Getting Video Results in Google

NOTE: This article is now somewhat dated. For a more up to date and in-depth look at getting video rich snippets, please check out this post.

The following post is a beginner’s Video SEO blueprint. Follow the steps below to ensure that you’re getting video results in both Google Video Search and Google Organic.

1. Target the Right Terms

Certain terms are more likely to yield video results than others. Look for longer tail enquiries currently returning video results or other rich snippets. Don’t expect to get a video result for terms returning a lot of local results or competitive commercial terms.

For example, search terms containing the following words will typically yield video results:

  • “tutorial”
  • “review”
  • “test”
  • “what is...”
  • “how to...”
  • “demonstration”
  • “explanation”

2. Secure the Content

Either self-host your videos, or use a third party hosting solution which allows you to control where your videos are visible. I would recommend the following platforms for third party hosting: If you’re self-hosting, using your own servers or a cloud solution such as Amazon S3  or MetaCDN to host your videos is fine.

Do not use YouTube or a standard Vimeo account for your hosting, as the youtube.com or vimeo.com domains will rank for your videos, rather than your own domain.

3. Embed in a Crawlable Player

Ensure you embed your videos in an HTML5 player with flash fallback (or a pure flash player) – not an iframe. All of the major hosting solutions above have this option.

If you are self-hosting, then use a player from the following list of excellent customisable video players, or create your own in HTML5 and jQuery

Embed only one video on a page you wish to get a video result. Having multiple videos on a page will mean Googlebot may struggle to pick out an appropriate video to connect with the rich snippets. Equally, duplicate video content can be problematic – for best practice, ensure that each page holds only one, unique video.

4. Surround the Video with Supporting Information

If possible, ensure you have attached a closed caption file to your video player and include a link on the page to a text file with the captioning information in a TTML compatible format like SubRip (.srt). Most of the major video players have a proprietary solution for captioning, but if yours doesn’t, then you can include subtitles on HTML5 video using JavaScript

Alternatively, it’s also fine to include the transcript of the video as body text within the rest of the page.

Images, links and supporting text also help to indicate to the engines that this is a quality page and should be indexed, so make sure your video at least comes with an accompanying text description. A page with only video content on it looks thin algorithmically thin.

Blog posts featuring unique videos are the most common content types to receive video rich snippets.

5. Submit a Video XML Sitemap

A video sitemap is the main way of giving search engines rich meta-data about your video, ensuring that they have access to the thumbnail, raw video file and supporting descriptions of the content.

Once you have created your XML sitemap, ensure the sitemap is added to the robots.txt file and submit it to Google webmaster tools.

Use this template to construct your video sitemap:

Theelement in the sitemap refers to the location of the actual video file (.mp4 or .flv etc), while the

element refers to the location of the HTML5/Flash video player.

Dependent on your hosting solution, sometimes it’s not possible to include both

andelements - if you cannot provide both, including just one is fine.

Ensure than the

links to an image file in 16:9 up to a maximum resolution of 1920x1080 px.

Good practice is to ensure that the element links to a blog profile page, ideally one with rel=“author” attribution.

6. Include the Schema.org Mark-up in the Page’s HTML Code

Schema is another way of giving the search engines some rich meta data about your video. Include as many of the relevant tags as you can, for the best chance of receiving video rich snippets.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Good luck!

Phil

Phil  Nottingham

Phil Nottingham

Phil is the in-house video marketing expert and chief meme generator at Distilled. He joined Distilled in April 2011, after impressing Will and Duncan with his ability to look like a serviceable pirate following minimal costume changes and has since...   read more

Get blog posts via email

74 Comments

  1. Point of clarification: you recommend wistia as a provider, but also say to not embed players using iframes. Since Wistia now uses iframes for the embed, what's the resolution?

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hey Aaron,

      In the Wistia SuperEmbed builder, there are options of "iframe, API and SEO". Pick the "SEO" option, which generates a flash based embed code.

