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Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

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Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:44 pm

Ok like everything else in my life I saw something and had to try it out.

I have been reading about video sitemaps. This is suppose to help videos posted on your site get found better by the search engines. Damn, I hope it works!

Anyhow, I went and got the WP plug in called Google XML Sitemap for Videos This plugin will generate a XML Video Sitemap for your WordPress blog. Installed it & made my fancy sitemap.

Once you get the plug in you will go to tools and click to Make A Sitemap. You can aslo ping Google and take the Sitemap link right over to Webmaster Tools and submit it for that site.

Easy as pie. Now, when you go to look at your sitemap page you will see small boxes with the Video Title, a thumbnail picture, and possibly a description.

Some of my videos on the sitemap had the title 2 times and no unique description. I figured out why. The description for each video seems to come from the EXCERPT section of each blog post. If you don't have an excerpt then the sitemap will show no description.
HINT the description could be important to be found in the SERPS.

Now the reason I wanted to try this sitemap is in hopes of my page being pulled up in the SERP's when some one is looking for a video I have on my site. These are just plane old video's from YouTube that I have embedded on my site. The bots can't read the video so, I have to work to get them to know I have a video people may want to watch. I would rather people come to my site to see it than go to YouTube.

I'm just writing this out quick so if you have more questions just ask.
Sheryl
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Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:35 pm

I also found out that it can take 5 days before Google actually gets to your videos on your sitemap.

Google says they may not index every video you have on your sitemap. I would guess it may depend a little on how good your title and descriptions are.

Anyhow, after at least 5 days you can go to http://video.google.com/ put in site:yourdomain.com - this will show what video's google has in the video only section for your domain.

Tip #2 = I put a new video on last night & I am waiting to see if the sitemap automatically picks it up. It has picked up 1 new video from when I started but, not the one I added last night. Hmmmm, I'll wait as long as I can before I make a "New" video sitemap.

Tip #3= Some of the thumbnails for the videos have changed since I first made it...not sure why but, I really don't care at this point. I do know that 1 of the videos is mine & is NOT showing the thumbnail we assigned when we placed it on YouTube.

As of right now I have 33 video's on my sitemap (not that you all care but, this is a handy place to keep my number). The video sitemaps have a limit of like 50,000. I have a ways to go.

Ok, that's all I got.
Sheryl
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:51 pm

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. Title
2. Description
3. Play Page url
4. Thumbnail
5. 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 sitemap

1. Duration of the video
2. Expiration – Format for expiration is yyyy-mm-dd
3. 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 mRSS
2A: 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.
Sheryl

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.
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby CoronadoCookie » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:59 pm

Great information Sheryl ~ thanks for sharing this! SEO on Google continues to evolve and get more complicated...I didn't even know about video sitemaps. I wonder how much weight having a video sitemap gives you in light of the fact that you did get videos indexed without the presence of a video sitemap. I guess some continued testing is in order. On the other hand, if Google is teaching it, they are doing it for a reason.
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Brian Hawkins » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:15 am

Wow Sheryl, that's a lot of great information.

I want to start creating video for my blog but want to exclude the junk on my old YouTube account. I just created a separate YouTube account just for my blog. If I understand correctly, even though the vids are hosted on YouTube, the embedded version will still be indexed linking to our site?

Off Topic
I also linked a qik.com account http://qik.com/trisi hoping to get a little extra boost once I get started. I send the video to qik with my phone, then qik uploads it to Youtube while sharing it with their members. I can embed the videos using qik or youtube. This is all new to me so we'll see how well it works.
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:07 pm

Hi Corrine, from the way it sounds from the Experts...a video sitemap is the best way to go. I do think that maybe it was just luck that got the other video's indexed. I also have a lot of text with each video so, that likely helped.


Brian, The video's you embed on your site can get indexed even if they are not your own. If they get indexed, the SERP result will lead to YOUR page on Your site for the person to watch the video.


Here are the tags that are from the sitemap plug in listed above

<url>
<loc>http://anipalinfo.com/video-of-a-cat-who-djs</loc>

<video:video>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes" autoplay="autoplay=1">http://www.youtube.com/v/oQnForWPm78</video:player_loc>

<video:thumbnail_loc>http://i.ytimg.com/vi/oQnForWPm78/2.jpg</video:thumbnail_loc>

<video:title>Video of a Cat Who DJ's</video:title>

<video:description>Ever seen a DJ Kitty? Yeah, that's right, I'm talking about a cat who can DJ better than anyone you know. This is a video of a cat who could DJ all night, and STILL be cool!</video:description>

<video:duration>81</video:duration>

<video:publication_date>2010-09-28T17:45:02+00:00</video:publication_date>

<video:tag>cats</video:tag>
<video:tag>pet video</video:tag>

<video:category>Pets</video:category>
</video:video>
</url>

It seems to have all the tags listed above in my notes
1. Title
2. Description
3. Play Page url
4. Thumbnail
5. Player Location
1. Duration of the video - This is an optional with the sitemap plug in.

2 of the Highly Recommended but not necessary tags are missing in the WP plug in are
Expiration
Regional Restrictions

It did add tags that are not necessary but, not sure if that matters or not. I'm still waiting to see how this goes.

HINT- The text listed in <video:description> is the text YOU type in as an excerpt on your blog post. It is NOT the description pulled from YouTube. This means you can help yourself by writing a good non spammy description.

The one problem I do have with the WP plug in so far is that it doesn't update when you add a new video. I waited a couple of days after I added a video and it was still not showing on my sitemap so, I had to manually use the plug in and hit "make a sitemap" again.
But, you do NOT need to go back to webmaster tools and resubmit as the video sitemap link is that same.


Brian that qik sounds like a cool thing. You'll have to let us know how you like it.
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:05 pm

The video recording from the webinar in now up!

Check Google Video Sitemaps Webinar Video Recording to hear all the great info that I probably missed in my notes.

It is 1 hour and 26 minutes so, set some time aside and take a listen.
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Re: Video Sitemap for Wordpress Blog

Postby Sheryl Loch » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:36 pm

I am sure you have been seeing the big news about Google TV. It just so happens that people will have another way to watch your videos once the GTV is out. That means getting your video's to rise above the others will be super important. So, if you have not been seriously looking into getting a video sitemap for your site...you could miss out on lots of views.

I am still waiting on a "better" sitemap plug in for wordpress. I will let you know if I find one. If you happen across 1 please let us know.
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