worked with two or three or four teams– I don’t remember– where we tried to come up with at least a few internal metrics that could map together into something that people externally define as crawl budget.”

What Crawl Budget Means Within Google

According to Gary, part of the calculation for a crawl budget is based on practical considerations like how many URLs does the server allow Googlebot to crawl without overloading the server.

Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt:

“Gary Illyes: …we defined it as the number of URLs Googlebot can and is willing or is instructed to crawl.”

Martin Splitt: For a given site.

Gary Illyes: For a given site, yes.

And for us, that’s roughly what crawl budget means because if you think about it, we don’t want to harm websites because Googlebot has enough Chrome capacity to bring down sites…”

Balancing Different Considerations

Another interesting point that was made was how, in relation to crawling, there are different considerations involved. There are limits to what can be stored so, according to Google, that means utilizing Google’s resources “where it matters.

“Martin Splitt: Apparently, obviously, everyone wants everything to be indexed as quickly as possible, be it the new website that just came online or be it websites that have plenty of pages, and they want to frequently change those, and they’re worried about things not being crawled as quickly.

I usually describe it as a challenge with the balance between not overwhelming the website and also spending our resources where it matters.”

John Mueller recently tweeted that Google doesn’t index everything and mentioned that not everything is useful.

Mueller’s tweet:

“…it’s important to keep in mind that Google just doesn’t index every page on the web, even if it’s submitted directly. If there’s no error, it might get selected for indexing over time — or Google might just focus on some other pages on your site.”

He followed up with another tweet:

“Well, lots of SEOs & sites (perhaps not you/yours!) produce terrible content that’s not worth indexing. Just because it exists doesn’t mean it’s useful to users.”

  • Martin Splitt calls the process of crawling an issue of “spending our resources where it matters.”
  • John Mueller mentioned if the content is “useful to users.”

Usefulness is an interesting angle for judging content and in my opinion it can be more helpful for diagnosing content than the sterile advice to make sure the content “targets the user intent” and that it’s “keyword optimized.”

For example, I recently reviewed a YMYL site where the entire site looked like it was created from an SEO to-do checklist.

  • Create an Author profile
  • Author profile should have a LinkedIn Page
  • Keyword optimize the traffic
  • Link out to “authority” sites

The publisher was using AI generated images for the author bio, which was also used on a fake LinkedIn profile.

Many of the webpages of the site linked to thin .gov pages that have the keywords in the title but are not useful at all.  It was like they didn’t even look at the government page to judge if it was worth linking to.

Outwardly, they were ticking the boxes of an SEO to-do checklist, completing rote SEO activities such as linking to a .gov site, creating an author profile, etc.

They created the outward appearance of quality but not really achieving it because at every step they didn’t consider whether what they were doing was useful.

Crawl Budget Is Not Something To Worry About

Gary and Martin began talking about how most sites don’t need to worry about the crawl budget.

Gary pointed the finger at blogs in the search industry that in the past promoted the idea that the crawl budget is something to worry about when according to him it’s not something to worry about.

He said:

“I think it’s partly a fear of something happening that they can’t control, that people can’t control, and the other thing is just misinformation.

…And there were some blogs back in the days where people were talking about crawl budget, and it’s so important, and then people were finding that, and they were getting confused about “Do I have to worry about crawl budget or not?”

Martin Splitt asked:

“But let’s say you were an interesting blog… Do you need to worry about crawl budget?”

And Gary responded:

“I think most people don’t have to worry about it, and when I say most, it’s probably over 90% of sites on the internet don’t have to worry about it.”

A few minutes later in the podcast Martin observed:

“But people are worried about it, and I’m not exactly sure where it comes from.

I think it comes from the fact that a few large-scale websites do have articles and blog posts where they talk about crawl budget being a thing.

It is being discussed in SEO training courses. As far as I’ve seen, it’s being discussed at conferences.

But it’s a problem that is rare to be had. Like it’s not a thing that every website suffers, and yet, people are very nervous about it.”

How Google Determines What to Index

What followed next was a discussion about factors that cause Google to index content.

Of interest is when Gary talks about wanting to index content that might be searched for.