  2. Good timing on this post. I'm currently doing research on the best way to add video and get a rich snippet for a client of mine. All of the videos they have are regular youtube videos, so I guess that needs to change :/

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      I'm afraid so! Vimeo Pro is probably the cheapest secure hosting option if they're strapped for cash. $199 for the year - extremely reasonable.

      They should continue to use YouTube though - it's a great way to build brand awareness and get social shares. If possible, just have content on there that doesn't relate to a specific keyword you want referring back to the clients domain. It's best to use some videos for YouTube and some for your own site, hosted more securely; but if you are duplicating the content, just make sure the YouTube version is targeting a different term.

  3. Jon

    Is there a good WP schema plugin that you have used?

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Jon,
      There seem to be a lot of schema WP plugins out-there, but I'm afraid I haven't really looked into any of them enough to be able to provide a recommendation.

  4. Those are some very good tips on posting videos. I see a lot of youtube pages ranking well in google, but I never thought about their domain ranking well instead of your own. A lot of the youtube pages that rank well will try to get you to click a link to go to their website, but if they land on your domain to begin with, then you eliminate that step.

    reply >
  5. Great post Phil! Indeed a good timing, since Google has recently put a lot of effort in making people understand how to use Schema.org markup for videos and video sitemaps.

    In your article you're saying not to use YouTube to host your videos, but why? I've seen videos in the SERPs hosted on Google being redirected to a specific website, rather than to YouTube.

    I really can't recall the video I've seen about some Googler explaining that in the future Google will most likely show videos hosted on YouTube, rather than other hosting solutions. But that indicates we should use YouTube as the hosting solution, right?

    What are your thoughts about that?

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Roald,

      So while there are things you can do to coax google into giving you video rich snippets linking back to your domain with YouTube, 9 times out of 10, the YouTube domain will outrank sites for their own videos. This may all change going forward, but for now - a secure 3rd party hosting solution is the most surefire way of receiving video rich snippets for your domain and certainly what i would recommend for anyone just starting out with video.

      That said, this doesn't mean you should neglect YouTube as a resource for building brand recognition, engaging users and seeding content. Usually i recommend that SEOs take a two-pronged attack with videos - securing the content built to improve conversions with a 3rd party solution, while using YouTube to host all of their creative works that hold their value when viewed independently of the rest of the site content.

      In many cases, the videos that you really want rich snippets for wont work well on YouTube without the context of the wider site - e.g. product videos.

      Another thing you can do is to host videos with a third party solution initially, get the rich snippets and then seed to content on YouTube a month later, targeted to a different keyword. It all depends on the type of content though.

      Going forward, i expect YouTube will improve the ability of unlisted videos to be used to generate nice rich snippets for companies domains - but for now, i would recommend the solutions mentioned above to get any rich snippets.

  6. Thanks for the good article on Video SEO. I just used it as the basis for a rather lengthy discussion on Google+ about Hosted vs. Posted strategy for Video SEO. I also 'Encircled you' (aka added you to my Circles). See you around!

    reply >
  7. Good article, as an owner of a small bookkeeping business that serves the Rogers/Bentoville area of Arkansas I have been recommending to my customers that they put content on you tube to increase their visibility. I did not realize they would be better off using these other sites.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Thanks Karen!

      Though bare in mind that I am not saying "don't use YouTube" - it's only that you shouldn't use youtube to host your videos if you are trying to get rich snippets for your domain.

      YouTube is fantastic avenue for content marketing, for building a brand and for increasing overall visibility across the web. I normally recommend that my clients follow a "two-pronged" attack with video...


      Host with the third party provider for all content you want to get rich snippets for
      Build a strong YouTube channel will all the content you want to go viral and get socially shared.


      In the rare case that the content for these two avenues overlaps, I suggest hosting for the first month with the third party provider - getting the rich snippet result and then uploading the content to YouTube a month later,
      optimising the YT version for a different keyword.

  8. This post was published just in time - I'm right in the middle of putting together a Video optimisation guideline for a client that has about 150 videos on YouTube at the moment!
    The best part of this article was 2. Secure the Content
    Thanks for the list of the five video hosting sites and the warning to refrain from YouTube & Vimeo (free).
    :)

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Thanks Kunle! - Though bare in mind that i'm not saying embedded YouTube videos are a bad thing within a comprehensive video SEO strategy. YouTube is a fantastic resource and should be used, it's just that if you specifically want to get a video rich snippet for a term, it's better to use an embedded third party player then a YT embed.

