On Sept. 29, 2010 I attended a webinar hosted by Mark Robertson of Reel SEO.com
. His guest were Amy MacIsaac, who is a Strategic Partner Manager in Google’s Content Partnerships team, and Nelson Lee who is a Product Manager on Video Search.
The webinar was titled Video Sitemaps Best Practices with Google.
Here are some of the notes I took during the webinar. These are just to get you started as the entire webinar was recorded and should be posted as soon as Google signs off on it.
38% of US online users use search engines to find video.
54% use YouTube to find video while 40.1% use Google to find the video's they want.
Google does crawl sites to discover video but, having a video sitemap makes it easier for them to discover the video's on your site.
Video sitemaps are better to use than mRSS feeds.
Amy told us what is required in the Video Sitemap for Google
. (Nelson added; that ALL required tags MUST be there or it will not get indexed. No blank tags!)1.
Play Page url4.
Player Location – (Nelson added tags info; <video:player_loc> and <video:content_loc> Also no duplication in the <loc> tags.)
These next 3 are Highly Recommended to include in your video sitemap1.
Duration of the video2.
Expiration – Format for expiration is yyyy-mm-dd3.
Regional Restrictions (if any)
Nelson came on to expand on the requirements for your video's to be discovered.
Your video sitemap MUST allow a public access URL.
You must make sure you allow Googlebot (check to see if Gbot is blocked in your Robot Text file).
Also some 3rd party video host do have Gbot blocked (we know that public access YouTube does not).
If you remove a video from your site you need to return a 404 error.
Here we went to a Q&A session and I do not recall which person answered each question. 1Q:
How do you submit a video sitemap?1A:
You can submit it through Google Webmaster Tools. (Just like submitting any sitemap for a site). You can get more info at http://www.google.com/webmasters/videositemaps/2Q:
Are video sitemaps better than mRSS2A:
Yes, Google says sitemaps are easier for them to get all the needed info.3Q:
Can you use 3rd party player host for video's.3A:
Yes! (You can embed videos from other host on your site and have them indexed IF the fit the above sitemap requirements of tags and info). Added note; There is no way for Google to know if the video embedded on your site, is owned by you or if you are using someone elses'. They are working to filter out spammers just posting videos for hits.4Q:
Does it matter if a video is embedded in an Iframe? (Vimeo uses iframes)4A:
Typically an Iframe is not good for SEO.5Q:
Does using HTML5 help with discovery?5A:
Using HTML5 does help the bot discover video but, it is not a "mast have" for your vids to be found.6Q:
If a post or page has more than 1 video on it, will all of the videos on that page be indexed? 6A:
No. All your video's need to reside on an individual (unique) URL. It is better to put 1 video per page/url/post for the best indexing results.7Q:
What size is the video thumbnail for Google SERPs?7A:
The thumbnail is 160x120 pixels.
Nelson and Amy had to leave the webinar but, Mark stayed on to answer more questions. I will also remind you that this post is taken from my notes…I am not a transciptionist and so they are not the exact words of the speakers.8Q:
Is there a WordPress plug in for video sitemaps that you (Mark) would recommend?8A:
Most WP Plug in video sitemaps re not that great. Yoast is working on a WP video sitemap that will likely be good. 9Q:
Does video publication date matter? Will older or newer video's be indexed better?9A:
Publication date does NOT matter but, expiration date does.To help with getting your videos indexed and found:
Write in plain text the title of the video and the description. This will help Google know what the video and page is about. Text surrounding the video is a best practice. A video sitting alone on a page with no topic text will not be as likely to rank as a page with good original topic based text. Follow best SEO practices for a page with video just as you would any other page.Sitemaps MUST be set on your own domain!
Once you submit a video sitemap to webmaster tool it will be crawled within minutes. It may take days for the video's to get indexed. They make no promises of placing your video's in the G index! (I recommend that you set up a Google alerts by going to http://video.google.com/
then placing site:yourdomain.com
– Here you will see what if how many of your vids are indexed and there you can also set your alert. This way you can easily see when a new vid on your site is indexed.)
Indicate in your Robots Text file that you have a video sitemap
You can submit a mRSS Feed to Yahoo
. Yahoo also picks up Facebook Share markup (meta tag Facebook Share in your source code). I am still trying to figure out what this is exactly. See page - http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=162163
Ok, that is a round up of what I took down. Mind you that there is far more in the recording that you will want to listen to as soon as it comes out. You can check ReelSEO.Com
to see when it is up or follow them on Twitter at @reelSeo
I hope this helps get you started on your way to getting your video's indexed.
PS: I have had video's on my sites indexed and show in the SERP's without using a video sitemap. I feel that maybe I was lucky and that my text on the page is what really got them indexed.