Gary Illyes:

“…Because like we said, we don’t have infinite space, so we want to index stuff that we think– well, not we– but our algorithms determine that it might be searched for at some point, and if we don’t have signals, for example, yet, about a certain site or a certain URL or whatever, then how would we know that we need to crawl that for indexing?”

Gary Google Search Central tech writer, Lizzi Sassman (@okaylizzi),  next talked about inferring from the rest of the site whether or not it’s worth indexing new content.

“And some things you can infer from– for example, if you launch a new blog on your main site, for example, and you have a new blog subdirectory, for example, then we can sort of infer, based on the whole site, whether we want to crawl a lot from that blog or not.

Lizzi Sassman: But the blog is a new type of content that might be updated more frequently, so how can we tell if that is…?   It’s just new. We’re not sure if it’s going to be newsy, like how
frequent it’s still to be determined.

Gary Illyes: But we need a starter signal.

Lizzi Sassman: And the starter signal is…

Gary Illyes: Infer from the main site.”

Gary then pivoted to talking about quality signals. The quality signals they talked about though were whether signals related to user interest, like, are people interested in this product? Are people interested in this site?

He explained:

“But it’s not just update frequency. It’s also the quality signals that the main site has.

So, for example, if we see that a certain pattern is very popular on the Internet, like a slash product is very popular on the Internet, and people on Reddit are talking about it, other sites are linking to URLs in that pattern, then it’s a signal for us that people like the site in general.”

Gary continues talking about the popularity and interest signals but in the context of the conversation, which is a new section of a site that’s been launched.

In the discussion he calls the new section a Directory.

Illyes:

“While if you have something that people are not linking to, and then you are trying to launch a new directory, it’s like, well, people don’t like the site, then why would we crawl this new directory that you just launched?

And eventually, if people just start linking to it–“

Crawl Budget and Sites that Get Indexed

To recap some of what was discussed:

  • Google doesn’t have infinite capacity and can’t index everything on the web.
  • Because Google can’t index everything, it’s important to be selective by indexing only the content that matters.
  • Content topics that matter tends to be discussed
  • Sites that are important, which tend to be useful, tend to be discussed and linked to

Obviously, that’s not a comprehensive list of everything that influences what gets indexed. Nor is it meant to be an SEO checklist.

It’s just an idea of the kinds of things that are so important that Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt discussed it.


Featured image by Shutterstock/Trismegist san

Citation

Listen to the podcast here:

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TikTok Moves Forward With Live Shopping In US

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TikTok is moving forward with plans to launch live shopping in the United States, despite an unsuccessful launch in the UK this summer.

The Financial Times reports TikTok is getting ready to launch live shopping ahead of the holiday season with several large brands.

Live shopping combines TikTok livestreams with ecommerce to allow viewers to buy products without leaving the app.

Think of it like QVC for the social media age.

Live shopping is transforming ecommerce in Asian markets but is struggling to take off in the West.

In July, TikTok abandoned live shopping in the UK after it failed to meet expectations.

A launch in the US will make it the second time TikTok has tried to launch live shopping outside Asia. However, this time will be different, as TikTok isn’t doing it alone.

TikTok is set to partner with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to bring live shopping to the United States.

TalkShopLive has four years of experience running shopping streams and the infrastructure necessary to bring TikTok’s vision to life.

The Financial Times reports TikTok and TalkShopLive are still finalizing arrangements, and no contracts have been signed. That’s likely why there’s no official announcement yet.

There’s considerable incentive for TikTok to succeed at live shopping, which is why we see the company continuing to push forward with this endeavor.

While brands and influencers make money selling merchandise, TikTok earns a commission on every purchase. The gamble on live shopping has the potential to pay dividends.

Live shopping is a massive success in China, where annual sales are in the hundreds of billions, though western consumers haven’t responded to it the same way.

Meta is learning that first-hand, as it shuttered Facebook Live Shopping at the beginning of October, saying consumers’ viewing habits are shifting to short-form video.

TikTok already has the short-form video market locked down. Now it wants to be the leader in live shopping.

With no established social media live shopping competitors, there’s perhaps no better time for TikTok to move into the US market.

