What Are Video Sitemaps and How Do They Help You?

May 1, 2012 · 12 comments

in Video

What Are Video Sitemaps and How Do They Help You?

Sitemaps For Videos?

Video sitemaps have become a key part of websites using a lot of self-hosted video and provide a way to tell Google about those videos. 

Video sitemaps are most important for sites self-hosting a lot of breaking news or hard to find videos and will generally improve the “findability” of these videos.

While some people disagree, most Pros I have spoken with do not feel that video sitemaps (XML files) are particularly important for those of us hosting most of our videos on YouTube. (The downside of using YouTube for hosting is that YouTube often winds up getting our SEO traffic.)

Before you watch this, let me note that just like your regular sitemap.xml file, there are now plugins available to WordPress.org users to make this a LOT less scary!


English Translation: If you have self hosted videos, providing Google with a video sitemap and schema not only improves their findability, but can often get them to turn up in search results, with a thumbnail, right next to YouTube videos. This can mean a fast way to get on Page 1 of Google at times!

Pay careful attention to the fact that he said you should use both Video Sitemaps AND Schema.org Markup on your site together. 

Learn more about video sitemaps here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?

For WordPress.org users, there are many very snazzy premium plugins that provide a wealth of tools and are likely worth checking out.

However, two plugins surface as notable in the free arena: Google XML Sitemap for Videos (3.5 rating on 40,000 installs) and a multi-featured Gallery plugin called Cool Video Gallery (4.0 rating on 40,000 installs). The first one is probably better for most sites that do not need all the extra features (chances for things to break) of the second.

However, that said, if I were truly serious about self-hosted videos ranking, I’d likely look closely at the extended features available in some of the premium plugins.

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: If all of your videos are on YouTube, you probably don’t need one of these unless you’re pushing a lot of breaking news. I personally do not use one on this site due to leaning heavily on YouTube.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgan May 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hi Kim!

Wow, I had no idea sitemaps for videos even existed. I have a couple sites that will be hosting a lot of video content so this info will be really useful. I already have the Google XML Sitemaps plugin on all my sites, and it’s good to know they have one for videos, too! :)

Thanks again!


Elena May 3, 2012 at 4:45 am

Hi Kim! Hi Morgan! I didn’t know about sitemaps for videos either. I might try this trick too – I’ve learned that sitemaps are good for SEO.


Bea May 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

I have been wondering about this because I have heard that having a video sitemap can rally help your website get ranked more easily for the videos if they have the right keywords in them. I did not know there was such a difference between hosting the videos yourself and hosting on Youtube.

My videos are on YouTube, but it is a good thing to know about the plugins that if I want to host them myself, I need a sitemap and a schema to help them rank well. thank you, for telling us about this.


Joe Prasad May 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for sharing Kim. I just got done implementing a KML site map for one of my businesses only to learn Google will be using them less as indicators for local search results, oh well. I guess the more signals we can give the gods of Goog the better we are. I also implemented markups for the “place” schema as it’s a local business. From what I observed it didn’t make a difference in my rankings, but immediately led to the displaying of rich snippets for my most important pages..cool.


nicko May 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Great resource here. I’m still using Youtube videos mostly but now I’ve bookmarked this so I’ll know where to find it =)


chanikacha May 2, 2012 at 1:21 am

Thanks kim! Actually I only use some website to submit my video and I never tried making my video for sitemaps. With this tips my video will be more accurate on searches.


Aasma May 2, 2012 at 2:23 am

Hey Kim,

Nice information sharing, I wasn’t aware about video sitemap thing. Actually I haven’t tried video marketing but surely will try soon.


Jim Antoine May 2, 2012 at 4:16 am

And again thank you Kim!!
This was something I had not even thought about.
I have enough videos on my own blogs that needed an SEO boost..
Thank you again!


Bery C.P. May 3, 2012 at 3:27 am

Great resource here. I’m still using Youtube videos mostly but now I’ve bookmarked this so I’ll know where to find it. This is a great blog with excellent posts and links.
Thanks for sharing


Azam May 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Really I have first time read about the video sitemap. You posted interested video.Thanks for sharing such a productive information.


James August 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I also think that youtube videos do not need the sitemaps. I just think that any product or service affiliated to Google will always be given the benefit. This is the same as with blogs who uses blogger.com. You still need to practice good SEO but when it comes to pound for pound, I think sites affiliated with Google will get the edge.


Lee September 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Hi I have just started playing about with images and videos on my site. This information is invaluable. The only thing I have been worried about with videos and images is the load time. But I will see how that goes.

Great info thanks lee


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