A little while ago we wrote about video transcripts and submitting them to Google. It seem that Google have gone one step further and started doing the job themselves. Google Labs are testing Google Audio Indexing. At present it is only political videos stored on YouTube that are being indexed, however the results are impressive.
Google labs are indexing the content and providing a search function based on keywords. Rather than listen to the whole political statement, you can enter a search term and have the broadcast jump to the location of that keyword.
If this leaves Google Labs and becomes mainstream, all video content will be indexed, not by what you tell the search engines, but from what they can hear within the recording.
With this in mind, will there be any long term effects to SEO and keyword optimization? I think there will be several issues that come to light. The first will be to ensure the voice recording is clear and does not contain too much jargon or non-english words.
The other issue is that if (or perhaps when) Google start indexing audio content, the content does match what the alt tags indicate, and the page it is on – in other words, the video really is relevant to the page.
There is no indication as to how long they will continue to index audio or if podcast will also be included. Search engines are trying to catch up with times. This is just another example of the change we are going through.