What that means for businesses remains to be seen. We don’t know if TikTok live shopping will be open to all interested businesses or only limited brands.

We’ll likely learn more when TikTok finalizes details and makes an official announcement.


Sources: Financial Times (1, 2, 3), Meta

Featured Image: Chaay_Tee/Shutterstock

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Click Bots and Fake Traffic Cost Online Advertisers $35 Billion

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The world of pay-per-click advertising depends on traffic to keep it running. But almost as long as there have been PPC ads, there have been bots to “click” them and game the system.

An open secret, this problem is much more widespread than many digital marketers might assume, with some estimates claiming fake users make up almost 40% of all web traffic.

PPC Fraud is Big Business

A study by the University of Baltimore estimated ad fraud costs businesses $35 billion globally in 2020 alone.

One of the most common ways it is perpetrated is via PPC fraud, in which website owners use an automated clicker, or click bot, to focus on Google Display, YouTube, or responsive text ads on their own site.

If these clicks are not identified as fraudulent, and they often are not, the fraudster collects the payout for each click from the advertiser. This not only falsely inflates ad performance, but it siphons off money from advertisers’ digital ad budgets for nonexistent traffic.

Reactiveness, Fear of Dropping Performance, Embarrassment May Facilitate Proliferation of Bots

Google has the technology to detect and block bot traffic. Using the search engine’s automatic filter in Google Analytics, users can instruct it to “exclude all hits from known bots and spiders.”

But this raises the question: why doesn’t Google block click bots by default? A publisher who asked to remain anonymous offered this opinion:

“Google has a long history of being reactive and not proactive against fake clicks. Google evolved rules against fake clicks in reaction to schemes created by publishers to exploit the advertising platform.

For example, until it was prohibited, publishers were able to style their ads with colors and fonts that caused them to blend with the webpage layout, blurring the difference between advertising content and regular content, resulting in clickthrough rates as high as 50% and the revenue was paid to the publisher, meaning the advertiser was charged.

Another example of how Google was reactive is that there was a person in the early days who was known for their click bots who partnered with people to revenue share ad clicks. This person got away with it for quite some time.”

This reactive approach has left Google scrambling to catch up as click bots develop new strategies and workarounds. Currently, because of privacy policies, there are technological limitations preventing servers from accurately tracking what is actually being seen by a browser. Servers are essentially flying blind.

As for the advertisers who are being defrauded by false clicks, it seems many are more interested in keeping their traffic numbers artificially high or they are embarrassed to admit they purchased ad space that generated fraudulent clicks. 

Fake Accounts Blamed for Failed Musk Twitter Deal

Upon halting his acquisition of Twitter in May, the current world’s richest man Elon Musk cited concerns about the number of spam accounts on the social media platform as a driving factor.

According to Musk, Twitter undercounted the number of fake accounts on the platform by millions, a claim that was lent credence by testimony from Twitter’s former head of security Peiter Zatko, who claimed executive bonuses were tied to daily user numbers.

Twitter responded by slapping the Tesla CEO with a lawsuit, which alleged that less than 5% of all Twitter accounts were bots.

This lawsuit is scheduled to go to court on October 17 in the Delaware Chancery Court. If Musk loses, he will be forced to buy Twitter for $4 billion.

Protect Your Ad Budget from Click Bots

It is impossible to 100% prevent your ad campaigns from bots, but you can reduce your exposure by taking a few simple steps.

  1. 1Set up IP exclusions in Google Ads from known click farms.
  2. Adjust your ad targeting to exclude geographical areas where fake clicks tend to originate.
  3. Create placement exclusion lists to keep your ad from appearing on fraudulent or questionable sites.

Fighting click fraud is an ongoing process, and implementing an elimination process may hurt your performance numbers up front, but it will save you money in the long run.


Featured image: Shutterstock/TarikVision

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How to Create a Child Page in WordPress

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Do you want to create a child page in WordPress?

WordPress pages can be standalone or hierarchical, which means the page has its own sub-pages known as child pages. For instance, you may want to create a Case Studies parent page and then create child pages for each of your separate case studies.

In this article, we will show how to organize your pages by creating a child page in WordPress.

