Last week we discussed the importance of videos in SEO. Today, I want to share with you how to optimize your videos so Google can find them.
A recent update has been made in the Google official docs about optimizing videos for SEO here: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/video
The second point in this checklist from Google tells you directly that you need to have a dedicated page for each video you want to rank.
Google says that you need to have a complete dedicated page just for one video at one time. The main important subject of the page has to be the video and the content surrounding it. This does not mean that you cannot use that video on other pages of your website. But it should have at least one page that talks all the details about that video.
Having a dedicated page for the video on your website helps the Google bots to index it correctly and find the key moments, live badges and other such features to show up on Google search results. A lot of News websites use videos on their websites. This is a good SEO practice. But no one until this update cared to create a dedicated page for videos only. This is important for ecommerce websites as well.
Having a video sitemap for your sitemap will help your videos rank in the organic search results. So make sure you submit your video sitemap in Google Search Console to index your videos faster.
These guidelines are directly from Google:
- Make sure that each video is available on a public web page where users can watch the video. Make sure that the page isn’t blocked by robots.txt or
noindexrobots meta tag; this ensures that Google can find and index your page.
- To give your videos maximum exposure, create a dedicated page for each video, where the video is the most prominent subject on the page. Some features require that type of video page, including Key Moments, the Live Badge, and other rich result formats. It’s fine to include the same video on both a dedicated page and its original page alongside other information, like a news article or a product detail page.
- Include your video in an appropriate HTML tag. Google can more easily identify a video on your page when there’s an HTML tag around it, for example:
- Submit a video sitemap to make it even easier for Google to find your videos.
- To test and submit sitemaps, first add and verify your site in Search Console. Make sure that you verify both the site that contains the sitemap and all of the sites referenced in the sitemap.
- Test and submit your sitemap in the Search Console Sitemaps tool or using the Search Console API.
- Make sure that your videos are visible and easy to find on your video pages. We recommend using a standalone page for each video with a descriptive title or description unique to each individual video. Make sure videos are prominent on the page and aren’t hidden or difficult to find.
Third-Party Embedded Players
If your website embeds videos from third-party platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook, Google may index the video both on your web page and on the equivalent page from the third-party hosting site. Both versions may appear in video features on Google.
For your own page where you’ve embedded the third-party player, we still recommend that you provide structured data, and you may also include these pages in your video sitemaps. Check with your video host to ensure they allow Google to fetch your video content file; for example, this is supported by YouTube for public videos.
Ensure your videos can be indexed
Once Google has identified a video on a page, additional information is needed to make it eligible to appear in video features.
Provide a high-quality thumbnail
To be eligible to appear in Google video features, a video must have a valid thumbnail image. Otherwise, the page may be indexed but would only appear as a plain blue link.
You can allow Google to generate a thumbnail, or provide one in one of the supported ways:
- If you’re using the
<video>HTML tag, specify the
- In a video sitemap, specify the
- In structured data, specify the
- If you allow Google to fetch your video content files, Google can generate a thumbnail for you.
Supported thumbnail formats: See the list of Google Images supported formats.
Size: Minimum 60×30 pixels, larger preferred
Provide structured data
Provide structured data describing your video, to help Google understand what the video is about and surface it for relevant queries. Ensure that any information that you provide in structured data is consistent with the actual video content. When adding structured data, make sure to use unique thumbnails, titles, and descriptions for each video on your site.
- If you’re using the
Proven Method for Ranking on page 1
A while back I wrote an article about how to rank on page 1 of YouTube. All of this information is still relevant and should be used in combination with today’s article.
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