Using Video for SEO Part 3

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What Goes Into Optimizing Video for Search Engines?

Video Content

Actual video footage, screen captures, slide shows, or animated PowerPoint slides—it doesn’t really matter what you have on your video. At least not yet. Google (and all the other search engines for that matter) are not yet able to “see” the contents of videos.

So how does it determine which videos to include in its search results?

Well, it’s currently relying on the videos’ title and other meta-data to determine what content the videos actually contain.

XML Video Site Maps

We’ve already mentioned that Google cannot “see” or “read” videos like it does other web content (i.e., text). So, the best way to have your video appear in Google’s universal search results is to submit your video to Google using an XML video sitemap.

A video sitemap is very similar to a regular XML sitemap, except that it is formatted specifically for video, and that it only contains information about your video content.

Here’s an example of a video sitemap:

<url>

<loc>http://example.com/video/</loc>

<video:video>

<video:title>Sitemap Example Video</video:title>

<video:publication_date>

2010-06-17T18:00:00UTC

</video:publication_date>

<video:player_loc allow_embed=”yes”>

http://example.com/video/player.swf

</video:player_loc>

<video:content_loc>

http://example.com/video/video.mp4

</video:content_loc>

<video:thumbnail_loc>

http://example.com/video/poster.png

</video:thumbnail_loc>

<video:description>

example description of a sitemap example video

</video:description>

<video:category>Example Videos</video:category>

<video:tag>Examples</video:tag>

<video:tag>Videos</video:tag>

<video:tag>Xml Sitemap</video:tag>

<video:duration>180</video:duration>

</video:video>

</url>

As you can see in the sample above, a video sitemap contains URLs containing a video section that outlines all the details about the video (e.g., its location, the player’s location, and keywords).

Media RSS (MRSS)

Wikipedia defines Media RSS as “an RSS extension used for syndicating multimedia files (audio, video, image) in RSS feeds.”

Media RSS is a standard developed by Yahoo!, but one that Google fully supports for discovering rich media such as images and video.

The downside to MRSS is that, since it’s just an add-on to the RSS feed, it will only contain your last several posts (10, 20, or 100) even if you have hundreds of posts and pages containing video.

However, because of its nature it gets indexed very regularly, allowing for fast inclusion of your video in Google’s index.

Following is an example of a MRSS:

<media:content

url=”http://example.com/video/video.mp4″

medium=”video”

duration=”180″>

<media:player

url=”http://example.com/video/player.swf?file=video.mp4″ />

<media:thumbnail

url=”http://example.com/video/poster.png”/>

<media:title type=”html”>Sitemap Example Video</media:title>

<media:description type=”html”>

Example description of a sitemap example video

</media:description>

<media:keywords>

Examples,Videos,XML Sitemap

</media:keywords>

</media:content>

 

Yahoo! Searchmonkey (RDFa)

As you can see in its name, Yahoo! Searchmonkey is another Yahoo! standard. And Google supports it, too.

According to Google:

Google recognizes two video markup formats: Facebook Share and Yahoo! SearchMonkey RDFa. Using either (or both) of these formats to mark up video directly in your HTML helps Google better understand and present your video content. To help Google discover video markup on your pages, make sure the markup appears in the HTML without the execution of JavaScript or Flash. (Note: You can also tell Google about your video content by creating and submitting a Video Sitemap.)

Unlike site maps and RSS feeds, Yahoo! Searchmonkey code goes straight into your pages. This means that you don’t have to submit any additional sitemaps or feeds for Google to find and recognize your videos.

Here’s what it looks like:

<object width=”512″ height=”296″

rel=”media:video”

resource=”http://example.com/video_object.swf?id=12345″

xmlns:media=”http://search.yahoo.com/searchmonkey/media/”

xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/terms/”>

<param name=”movie” value=”http://example.com/video_object.swf?id=12345″ />

<embed src=”http://example.com/video_object.swf?id=12345″

type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”512″ height=”296″>

<a rel=”media:thumbnail” href=”http://example.com/thumbnail_preview.jpg” />

<a rel=”dc:license” href=”http://example.com/terms_of_service.html” />

<span property=”dc:description”

content=”Example description.” />

<span property=”media:title” content=”Example title” />

<span property=”media:width” content=”512″ />

<span property=”media:height” content=”296″ />

<span property=”media:type” content=”application/x-shockwave-flash” />

<span property=”media:region” content=”us” />

<span property=”media:region” content=”uk” />

<span property=”media:duration” content=”63″ />

</object>

Facebook Share

If you’ve been paying close attention, you would have already seen this mentioned in the quote from Google earlier regarding the Yahoo! SearchMonkey.

Facebook Share is probably one of the simplest methods of telling Google about the presence of video on a page. It uses META elements in the head section of a page to point to a video file, poster image, size etc.

Here’s what it looks like:

<meta name=”title” content=”Example title” />

<meta name=”description” content=”Example description” />

<link rel=”image_src” href=”http://example.com/thumbnail_preview.jpg” />

<link rel=”video_src” href=”http://example.com/video_object.swf?id=12345″/>

<meta name=”video_height” content=”296″ />

<meta name=”video_width” content=”512″ />

<meta name=”video_type” content=”application/x-shockwave-flash” />

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