What is a Child Page in WordPress?

WordPress comes with two default post types called posts and pages.

Posts are blog content, and are shown in reverse chronological order so the people who visit your WordPress blog will see the newest posts first.

Posts are normally organized with categories and tags, which is a great way to help visitors find related content.

Pages are one-off or standalone content that is not part of a blog. For example, many websites have an About Us and a Contact Us page. These pages can be hierarchical, which means you can organize them with parent and child pages.

Typically, business websites use pages to build a website without necessarily creating a blog. Businesses who want to add a blog to their content marketing strategy can still do so by simply creating a separate blog page, but this isn’t mandatory.

If you have too many pages, then it becomes difficult to organize them. This is where child pages come in.

You can create a parent page and then add child pages to better organize your navigation menus and your website as a whole. For example, the MonsterInsights website has a ‘Features’ parent page with a separate child page for each feature. This makes it easier for customers to find the feature they want to read about.

The MonsterInsights website

Many online stores also use child and parent pages to help visitors explore their eCommerce site and find products to buy.

Any child page can also have its own child pages. In this way, you can build relationships between your pages and create a logical structure that’s easier for visitors to navigate.

When pages are organized into parent and child categories, they also tend to be easier to manage in the WordPress admin area. This is particularly true as your WordPress website continues to grow.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily create a child page in WordPress.

How to Create a Child Page in WordPress?

To create a child page, you first need a parent page. You can use any page as a parent, or create a new page.

Once you have a parent page, you’re ready to add some child pages. Again, you can turn any existing page into a child, or create an entirely new page which will become your child page.

Then, simply open the child page for editing.

In the right-hand menu, click on the ‘Page’ tab. Then, find the ‘Page Attributes’ section and give it a click to expand.

The WordPress page attributes settings

If you look at the ‘Parent Page’ field then this is blank by default. This means the page is currently a parent page.

To turn this parent into a child page, simply open the ‘Parent’ dropdown. You can then select the page that you want to use as the parent page.

Creating a child page in WordPress

After that, go ahead and save your changes by clicking on the Update or Publish button.

To create more child pages, simply repeat the process described above.

To see all of your child pages, head over to Pages » All Pages. WordPress will show all of your child pages listed under their parent page with a — prefix.

In the following image, you can see that ‘Google Analytics dashboard’ and ‘WooCommerce Analytics’ are child pages of ‘MonsterInsight Features.’

WordPress parent and child pages

After creating some child pages, you may want to add a list of child pages for a parent page to your WordPress website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a child page in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete guide on how to create a landing page in WordPress and the best drag and drop WordPress page builders.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Create a Child Page in WordPress first appeared on WPBeginner.



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Facebook Launching New In-App Browser For Android

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Facebook is preparing to launch a new in-app browser on Android, replacing the standard Android System WebView with a more stable solution.

Unlike other Android apps that open web links in an external browser of the user’s choice, Facebook opens pages in the app itself.

Facebook identified a problem with how it handles external links, saying users update the Facebook app more often than the software that powers the in-app browser.

An announcement on Meta’s engineering blog states:

“Our in-app browser for Facebook on Android has historically relied on an Android System WebView based on Chromium, the open source project that powers many browsers on Android and other operating systems.

… over the past few years, we’ve observed that many Android users are updating their Facebook app but not updating their Chrome and WebView apps, which may result in security risks and a negative user experience.”

The company cites susceptibility to zero-day exploits and Facebook app crashes as the significant problems resulting from its reliance on Android System WebView.

To remedy these issues, Facebook developed a separate Chromium-Based WebView that can update in sync with Facebook app updates.

Facebook lists several benefits of switching to a custom browser, including improved stability, security, and performance.

Benefits Of A New In-App Browser For Facebook On Android

Security

A custom in-app browser allows Facebook to roll out the latest Chromium security patches directly to users, which install when users update the Facebook app.

This helps ensure users aren’t visiting pages using outdated software, which may pose security risks.

Stability

A custom browser solution should lead to fewer app crashes, Facebook says.

Updating Android’s WebView software at a system level can cause apps to crash, as Android needs to ensure all instances of WebView are stopped so it can install the latest version.