  9. Agreed Phil - YouTube being the 2nd biggest search engine deserves its own optimisation strategy.
    So using a different set of keywords for title, description and tags on self hosted videos would be a prudent move IMO.
    I find that YouTube videos always outrank other videos on Google's SERPs anyway. So there really isn't a point competing against the same set of key phrases on YouTube hosted videos.
    It would be more prudent to use alternate key phrases.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Completely agree - that's usually a great strategy. Good luck with the client!

  10. Wow this post is going on the bookmark list! Lots of points I didn't even think of. Though critical point too is users sharing your video. With a customizable skin for your video like the ones you mentioned, you can add a custom embed button for sharing the video, and have your HTML embed script contain a link back to your article. This way you can build (usually) targeted back links. You have to make sure You don't use an Iframe for embedding, and if it goes really viral from Sharing, you sometimes have to watch your bandwidth.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Thanks Robin - Glad you liked it! You're quite right, that is the essence of getting good links from video. I spoke on the topic a few weeks ago. If you're interested in some more lips for link building - http://www.slideshare.net/philnottingham/incorporating-video-into-your-link-building-strategy

      Regarding the Iframe/Html&Flash issue - most of the hosting providers I mentioned don't charge by bandwidth use (or if they do, it's pretty reasonable) - so it's not a huge problem. If you're self hosting, it can be of concern, but as long as you keep the bit rates sensible on each of your videos it should be a manageable cost.

  11. Awesome post Phil. Couldn't agree more with the two-pronged approach -- here at Wistia we encourage customers to put content on YouTube in addition to hosting content on their site with us -- the key is just being strategic about which content you put where (and the titles, keywords, descriptions you use). As you mentioned, lots of content is valuable only in the context of your website and lots of content just isn't going to get found on YouTube (like a product demo). We say, put these vids only on your site and get SEO benefits without worrying about competition from YouTube. On the other hand, if you have a super fun branding video it may be worth putting it on YT and sacrificing some of the SEO link juice for the possibility of a bunch of brand impressions. The key is just knowing what you get from each approach and you've done a great job laying that out here. Hope you don't mind us sharing!

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Absolutely, i completely agree with you Ezra! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

      I think the key to deciding where you should host your videos is almost exclusively the style and quality of the content itself. The audience it will appeal to and what you want to do with it will invariably suggest a hosting and embedding strategy.

      As well as the brand impressions you get from YouTube, which can be worth the sacrifice of potential link equity and ranking, i've also seen many examples of popular YouTube videos resulting in a lot of branded home page links.

      bloggers/Journalists will often link out to the video on YouTube and then mention the creators i.e. "There was quite a funny Cat Video this week from Distilled."

  12. Matt

    Hi Phil,

    Great article, thanks. One question for you - will this method work if I create a relevant how-to video in a niche where there re currently no videos being displayed in the SERPs (probably because nobody in the space has created a relevant video yet)?

    Thanks,

    matt

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hey Matt,

      I'm afraid it's hard to say whether you will or wont get a video result without knowing the term you're targeting, but there is almost certainly space for video results in keywords around any subject; even if they are slightly longer tail and specific, i.e. "how can i insert topic". You may just need to experiment a bit with your on page optimisation once you've made the video - in order to target a view different keywords until you work out what sticks.

  13. Thanks for the post Phil. I currently use Brightcove and I'm struggling on where to find the and elements. Any experience with this? I'm following you on Twitter and G+ if that's a better way to connect. Cheers!

    reply >
  14. Ehsan

    Thanks for such a brief guide about video marketing and video rich snippet. Can you share any free video hosting site like

    Wistia
    Vimeo Pro
    Vzaar
    Viddler
    Brightcove

    Thanks

    reply >
  15. Ian

    Hi Phil,

    Great article, super helpful.

