What Are Video Sitemaps and How Do They Help You?

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 on "What Are Video Sitemaps and How Do They Help You?"

3 years 27 days ago

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!

3 years 25 days ago

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.

3 years 27 days ago

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.

3 years 27 days ago

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.

3 years 27 days ago

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

3 years 26 days ago

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.