Utilizing a custom version of WebView, exclusive to the Facebook app, means Android no longer needs to crash Facebook when updating the System WebView.

Performance

Facebook says its custom in-app browser improves performance concerning rendering web pages and launching Instant Games via Facebook Gaming:

“Our Webview also improves on rendering performance… Because we are able to constrain how the WebView gets displayed within our apps, we can enable the GPU process for our WebView. This improves rendering performance and stability of web pages and Instant Games.”

In Summary

The benefits listed above may sound like technical jargon if you’re unfamiliar with the Android operating system.

You need to know that this change will improve security and performance and reduce app crashes when people view websites in the Facebook app.

Facebook isn’t the first app to utilize a custom in-app browser on Android. Mozilla, Microsoft, and Samsung all have their own versions as well.

The company emphasizes that this change will not impact people’s privacy choices on Meta services.


Source: Engineering at Meta
Featured Image: Emre Akkoyun/Shutterstock

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How to Reverse Video Search (& Why It’s Useful)

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Have you ever stumbled across an exciting video and wondered where it came from?

If so, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many ways to find a video source through reverse video searches.

This guide teaches how to conduct a reverse video search and why it’s useful.

What Is A Reverse Video Search?

Many people use search engines to find information by searching for a particular word or phrase (i.e., “keywords”) until the search engine reveals a page, video, or another piece of content that matches the search.

A reverse search, however, involves entering the piece of content (typically, a video or image) and finding each webpage on which the piece of content appears.

Thus, an RVS (reverse video search) involves imputing a video into the search engine and discovering the source of that video on the web.

How Reverse Video Search Works

Search engines, like Google, can interpret the color and pixels in a video and then find similar (or exact) videos on the web.

This will often reveal the original source of the video and any other instances of the video online.

However, this process is not always 100% accurate.

If a single pixel in the video has changed, it might not appear in the search results.

Plus, a high number of videos are uploaded to the web every day, so this process requires search engines to effectively index all videos to surface them in the search results.

Reasons To Use Reverse Video Search

There are a few reasons one might want to use reverse video search. Here are the most common use cases:

Find The Source Of A Video

Most often, a reverse video search is used to find the source of a video.

Say you find a funny or valuable video online. You might want to know who published the video, whether other content (like a blog article) is connected to the video, or whether the owner produces similar content.

A reverse video search, in this instance, may be able to find the original source of the content.

Find Duplicate Videos

If you are a video producer, you might want to use a reverse video search to see if anyone has copied or reproduced one of your original videos.

A reverse video search can help you find illegitimate uses of your content, after which you can contact the owner and ask for credit or for the video to be taken down.

Find The Full Version Of A Video Clip

Sometimes you might come across an interesting video clip and want to find the rest of the video.

A reverse video search might be able to interpret the video clip and find the full video online.

Find Related Content

A reverse video search may also be able to help you discover content that’s related to the video.

It might surface similar videos or related content (like articles, web pages, or blog posts) that featured the video.

This can be a great way to find more interesting content.

How To Conduct A Reverse Video Search

There are many ways to conduct a reverse video search. It often requires using the search engine directly or a third-party tool to upload the image.

Here are the most effective methods for conducting a reverse video search.

Run A Reverse Video Search On Google

Google doesn’t offer a reverse search function specific to video, so you will need to take a screenshot of the video and then use the reverse image search function.

  • Find a distinctive frame in the video (i.e., a section that seems unique from other videos and most likely to surface the same video online).
  • Pause the video.
  • Take a screenshot of the frame you wish to capture ( Shift-Command-4 on Apple/Mac or Ctrl + PrtScn on Windows).
  • Save the screenshot.
  • Navigate to Google Images and select the camera icon. Use the search by image option.
  • Upload the screenshot.
  • Google will return the search results for your screenshot (if available).
Screenshot of Google Images search engine, September 2022Google images search engine
Google Images search results for cat videosScreenshot of Google Images results for [domestic short-haired cat], Google, September 2022Google Images search results for cat videos

Run A Reverse Video Search Using Berify

Berify.com is a reverse image and video search tool that matches your search to results from several search engines at once, including Google, Bing, Yandex, and others.