    I'm ok up to points 5 and 6, but have a couple of quick qs about them.

    First, can you recommend a Wordpress plugin for creating the video sitemaps or is there any other form of automated solution ?

    Second, re: point 6, would you be able to expand on this? Where do I put these tags and what are the tags? Likewise, is there any plugin that might help with this?

    Thanks!

    reply >
  16. Phil Nottingham

    Hi Ian,

    I haven't yet found a WP plugin or automated system that i rate - currently all the options i've found are buggy or offer an incomplete solution. There is definitely a gap in the market there. I would suggest that you use Excel to automate the process of creating elements when you add a new video, or you can use Wistia for your hosting - as they have an excellent video sitemap generation feature as part of the software package.

    Schema wise, you should include any and all elements that are relevant, including tags for everything under the "mediaobject" heading on this page http://schema.org/VideoObject . Again, i'm afraid i am not aware of a reliable plugin for this and given the specific "unscrapable" nature of the some of the metadata here - I can't foresee a plugin providing a comprehensive solution which works without an element of manual input.

    reply >
  17. Alan Karre Jr

    Phil Nottingham is absolutely right when it comes to YouTube outranking the video source 9 out of 10 times. The main reason I Google and found this awesome article was based on that as I'm looking for a solution to self host videos in my WordPress site. I think this article however is missing some key components.


    What are the best self hosted player plugins available?


    how does one leave a tip? Really good job on this article.

    reply >
  18. Adrian P.

    Great article Phil, thanks for the post.

    I have a question: what is the best way to actually program your video transcript, especially when that transcript links to certain parts of the video? In my case, our site already has closed captions built and we didn't use the TTML format you linked to, but we do have a transcript of the video on the page. I am trying to find the best way to make the that crawlable, especially because we recently found our transcripts are giving Googlebot some problems with the way they're built :-/

    I've spent quite some time looking for information on crawlable transcripts. Youtube has transcripts so I experimented a bit to see if those are indeed indexed. For instance, Matt Cutts has a video about nofollow links (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4UJS-LFRTU) and in the transcript there is the exact phrase "percentage of links that have nofollow". Wow, that's something I would search on Google, so I did and the video does not rank on the first page...even when you put quotes around it and use site:youtube.com.

    Any thoughts on the best way to make interactive transcripts crawlable? Thanks for any help!

    reply >
  19. Mark

    Great article, thanks. You say to not use YouTube hosted videos, however, I see several examples in the SERPS where people are ranking (for their own sites) but the videos appear to be hosted on YT.

    For example, Yoast appears a lot. Search for "wordpress seo video" and he's there. Is this because his site is so strong, and in this instance, he can outrank YT?

    reply >
  20. Phil Nottingham

    Hi Mark,

    Yes - it's more than possible, especially with Yoast's plugin, but it's not a good strategy for the following reasons:


    It's not as surefire and in many instances YouTube will rank rather than your domain.
    The kind of content you normally want to get video results for (content to improve rankings and conversions) isn't appropriate for YouTube.
    Other's can easily rank with your YouTube videos, whereas if you secure the videos to your domain, it's only your pages which will rank.
    most of the ways to get YouTube videos to rank for your site currently involve a bit of a hack which Google may close at any point.

    reply >
  21. Anthony

    You mentioned best to have only one video per page. And better not to use an iframe embed.

    If i have two videos on the same page, and embed the second one in an iframe would that help the first one rank?

    Nice post by the way! :)

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Things have changed slightly since I created this post.

      I'd now actually recommend embedding both in iframe, but only including one of the entries in your Video Sitemap, if you specifically want one to rank.

  22. Anthony

    I put the video i want to rank on wistia.com, used the seo embed option and using the video sitemap they provide. The other video on the same page is hosted on youtube and embedded with an iframe, not on sitemap. Waiting to see if i get any results from that setup.

    So better to go with the wistia iframe too?

    I have tried wistia with a couple of other videos where i have just one video per page, and this has worked really well, coming up no 1 in video results so that great!

    This post has helped me alot!

