Got Video? Then Get a Video Sitemap!

You should all know about Google’s Webmaster Tools section by now.  This allows you to upload an XML sitemap, letting Google know exactly what is on your site and where to find it.  If you use WordPress, then you most likely have a plugin that creates these sitemaps for you.  If not, get one.

Up until recently, uploading just one sitemap per site was sufficient.  This may no longer be the case for you.  If you have videos embedded anywhere on your site, then you are going to want to add a video site map, as well.

What is a Video Sitemap?

A video sitemap is an XML file that tells Google how to find and index videos that are on your site.  You have probably seen the blended search results for video in the Google search engine listings.  If not, see the picture below.

Users can also search for the video results of any query by clicking on the “Video” link that appears on the sidebar of the results pages, like what you see in the image at the top left of this post.

As marketers, we want to be sure that our sites are listed in as many ways as possible.  Creating a video sitemap and uploading it into your Google Webmaster Tools account is one way to increase the chances of your site being found.

If you are running WordPress n your site, then generating a sitemap is as easy as adding a simple plugin.  The Google XML Sitemap for Videos is a free plugin that is available in the WordPress Plugin Directory or simply by clicking here.

Google doesn’t care if you created the video or if you are even the one hosting it.  You can create a video sitemap even if all you do is embed videos from YouTube.  The links that appear in Google’s search listings are for the page that the video is appearing on, not the source of the video.

Here’s what Google has to say about video sitemaps.  (And yes, this page is listed in my video sitemap!)

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