This may provide more complete results than using a single search engine.

Note: This freemium tool allows you to sign up for free, but will then charge a monthly subscription fee. So, use the free version if you only need a few searches.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Take a screenshot of the video clip you want to search for.
  • Visit Berify.com.
  • Upload the screenshot to the search box that says Browse and upload the image here.
  • Click Search.
  • Berify will surface any results that match your search.

Run A Reverse Video Search Using Shutterstock

Shutterstock hosts a massive online database of over 1 billion images and videos. It can also be used to conduct a reverse video search.

  • Take a screenshot of the video clip you want to search for.
  • Visit Shutterstock.com.
  • Navigate to the search box. Click on the camera icon (the Search by image function).
  • Upload the screenshot. (Note: You can also specify whether you’re searching for certain vectors or whether illustrations in the video are animated/computer generated).
  • Click the magnifying glass.
  • Shutterstock will surface images or videos similar to your search.

Run A Reverse Video Search Using TinEye

TinEye is one of the leading “search by image” tools that allow you to find other images and videos that match your search.

TinEye uses computer vision, image recognition, and reverse image search technology.

  • Take a screenshot of the video clip you want to search for or search for the video by URL.
  • Visit TinEye.com.
  • Find the search box. Click the Upload button to upload your screenshot, or simply drag and drop your image.
  • Click the magnifying glass.
  • TinEye will surface any images or videos that are similar to your search.

Run A Reverse Video Search on Bing

Like Google, Bing’s reverse video search function works best with a video screenshot. Running a reverse video search on Bing is simple:

  • Take a screenshot of the video clip you want to search for.
  • Open Bing’s Visual Search page.
  • Upload the screenshot, drag and drop the screenshot, or paste the URL of the image or video in the search box.
  • Bing will surface results for “related content” that closely matches the image or video.

Conducting A Reverse Image Search is Simple

Whether you’re trying to track down the source of a funny video or find similar content to suit your interests, a reverse video search can be a helpful tool for anyone.

Google, Bing, TinEye, and other tools offer reverse video search features that simplify finding a video’s origins.

Remember, reverse video search can help you find duplicate content, which could help you protect your digital assets. Or, it can help you find the original publisher of a video so you can give credit where it’s due.

Video is an excellent addition to many marketing campaigns, web content, social media strategy, and more. Use reverse video search to make finding, sourcing, and attributing videos more accessible than ever.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Overearth/Shutterstock

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YouTube Shorts Adds Another TikTok Feature

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YouTube Shorts is adopting another popular TikTok feature that allows creators to narrate over videos. Learn how to add voiceovers after recording a piece of content.

You can utilize voiceovers to enhance Shorts, such as explaining how to do something, adding insightful commentary, or making funny comments.

Before this update, YouTube didn’t make it easy to add your voice to a recorded video. You would have had to capture your voice while the video was recording.

Now, you can add a voiceover to YouTube Shorts after recording. Learn how to do it by following the steps in the next section.

How To Add A Voiceover To YouTube Shorts

After recording a YouTube Shorts video, you can add a voiceover by following these steps:

  • Tap the checkmark button in the bottom right of the camera screen
  • Tap the voiceover button
  • Move the vertical white line on the video filmstrip to the spot you want to start your voiceover
  • Hit the red record button to start recording and tap it again to stop recording.

You’ll be able to play back your voiceover before publishing the video. If you’re unhappy with how the voiceover turned out, you can tap the undo button and re-record it.

As a final step before publishing the video, you’ll have the option to adjust audio levels across music, your original video’s audio, and your voiceover.

Availability

The voiceovers feature for YouTube Shorts is rolling out now on iOS.


Source: YouTube

Featured Image: Ascannio/Shutterstock

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Which Is Better For You?

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Content marketers are using video content more than ever.

In 2022, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.

Aside from the rise of TikTok, especially during the pandemic, more marketers are creating videos, and 46% of marketers said it was because videos had become easier to develop in-house.

As a content marketer, should you jump on the bandwagon?

And what about the more “traditional” YouTube?

