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Google Announces New Resources for Video SEO

March 17th, 2021

Global online video viewers continue to grow and as more users begin use video to answer their search questions, Google is aiming to bring video content from diverse sources across the web to the forefront. This includes making it easier for site owners to get videos indexed and found in the search results.

Google has released a new Search Central lightning talk to address how Google indexes your videos and also highlights features where video appear on google, including five tips to optimize videos for Google search and discover:

Make your videos available to be indexed. Each video on your site must be available on a public web page, that isn’t blocked by robots.txt or noindex metadata.

Provide structured data with VideoObject markup. VideoObject markup is a structured data format used in the context of search engine optimization (SEO) and web development. It is a specific type of schema markup that is used to provide structured information about video content on a web page such as:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Page Title</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "VideoObject",
      "name": "Description of your video",
      "thumbnailUrl": [
        "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg"
       ],
      "uploadDate": "2016-03-31T08:00:00+08:00",
      "duration": "PT1M54S",
      "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/video/123/file.mp4",
      "embedUrl": "https://www.example.com/embed/123",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": { "@type": "WatchAction" },
        "userInteractionCount": 5647018
      },
      "regionsAllowed": "US"
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

Include high-quality image thumbnails. Without a valid thumbnail image, the video may not be indexed.

Create and submite a video sitemap. A short example of a video sitemap would include:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
        xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1">
   <url>
     <loc>https://www.example.com/videos/some_video_landing_page.html</loc>
     <video:video>
       <video:thumbnail_loc>https://www.example.com/thumbs/123.jpg</video:thumbnail_loc>
       <video:title>Video title in this section</video:title>
       <video:description>
         Video description in this section
       </video:description>
       <video:content_loc>
       </video:content_loc>
       <video:player_loc>
       </video:player_loc>
       <video:duration>600</video:duration>
       <video:expiration_date>2021-11-05T19:20:30+08:00</video:expiration_date>
       <video:rating>4.2</video:rating>
       <video:view_count>12345</video:view_count>
       <video:publication_date>2007-11-05T19:20:30+08:00</video:publication_date>
       <video:family_friendly>yes</video:family_friendly>
       <video:restriction relationship="allow">IE GB US CA</video:restriction>
       <video:price currency="EUR">1.99</video:price>
       <video:requires_subscription>yes</video:requires_subscription>
       <video:uploader
         info="https://www.example.com/users/username">UserName
       </video:uploader>
       <video:live>no</video:live>
     </video:video>
     <video:video>
       <video:thumbnail_loc>https://www.example.com/thumbs/345.jpg</video:thumbnail_loc>
       <video:title>Another video title</video:title>
       <video:description>
         Another video description
       </video:description>
       <video:content_loc>
          http://streamserver.example.com/video345.mp4
       </video:content_loc>
       <video:player_loc>
         https://www.example.com/videoplayer.php?video=345
       </video:player_loc>
     </video:video>
   </url>
</urlset>

Make video content files accessible. This allows Google to understand the video contents and enable features like video previews and key moments. Using structured data, and not blocking Google via noindex or robots.txt is essential. You must also ensure if you are hosting your video that you have the bandwidth available for Google’s crawlers to access it at anytime.

* Google supports the following video types: 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DivX, M2V, M3U, M3U8, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, OGV, QVT, RAM, RM, VOB, WebM, WMV, and XAP.

Breaking Down the Structured Data Tags for Videos

If you are new to structured data you may be confused by some of the tags outlined above, below are some examples and explanations of the important tags you can use.

<loc>: Specifies the URL of a video.
<video:thumbnail_loc>: Specifies the URL of the video's thumbnail image.
<video:title>: Specifies the title or name of the video.
<video:description>: Provides a description of the video's content.
<video:content_loc>: Specifies the URL of the video content.
<video:player_loc>: Specifies the URL of the video player for embedding.
<video:duration>: Indicates the video's duration in seconds.
<video:expiration_date>: Specifies the date when the video content expires or is no longer available.
<video:rating>: Specifies the video's content rating or viewer rating.
<video:view_count>: Provides the number of times the video has been viewed.
<video:publication_date>: Indicates the date the video was published.
<video:family_friendly>: Specifies whether the video is family-friendly or suitable for all audiences.
<video:restriction relationship="allow">: Specifies permission for certain actions related to the video.
<video:price currency="EUR">: Indicates the price of the video content, typically in the specified currency (e.g., EUR).
<video:requires_subscription>: Specifies whether a subscription is required to access the video content.
<video:uploader>: Provides information about the uploader or creator of the video.
<video:live>: Indicates whether the video content is currently being streamed or is live.

You can view the entire Search Central lightning talk below to help you follow Video SEO best practices and ensure your videos are being seen by the right audience:

If your company needs help promoting your videos in the search results contact our expert SEO Company today to get started!

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