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How to Create Video Sitemaps

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Part 1 – Understanding the Video Sitemaps

This is Part 1 of 3 in a series on How to Create a Video Sitemap. In this session we discuss what a video sitemap is and what it contains.

Video Transcript

Okay and so the next thing we’re going to do then is just talk about the video sitemap stuff. Okay and so I created this little presentation on how to create video sitemaps for self-hosted videos and the reason I did it was because I had intended to do this during the membership part of… or during the membership lessons but I just didn’t have time to get everything done. And so, since most of the membership videos you know, are private anyway, you can’t have those in a sitemap so I just skipped that over. But today, we’re going to talk about it.

So a video sitemap is an xml file similar to your regular sitemap that is indexed by Google and it indexes video content. And so, that video content includes and needs to include the webpage that the video is embedded on, URLs to the player for the video, or URL to the raw video that’s hosted on your site. And it’s really important to note this. If Google cannot discover the video content at the URLs you provide, those records will be ignored by Google bot. So you can’t just say you’ve got videos and you have to actually provide the correct URL to those videos if you want Google to index it and return your video in search results. So it’s very important to get that right which is why private videos can’t be indexed because if Google can’t get to it then it won’t index it. So there’s use in having a sitemap for videos that are not publicly available.

So what does a sitemap contain? A sitemap contains, at the absolute minimum, the title of the video, a description of the video, the page URL where the video is displayed, a thumbnail URL so that Google can return a little image of the video in their search results, and then either the location of the video player, if you’re playing swf files or the location of the file. And because, we are talking about self-hosted videos, self-hosted videos will always have actual, physical location that we can use as the address so we aren’t going to worry about the player location. We’ll only be concerned with the actual raw video file location.

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