Worldwide, YouTube is part of the Top 3 social media networks. TikTok isn’t just yet, though it’s steadily climbing the ranks at No. 5.

Just because TikTok is the newest kid on the block doesn’t mean you have to allocate all your video budgets to it.

Choosing between the two requires careful thought and consideration. You must factor in content type, target audience, engagement rates, and influencer marketing spend.

So, which of these two viral video platforms makes more sense for your business?

Let’s dive in.

What Is TikTok?

After Chinese tech company ByteDance acquired Musical.ly in 2017, its technology was ported. Thus, TikTok was born.

TikTok (called Douyin locally) is a user-friendly social media platform that allows users to create short-form videos.

With a free video editor in-app, anyone can add filters, stickers, and text-to-speech for a 15-second video.

TikTok has over a billion monthly users, making it the most downloaded app worldwide in 2021.

What Is YouTube?

With over 2.1 billion monthly active users, The video-sharing platform has been around much longer. Launched in 2005, YouTube has been the mainstay for sharing video content.

Three former PayPal employees founded YouTube as a way for people to have fun sharing their home videos. (Remember the first few viral YouTube videos?)

Compared to TikTok, YouTube videos are a lot longer.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between TikTok And YouTube

TikTok YouTube
Audience (U.S.) 50% between ages 18 and 24, 17.7% between ages 12 and 17 95% between ages 18 and 19
Average Content Length 15 to 60 seconds 11.7 minutes
Average Time Spent Per Day 45.8 minutes a day 45.6 minutes a day
Traffic (Organic) 318.2 million 646 billion
Traffic (Paid) 643,600 65.1 million
Successful Niches
  • Dance
  • Comedy
  • Smaller/specialized creators
  • Product must-haves
  • Breakdowns of news stories
  • Makeup and fashion hacks with trendy sound clips
  • Storytime (first person POV)
  • Evergreen content
  • Lifehack and DIY videos
  • How-tos
  • Gaming, people, and blogs
  • Music and entertainment
  • Sporting Events
Cost For Business Accounts $o – free account $o – free account

Audience for TikTok vs. YouTube

TikTok Has a Younger U.S. Audience

If you’re marketing to teens, a.k.a., Gen Z (and by extension, Generation Alpha who are becoming teens next year), TikTok is a strong bet.

As of April 2022:

Almost half of TikTok users in the United States were between 18 and 34 years, making up the largest demographic group for the platform.

TikTok users aged between 12 and 17 made up approximately 17.7% of the popular social video app user base in the United States, while 2.5% of TikTok users in the country were 11 years old or younger.”

This means that TikTok is especially popular with Gen Z while more and more adults are steadily becoming app users, too.

Note that younger children ages 12 and above can access TikTok (the app requires a minimum of 12 years of age to get a profile).

Gen Z and Millennials Are More Likely To Trust YouTubers

If you’re trying to reach Millennials (while keeping older Gen Z in mind) and be seen as more authoritative, YouTube could be a safer bet.

According to Pew Research:

“In 2021, 95% of U.S. adults between 18 and 29 years of age said they use YouTube (the age demographic with the highest percentage) while only 49% of U.S. adults who are 65+ years reported using it.”

According to the YouTube Culture And Trends Report 2022, 83% of Gen Z watch soothing content on YouTube to help them relax.

Lastly, in a survey by Ypulse, YouTubers were the most trusted public figures (31%) among those surveyed, beating TikTokers by 12%.

TikTok vs. YouTube: Content Format And Length

Keep It Short And Sweet On TikTok

TikTok has a maximum length of three minutes. TikTok recommends an optimal 21 to 34 seconds to keep viewers interested, but average videos last 15 – 60 seconds.

While it leaves little room for all-out explainer videos, you can still create quality content on the go and turn it into a non-chronological series.

TikTok favors short-form videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16; it is vertically optimized for mobile devices.

The platform also has TikTok LIVE, a feature for creators to connect in real-time with their audience (think Q&As or concert experiences).

Leave The Longer Videos To YouTube

Verified accounts on YouTube can run up to two hours of video, while unverified accounts can only upload 15 minutes. The average length for videos is 11.7 minutes.

