Markup For Videos: Optimizing With’s Video Markup


Videos have become an integral part of our online experience, but they have not always been easy for search engines to index. Last year, Google, Bing, & Yahoo announced, a partnership that would provide a common vocabulary to describe structured data that could easily be crawled by their bots. Recently, they began providing video support for and unveiled the markup for videos they recommend. Now, optimizing your videos can be accomplished in three easy steps.

1. Add’s video markup directly to the HTML of you video page. The example provided looks like this:

(Insert Attached Screenshot)

You are required to have a title, description, and thumbnail URL, and a content or embed URL depending on whether you are pointing to the actual video media file or a player for a specific video. The duration and uploadDate properties are recommended; expires, height, and width attributes are optional. For optimal indexing, you should provide as much information as possible. You should also truly take the time to create an interesting title and a compelling description that includes your primary keywords. This should go without saying, but in our busy world, we sometimes rush through these simple steps. Devoting a little extra time now, however, will not only make your video easier to find but also more attractive to users when they come across it.

There is a much longer list of VideoObject properties that include items such as awards, genre, isFamilyFriendly, and keywords. This extensive list is exciting, but if you are new to markup for videos, you should start with the basics included in the example and can always enhance your code with additional attributes as you become more comfortable.

After you have inserted the code, check it with Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. It may still be in beta, but it is the best way to ensure search engine bots will correctly read your markup.

2. Confirm your video is visible without executing JavaScript or Flash. While you can do this in your own browser if you disable Java and Flash, it is far quicker to view your pages in a text only browser such as Lynx. Text only browsers show you how your page appears to Google as well as those who are visually impaired. You want a page that is accessible to all.

3. Submit a video Sitemap. Video Sitemaps have been around for a while, and even though they provide much of the same information, Google recommends that you now use them in concert with the markup. Without getting too technical, the primary benefit of submitting a Sitemap is that it pushes your video content to Google for faster indexing. This is particularly helpful when it comes to time-sensitive or difficult to find content. It can take several hours for your sitemap to be processed, but you can track its progress and check for any errors with Google’s Webmaster Tools.

You can create the most amazing videos in the world, but they will not gain much traction if people cannot find them. By implementing the above steps, you can ensure that the major search engines will properly index your page, and if you create compelling content, it is only a matter of time until your audience finds you.

Article by Ryan Michael Farrell:’s markup for videos provides a common vocabulary so search engines can properly index your content. Optimize your videos with these three easy steps. Learn more at

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