3addingVideos show up in search results in the form of rich snippets and especially Google gives a lot of credit to video, as including one on your site will often automatically raise your site rank. According to Forrester, it is 50 times easier to get ranked on the first page with a video, making it a great way of improving your other SEO results.

But what do you need to know to make your video findable by the Google search engine? On its own, video is difficult to recognize. Usually, you need to add a video sitemap to be found, which is made easy with the right tools, such as those of Wistia, if you‘re hosting your videos there.


If you publish videos on YouTube and embed them, they will show up in rich snippets, but they will link back to YouTube and not to your site. But obviously you can also create sitemaps if you‘re hosting your videos yourself. Transcripts, descriptions and social shares also influence video SEO. (Source: wistia.com)

Here are some Google guidelines for video content in sitemaps that are quite useful:

  • Each Sitemap or mRSS feed file must be under 50MB in size (uncompressed), containing no more than 50,000 video items, or you need to submit multiple Sitemaps and a Sitemap index file.
  • Video content includes web pages which embed video, URLs to players for video, or the URLs of raw video content hosted on your site. If Google cannot discover video content at the URLs you provide, those records will be ignored by Googlebot.
  • Each URL entry must contain title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL, raw video file location and/or the player URL (SWF).
  • Google can crawl the following video file types: mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf. All files must be accessible via HTTP. Metafiles that require a download of the source via streaming protocols are not supported.
  • The robots.txt file shouldn‘t be blocking any of the items (including the play page URL, the video URL, and the thumbnail URL) included in each Sitemap entry.
  • Google web crawlers will verify that the information you include for each video matches your live site. To see how your site will appear to Google, you should view your play pages in a text-only browser such as Lynx, or a more conventional browser where you've confirmed that Flash and JavaScript are disabled.
  • If you have multiple websites, you can simplify the process of creating and submitting Sitemaps by creating one or more Sitemaps that includes URLs for all your verified sites, and saving the Sitemap(s) to a single location. All sites must be verified in Webmaster Tools.

By Hiba Assi