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      To be honest, i'm sure it'll be fine.

      The thing to avoid is putting all your videos on one page and then expecting it to rank for every keyword with a different video.

      Just having two videos, both with the Wistia SEO embed should be fine. You may end up getting the wrong thumbnail in the rich snippets occassionally, but I can't imagine that'll be a huge problem.

  23. Zach

    Great article Phil,

    I know you mentioned early on that these videos will likely not show up for ecommerce related stuff. Do you know this to be true, or is it just a recommendation?

    For example, if Distilled's homepage was centered around a video and lets say that video explained everything about Distilled--does that video placement with appropriate markup stand a chance at showing in the serps for "distilled"?

    It seems there's still a lot of experimentation to do.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Zach,

      I didn't actually say that videos won't show up for ecommerce stuff (and a lot of the time, they will), but you're not going to get a video rich snippet for an extremely competitive commercial head term such as "car insurance". Google don't often include more than one type of rich snippet in a SERP, so if star ratings or a local pack are quite common in the results, it's unlikely that a video rich snippet will also appear.

      This isn't surefire, Google are changing the algorithm all the time and it's not possible to say for certain whether or not a site will get video rich snippets for a keyword without first testing. However...there are some general principles you can adhere to:


      If there are other kinds of rich snippet ranking for your keyword, you probably wont get a video result in that specific instance (though the same page may rank with a video result for a variant of the term).
      If there are already videos ranking for the term, you can almost certainly get a video result too(assuming your page is strong enough).
      Your homepage wont rank for a branded term with a video rich snippet


      So...in your Distilled example - no the homepage won't rank with a video result, because the Distilled site instead ranks with sitelinks. However, other pages (namely distilled.net/events) do rank with a video result for that branded term on page 2.

      There is certainly more experimentation to be done! In the distilled guide to online video marketing https://www.distilled.net/training/video-marketing-guide/ there is a tool which allows you to test for Video Rich Snippets.

  24. Hello Phil,

    I own a video production company and have been using Vimeo Plus for the past two years, but recently switched to Vimeo Pro because I was under the impression that you can use your domain name instead of vimeo when you embed a video on another website. It seems as though you can only use custom domain names for portfolio pages and the videos are still (as google sees it) hosted by vimeo. I have seen you say in another post " use vimeo pro if you're trying to get traffic and rankings for your own site." I guess I still don't understand how vimeo pro will get more rankings for my site if the embedded videos still link back to vimeo.

    Thank you.

    -Joshua

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Joshua,

      You need to fix your Vimeo Pro privacy settings so that the video isn't visible on vimeo.com and can only be accessed on your website.

      You can do this by:
      - Disabling the community pass
      - enabling domain restrictions so it just allows your website to embed the content.
      - adjusting the vimeo embed code so it doesn't include a text link to vimeo at the bottom
      - Editing your embedded player so the share buttons and vimeo logo buttons are not visible.

      Unfortunately, you won't be able to have your cake and eat it here - so you need to decide whether you more value having your site ranking for your videos - or having a presence on the vimeo community pages. (Alternatively, you could have two accounts, have one open and one closed then optimise them for different keywords)

      I hope that's useful.

  25. robin

    Great post Phil! I've used it to get videos in the serps (I'm using Vimeo Pro for hosting) and it works. Video's for productpages showed up in the serps.

    We also have a rating system on our product pages, the stars showed up in the serps. A few months ago, I did some research for CTR for a product. We measured CTR for the product with rating stars, and then we added a video (and also created a videositemap) which showed up in the serps. After collecting some data I found out that CTR for the video snippet was much lower than CTR for the stars snippet.
    So I removed the video sitemap, checked the page with the Rich Snippet Testing Tool and I saw the stars again. But not in the serps.... Not even after 2 months.

    Do you any idea how to remove the video snippet and get the stars snippet back?

    reply >
    • Hi Robin,

      I'm experiencing the same problem. Is your problem resolved now after a year? And if so, did you do anything extra?

      Our traffic dropped -30% over 6 months compared to rich star snippets. So I hope the video snippet will disappear very soon.