While YouTube videos are popular on mobile devices (49.3% are watching on mobile YouTube), the number is expected to decrease as YouTube continues to be available on desktop and TV devices.

Keep a 16:9 aspect ratio in mind since YouTube apps are becoming more popular with smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other gadgets.

YouTube launched its livestream feature for creators back in 2011.

The platform is famous for its gaming livestreams, the Superbowl, the Olympics, and more.

Moreover, YouTubers can curate content playlists, allowing viewers to enjoy music streaming and related content for hours with an autoplay option.

Note: The average time per day for both channels is around 45 minutes, with TikTok winning by a hair at 45.8 minutes compared to YouTube’s 45.6 minutes.

Comparing TikTok vs. YouTube Algorithm

There is content that works well on both platforms (consider product reviews and reaction videos).

Nevertheless, here are the types of content for which each channel is better known.

To dig deeper into TikTok’s powerful search algorithm or how YouTube’s search results recently changed, we recommend further reading up on them in the links provided.

TikTok: Niches That Succeed

Screenshot from TikTok, September 2022example of popular tiktok content: relatable lifehack discoveries

Bite-sized content has never been more digestible, with creators using TikTok to spread straightforward content in memes, educational content, lip sync, and dance videos.

These often include specialized content series, like Random Amazon Finds That Just Slap, Things I Just Found Out In My 30s, or professionals connected to a particular hashtag with content usually dedicated to one specialty. (Note: That could be an opportunity for your business’s industry or niche.)

Small and big brands can work with influencers to create simple, engaging, potentially viral content. See how Clinique’s Black Honey Lipstick sold out because of TikTok videos spreading awareness.

TikTok Creator content tends to be relatable and authentic; you can use the TikTok Insights tool to see what works for each generation in what industry.

Niches That Work On YouTube

Popular content on YouTube includes how-to videos, product reviews, music videos, comedy skits, and much more.

Your brand can benefit from collaborating with YouTubers (the most trusted figures, according to the survey above). For example, NordVPN frequently has sponsorship arrangements with tech gadget reviewers, like Techmoan.

YouTube can be better for products that aren’t as easy to show off in short formats. Additionally, YouTube tutorials tend to have a more serious tone.

TikTok Ad Formats

For TikTok ad formats, you have the following options (see TikTok Ads For Beginners: A Complete Guide & Steps To Success to learn how to use them).

  • TopView: An attention-grabbing, distraction-free, 60-second video format.
  • In-Feed Ads: A native-inspired ad type that will integrate seamlessly into a viewer’s “For You” page.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge: A UGC (user-generated content) using your brand’s hashtag campaign.
  • Branded Effects: Branded stickers, filters, or special effects.

YouTube Ad Formats

For videos that have ad monetization features, these are the following video ad formats available for YouTube business accounts.

Read The Complete Beginner’s Guide To YouTube Video Advertising for a comprehensive guide on how to use them.

  • Skippable video ads: A video ad with an option for viewers to skip after five seconds.
  • Non-skippable video ads: These ads don’t allow viewers to skip this typically 15-20 second video.
  • Bumper ads: Up to six seconds long, these ads need to be watched before a video is viewed.
  • Overlay ads: Only seen on desktop, these ads take up the lower 20% screen of a video.

YouTube videos can be monetized and can earn shared ad revenue.

Setting up business accounts is free on both platforms. Keep in mind that TikTok has a $50 minimum for an ad spend, while YouTube Ads offers $100 in free credits when you spend $50 on video ads.

Conclusion

Should you favor one over the other?

On the surface, TikTok.com has 318.2 million organic traffic, and YouTube.com has 646 billion.

For paid, TikTok traffic is 643,600, while YouTube reaches 65.1 million.

YouTube and TikTok are here to stay, and while YouTube’s traffic seems bigger, TikTok’s fast rise to the top is one to look out for.

Typically, both are ideal for marketers who invest in video marketing; 87% of marketers say video has helped them increase their traffic, and 82% on dwell time.

The best platform depends on your brand and the type of content you have the resources for, the customer purchase cycle, your social media goals, and your budget.

When used wisely, whichever of the two you choose will help benefit your business in the long run.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

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