We’ve talked before about how valuable videos can be for your site and even how to optimize them well. But we haven’t talked about autorun videos and I think this is a good time to mention that I wouldn’t recommend autorun videos. There are three primary reasons why I’d stay away from videos that load automatically when a visitor lands on your site.
- Poor SEO
- Slows your load time
- They annoy visitors
Let’s examine these three reasons briefly.
Videos are difficult to SEO because the search engines don’t crawl. Only recently has Google announced that it can crawl text in videos, but that ability is still quite limited. The best video optimization involves the use of surrounding text on the page and if you have an autorun vidoe then you likely aren’t going to have much of that. But supposing you do, the other two reasons should be enough to convince you.
Page load time is very important for search engine trust and rankings. The slower your page loads the more the search engines themselves will cast a crooked at you. Visitors too will not stick around for long if your pages load too slowly. So there’s a double whammy.
Speaking of annoying your visitors, you stand a good chance of losing a lot of traffic if you force your visitors to view content they don’t want to see. Your video may be the best video in the world, but if you force it on your visitors then they will resent it and many of them won’t return. In general, if you annoy site visitors you lose them forever. Don’t use autorun videos because people just don’t like them.