      Kind regard,

      Ivo

  26. Phil Nottingham

    Hey Robin,

    That's an interesting conundrum. Out of interest, would you be willing to share details about the site and product? I'm really interested to work out the relative value of different rich snippets for various industries.

    Regarding how to fix it, it seems like you've done the major thing I would recommend - but you might want to try a couple of things as detailed below. My major advice though is that after 2 months, it could easily still be cached and I'd advise waiting it out for a couple more before worrying too much.


    Make the Vimeo video visible on vimeo.com by enabling the community pass. Your content will then rank for Vimeo.com instead (but "probably" wont compete with you you for the product/money keywords)
    Switch the embed for the vimeo iframe code (which doesn't often get indexed)


    Cheers,
    Phil

    reply >
    • robin

      Hi Phill,

      Thanks for the quick reply. I will enable the community pass for the video. I'm already using the iframe embed code. The url for our page is http://www.webprint.nl/producten/foto-op-canvas/. We sell personalised photoproducts. This page isn't the only one that has video snippets instead of stars, but it's a good example.

      Eventhough 2 months isn't a very long time, I still think the snippet should've been changed. New snippets are often shown within a week (in the Netherlands) so a change in type of snippet should be adjusted in less than 2 months... Thanks for your help so far!

      Robin

  27. Ryan

    Is it valid to host video sitemaps on 3rd party domains? For example, let's say I'm hosting my videos on Wistia and, in my robots.txt file, I point Googlebot to my video sitemap (hosted on Wistia, not our site). So Googlebot is seeing this...

    Sitemap: http://www.whatever.com/sitemap.xml
    Sitemap: http://app.wistia.com/sitemaps/whatever_vids.xml

    Is that a safe approach? Does pointing Googlebot to another URL in order to retrieve a siteamp trigger warnings / errors in GMT? Thoughts?

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Is it valid to host video sitemaps on 3rd party domains? Yes

      Is that a safe approach? Yes

      Does pointing Googlebot to another URL in order to retrieve a siteamp trigger warnings / errors in GMT? No

      :)

  28. Frank Apicella

    I am making a video content site for a client of mine and I'm using a combination of 9slides.com javascript embeds and youtube embeds. I understand the youtube embeds and that I need to host those videos myself. But as for 9slides.com hosted videos. We paid a lot of money to give the user a great experience being able to navigate through the video by including the slides inside the video. Is there NO way to get a rich snippet with this type of video javascript embed? The site is http://oistv.net .. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Yeah - you definitely want to remove that content from YouTube as it's just not suitable for the platform and you'll end up being outranked. Use a paid hosting platform like the ones i mention in this post.

      Once you've done that, referencing a crawlable (not blocked by robots.txt) encapsulated version of the file delivered through JS e.g. .mp4 in the tag should allow you to get a rich snippet.

  29. Asim

    Hi,
    I use vimeo pro with privacy on, only to run videos on my website.. My question is how google will treat this as may be google run this video outside of my domain to check the validity of video and if that shows private video , Google may not index that. I have created a sitemap and uploaded that on webmaster tool. Google doesn't show me richs nippet for vimeo videos but some of my youtube public video I see rich snippet. I am not too sure about Vimeo privacy setting as I have not seen any example online where someone blocks the video to run only on particular website and have rich snippet

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Asim,

      I'm afraid i can't speak to your particular situation - but there are many examples of this working "in the wild". I have an example at distilled.net/video_sitemap.xml

      I would recommend putting the sitemap in your robots.txt as well as in Webmaster tools, as often I don't think these get properly crawled.

      Also - just because a video is indexed, that doesn't mean it's ranking with a rich snippet. Your YouTube videos will be indexed, but that page almost certainly wont rank in the organic results with a rich snippet

  30. Hi Phil,

    I've watched some of your talks and read several articles while working out an SEO strategy for my company's blog.

    I got the impression that a self-hosted secure video could be used to build links by enabling others to embed it on their sites. The embed player would include a link back to the hosting site.

    Is this a special feature in specific players or offered by 3rd party hosts? I haven't been able to find any that mention it.

