SEO is not just for websites anymore – now optimizing for TV

With the recent release of Google TV, the integration of the web and television seems most certain. Even if Google doesn’t get it right out of the gate, it’s inevitable that at some point the two will converge. I know we have been hearing this for years, but the advertising possibilities are too great to ignore and the technology is at the point where it is viable. The main concern now will be the interface and how we interact with both at the same time. Since our active interaction with the web is much different from our passive interaction with TV.

Youtube leanback

This is one of the reasons Google has created YouTube LeanBack. LeanBack is a version of YouTube, optimized for large screens.

Google’s webmaster central blog states:

Because Google TV has a fully functioning web browser built in, users can easily visit your site from their TV. Current sites should already work, but you may want to provide your users with an enhanced TV experience — what’s called the “10-foot UI” (user interface). They’ll be several feet away from the screen, not several inches away, and rather than a mouse on their desktop, they’ll have a remote with a keyboard and a pointing device

Google suggests that optimizing for TV involves the following:

  • Make sure that text is large enough to be viewable from the sofa
  • Ensure navigating the website can be performed through button arrows on a remote (or key pad), rather than just mouse & touchpad controls
  • Ensure that all selectable (clickable) elements on a page provide a strong visual signal when selected

Of course there is a great resource for learning more about how to test if your website is ready and optimized for TV. They have published a developer site, with TV optimization techniques, at code.google.com/tv/web/. However, to get a quick check of how your site will possibly display on a TV do the following:

  1. Use a large monitor with a window size 1920 x 1080.
  2. Visit your site at full screen in your browser.
  3. Zoom in the browser to 1.5x the normal size. You will have to check individual browser settings on how to accomplish this.
  4. Take 3 steps back  from your monitor and view your website3 x (the distance between you and the monitor).
  5. See what you site looks like
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