How YouTube Won: Great SEO + Stolen Content (or "the biggest hit and run in the history of the Internet")

Fred says that the Flash player and slick syndication stuff on YouTube is why they won. That certainly helped, however Fred’s 100% wrong when he dismisses the impact of stolen content and I can prove it to you in one link:

http://www.google.com/search?q=lazy+sunday

The real reason why YouTube won is because they matched great SEO with stolen content that was not available anywhere else.

Mainstream media has been creating a huge vacuum on the Internet for over a decade. When stolen content becomes available–years ago on Napster, today on YouTube–it races off the charts. In YouTube’s case it also races to #1 on Google.

SNL didn’t put their videos online and the price they paid is that they lost the #1 Google ranking for their content to YouTube.

Do a search for SNL Video and YouTube is #1 and SNL is #2–how on earth is that fair? How on earth can VCs back–or in Fred’s case praise–a company that is involved in massive piracy for personal gain? Now don’t go giving me that “if NBC doesn’t put their stuff on the Internet users will/information wants to be free” line of BS. YouTube did this so they could get rich quick–it’s a business not the wikipedia or OurMedia. This is a site with advertising on it back by VCs.

If YouTube makes $250M from a sale their founders and VCs should give $225M of it back to the content owners like NBC and Loren Michaels who they stole it from!

Here is what the YouTube story is going to look like:

1. Create extremely simple technology in a couple of weeks.
2. Blow $1m in hosting costs a month.
3. Enable the stealing of people’s content for a year, while turning a blind eye to piracy.
4. Claim they never, ever looked at their logs or their own sites top 20 list to see that it was filled with stolen content.
5. Sell the company and let someone else deal wth the IP headache.

If they sellout this will be the Internet industry’s hit and run, and I’m gonna write the book.

If someone buys YouTube they will not be rewarding entrepreneurship, they will be rewarding piracy and they should be ashamed of themselves. Everyone else in the video space played by the rules, YouTube gave content holders the finger while shrugging their shoulders pretending they didn’t know. Please…. really.

YouTube stole their way to the top while other folks behaved themselves.

Sinister but brilliant… but we as an industry shouldn’t reward such behavior.