    Thanks for all the awesome info!

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Matt,

      Unfortunately no 3rd party hosting platform that I know of has integrated this feature yet (though i know a couple are working on it), so for now - you'll have to add the text link yourself when you send people your embed code.

      I made a tool which will allow you to do this very quickly - here http://philnottingham.com/tools/video-embed-link-generator/

  31. Hi Phil,

    Great post really helpful.

    Just a quick question I was wondering if you could help me with. Do you know if it is possible for the video rich snippet to show up without adding the Schema.org code and just doing the video sitemap?

    If you have ever seen this work before that would be great.

    Kind regards

    Tom

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Yes indeed. You can get videos indexed with either one or the other, the Video Sitemap being more surefire.

      However, if you can, always good to do both.

  32. Jos

    Hi Phil/Robin. Sorry to latch on to an old thread, but we are having the same issues as Robin. We tried our best to get the video thumbnail, then found it wasnt helping CTR rate as much as the Star Rating mark-up. We have been trying to remove the video thumbnail for a few months now. I just wondered if Robin managed to get these removed, or if there was any more information on how we can remove the video thumbnail?
    Any advice much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Jos

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      I've seen lots of situations now where people are struggling to get thumbnails removed.

      Ultimately, this is Google messing things up and I'm sure they'll eventually sort things out. I know that's cold comfort if you're competing for really valuable head terms, so my best recommendation is to remove the video, resubmit the video sitemap (with this page omitted) via GWMT, refresh the page (e.g. add some new content or change the copy round) and then submit that to GWMT too.

      It will eventually fix itself, but it just can take some time - as the video indexation googlebot is both slow to find videos and slow to work out when they're gone.

      Cheers,
      Phil

  33. Lakshmana

    Hi Phil,

    Taking your advice i got some No.1 rankings for videos in google search.. great!

    Using Wistia getting the link to my own site instead of the video hosting site is great, but..
    this means that in google search results my organic text listing is being replaced by the video result. (instead of having both)

    Do you have any advice on this? Are video or text search results preferred by searchers?

    Im guessing the video result will attract some customers but on the other hand i will loose some others that would rather read a webpage than watch a video, say because of download size or just expecting a webpage to be more informative than a video.

    What would be the best way to get high video results but still keep the organic text search results as well?

    Thanks for your advice here, its excellent,

    Lakshmana

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Lakshmana,

      The answer to all your questions is "it depends on the context". Some users prefer video results, some standard organic results - but really, it depends on the nature of the keyword and the user intent. Dependent on your website and the nature of your content, you may get more or less clicks with a video results than with a normal organic one. For what it's worth, 9 times out of 10, Video rich snippets seem to get more clicks.

      However, due to Google's desire to offer domain diversity, you're unlikely to be able to get 2 results (video or otherwise) from the same site ranking for a single non-branded keyword. There's not much you can do about this.

      Thanks,
      Phil.

    • Lakshmana

      Ok, so in that case, it may sometimes be a good idea to stick with youtube, if you can get a high ranking video on youtube, in that way having more than one result in google standard results is possible. Even though not both linking to your own website, but at least 1 text listing to your own website and 1 link to youtube.. and youtube does provide me with more than one video listing on the first page search results sometimes.

      The site is selling wind chimes so it definately may be interesting for searchers to see the video..

      Thanks,
      Lakshmana

  34. Phil Nottingham

    Actually Lakshmana,

    I don't think that's the case. The user intent of the keyword should define whether you aim for a video or not and it should also define whether you should use YouTube or not. If you're trying to drive sales - putting a product video on YouTube is a terrible idea, because users very rarely convert from YouTube and trying to drive a sale from a YouTube video is much harder than trying to drive a sale from your own site.

    If you're talking about an informational query that you want to rank for more from a branding perspective - YouTube is the way to go.

    i've written about this extensively:
    http://moz.com/blog/hosting-and-embedding-for-video-seo
    http://moz.com/blog/building-a-video-seo-strategy
    http://wistia.com/learning/advanced-seo-with-distilled

    reply >
    • Lakshmana

      Point taken Phil, thanks for clearing that up. reading those articles now..
      Again, thanks for your advice!

