An easy way to inform search engines about video pages on your site, a video sitemap is simply an XML file that lists URLs along with metadata so search engines can crawl the site easily.
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Video sitemaps supplement this data to allow the supporting crawlers to pick up all URLs in the sitemap and learn about those URLs, using the associated metadata.
Features and Benefits
- Videos are searchable in Google Video Index
- Additional meta data is available — like title, description and duration
- URLs can contain the following information:
- Play page URL
- Thumbnail URL
- Raw video file location and/or the player URL (SWF)
The Supported Formats
There are various supported formats for video sitemap such as mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf.
Video-Specific Tag Definitions
An Example of Video Sitemap
The entries in a video Sitemap must include a link to a landing page for a video and some required information. Many of the elements in a video Sitemap are optional, but they provide useful metadata. This can enhance your video results and improve Google’s ability to include your video in search results.
<video:title>My funny video</video:title>
<video:description>A really awesome video</video:description>
Things to Keep in Mind
- A video sitemap should contain only URLs that refer to video content.
- Each video is uniquely identified by its content URL (the location of the actual video file) or, a player URL (a URL pointing to a player for the video). if a content URL is not present.
- Each sitemap file that you provide must not have more than 50,000 video items and must not be larger than 50MB uncompressed.
- An individual video file or thumbnail (specified in theandtags, respectively) cannot be larger than 30MB.
- The URLs included in the sitemap must have their robots.txt file set appropriately for user-agent “Googlebot”.
- Once you have created your sitemap, you can submit it to Google using webmaster tools.
What do the Google bots do after submission?
- Crawlers will periodically retrieve your sitemap and validate its format.
- If the video sitemap has any errors, it will be reported on the sitemap’s page in your account.
- The crawlers will download the video files, index the video metadata provided in the sitemap, and merge any changes into Google video, making your video searchable by all our users.