Video Sitemap Guide for Vimeo and YouTube

Video Sitemap Guide for Vimeo and YouTube

Posted by jhammackThis post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
Videos Indexed in the SERP

Did you know that major search engines want you to make video sitemaps for all of your embeds, even if you're hosting on Vimeo or Youtube?

Not only does it help them spider your website by giving the search engines clues as to where to look for video embeds, it may also earn your site a click through boost by giving you a picture in the SERP. Below I'll show you how I managed to index my Vimeo video embeds to include a thumbnail. Don't worry, the same steps should work for Youtube as well.

Benefits of a Video Sitemap

There are several reasons why you'll want to add a video sitemap.

It makes it clear to Google what your content is.

You have the opportunity to provide a range of details through schema.

Additional presence on search.

RAD picture thumbnail, which is a pretty great call to action.

Video Embed Code

It's important to pay special attention during this part. Video embedding is largely done using iFrames these days and that poses a problem if you want the search engines to index your videos. For whatever reason Google doesn't currently spider iFrames. This is frustrating as iFrames are great for playback compatibility on mobile devices, iPads, and the like. There is a workaround, but first, let's discuss how a video sitemap works.

A video sitemap is simple guide for the search engine bot. Think of it as a map to treasure, it just makes it easier for the bot to find the treasure. If you use an iFrame, the bot can't find the video making the video sitemap useless. However, Google can find and spider standard object embeds, AKA the old fashioned way of doing things. With this in mind, I'm going to descr