  35. Jamie Sellars

    Hi Phil,

    Great post. I have added (properly :P) my Wistia videos to a few pages on a couple of websites. It seems only a few thumbnails are showing over a months period. All the mark up is good and i have the video as the main focus of the page wit about 200-300 supporting words of text.

    Is it common for only a few results to show? My ratio is about 2 out of 6 videos showing on my sites or as being shown as indexed in the video search.

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Jamie,

      Yes, it can commonly take up to 2-3 months for videos to get indexed - so, I'd advise you to continue to be patient :).

      Building up the authority of your site and pages, by getting more quality links, will allow the videos to get indexed faster.

      Thanks,
      Phil

  36. Richard

    Hi Phil,

    Good article. Quick question. What is the best way to get a web page that includes a link to a YouTube video have the transcript indexed by Google?

    Cheers,

    Richard

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Richard,

      I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Can you clarify your situation a bit?

      Cheers,
      Phil

  37. Phil, Do you recommend using an intro to video (for branding like say Jenna Marbles), or skip right to content? If intro, do you have a recommended max length (i.e., 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 8 seconds)?

    Thanks!

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hi Nick,

      As i'm sure you'll appreciate, there is no one answer to this question. It depends really on who you are and what you're trying to achieve.

      If you're creating content for YouTube and you're trying to build your brand, you'll need to get your brand in there somewhere and a "sting" or intro can help with that, but not if it detracts from the actual content. If you're trying to sell products on your own site, I think the branding is generally unnecessary, since most people will be on the site anyway.

      However, If you're going to have a branded sting, I'd generally advise keeping them as punchy as possible - and certainly no longer than 5 seconds.

  38. Antony Wilson

    Hi Phil,
    Great post. Im stalking you at the moment (and on distilled u) trying to read and watch as much as possible as involved in a video blog soon.
    In section 4. Surround the Video with Supporting Information. I have a quick question. For each video blog we intend to transcribe the blog video and post below the video (like Moz whiteboard Friday). Does this mean there is no need for Captions and Transcripts or is there still a need for captions? (im not a techie so busy learning!)

    reply >
    • Phil Nottingham

      Hey Antony,

      From an SEO perspective - no, there's then no need to have closed captions. However, it might make sense from a user perspective - so I'd recommend looking at it on a case by case basis.

      Thanks,
      Phil

  39. Hector

    Hello Phil, great article. If I make the text of my blog the transcription of the video (educational videos), and I also link the SRT file, Do you think that be duplicate content? I am just making sure I don't upset the search engines by providing too much! Thank you in advance.

    reply >
  40. Nice article Phil. I know i am so late saying that.
    I checked the list your recommendations of third party hosting. But most of them are paid and those free are limited.
    Can you suggest some free video hosting like you tube?

    reply >
  41. Phil-

    You mention using Kaltura HTML5 as a player for the self-hosted solution. What about using Kaltura for both the hosting of videos and to use its player on the site using their embed feature. This creates a totally free solution without a need for CDN or bandwidth usage. Any problems here?

    The concern I do have is that on Kaltura website they publish a detailed directions of how to increase the SEO value that has something to do with using a template for creating a landing page for the video but I was totally lost by these directions. If I am embedding some video to separate pages with only one video, all videos into the blog and then all videos into a separate "category" page for only videos on a wordpress website are there any concerns with respect to the video sitemap or to having a dedicated page. Is there any SEO downside to having the video content potentially on 3 different pages on the website? Some videos would be content related and on the respective page only while other videos (let's call them weekly market updates) would be on the blog and on the category page for videos.

    Thanks for the great information here I don't think it could get anymore step-by-step broken down for us.

    reply >
  42. Hi,

    I've added rich tags for video on a webpage (www.piranhafitnessstudio.com), but when I test the url against rich snippets testing tool it is not showing desired output. I've checked code many times but couldn't find any fault. Could you help me with the issue that I'm not noticing.

    reply >

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>