On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, traffic in Los Angeles is always terrible. This year was no different; except one thing. This year there was a short video that was taken by a helicopter that turned into one of the most viral traffic gifs in history. It started on local news stations, migrated to Reddit and found its way to Facebook. In fact, there is a very good chance you have seen this Los Angeles traffic gif while browsing the Internet in the last week.
When doing a quick search on Google News for Los Angeles holiday traffic there are dozens of articles that have used this gif or a version of it. Here are a few of them:
- The enduring L.A. holiday tradition: Terrible traffic – LA Times
- Thanksgiving traffic jam in Los Angeles is ‘most epic’ – BBC News
- MUST SEE: Los Angeles holiday traffic backup looks like a candy cane – WQOW TV News
- World’s worst traffic jam? Cars stuck in Thanksgiving getaway ‘gridlock’ – The Telegraph
- California traffic jam ‘nightmare’ captured in aerial footage – ABC Online
- Thanksgiving Travel: Waze Predicts Best (and Worst) Times to Drive in Los Angeles This Week – Hollywood Reporter
- This horrendous 405 backup is a Thanksgiving traffic nightmare – Time Out Los Angeles
- Cross My Heart and Hope to Drive: Overhead Photo Shows America’s Worst Traffic Jam – CBS8 San Diego
As with most viral news stories and videos, once this gif made it to the front page of Reddit, almost every national and global news outlet started to report on it. One gif that was posted to Imgur shows approximately 240,000 views but we estimate it to be well over 10 million across all networks including YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.
Those that are used to Driving in SoCal have to sit through this type of traffic all too often. The gif gained in popularity simply because of the fact that this is the time of year in which rush hour is almost completely dark. During the spring, summer and fall months, many drivers are heading home when it is light outside and they do not have to use their headlights.
From an SEO perspective, this is huge for a business or website. If you were the company that produced the video and aired it on your website first, you could receive hundreds, if not thousands of links that point back to your domain. Very savvy Internet Marketers make certain that links are embedded on YouTube videos or within the YouTube summary. While the link does not go directly to a business or law firm website, it does have SEO value. The value is in all the links pointing back to the YouTube URL which then links back to a business website.
A viral video like this does not come around often. In fact, it only takes one of these types of videos or posts to rank on the front page for highly competitive keywords for the existence of a website. Sometimes it is important to remain patient with SEO as when an opportunity like this comes around, it will change your business forever.