Tag Archives: Google

Video Sitemaps

Videos and video content are one of the most popular rich media formats in the web world. If you are not getting the traffic that you would like to for your videos, the search engines are probably ignoring your video content. There are millions and millions of videos on the web already.  So how do you get yours to get indexed in video searches?

Similar to XML Sitemaps,  a video sitemap gives the search engines, specifically Google, more information about the video content in your web pages. By submitting this video-specific sitemap in addition to your standard XML Sitemaps, you can specify all the video files in your web pages, along with relevant metadata – information about your videos. Your video sitemap will need to include the following minimum information for each video: title, description, playpage URL, thumbnail URL and the raw video URL or URL to Flash video player. Without these five pieces of information, Google cannot surface your videos in results.

Guidelines for Video Sitemaps

  • A Video Sitemap should contain only URLs that refer to video content. Video content includes web pages which embed video, URLs to players for video, or the URLs of raw video content hosted on your site.
  • Create one video:video entry for each video. If you have multiple videos embedded on the same HTML page, use separate <video:video> entries for them with different <video:player_loc> or provide <video:content_loc> information. It’s fine to have duplicate videos in your Sitemap, but it is recommend that you don’t host the same video at two different URLs.
  • You must include either the <video:player_loc> or <video:content_loc> tag, or both. Google needs this information to verify that there is actually a live video on your landing page. Note that for Flash objects pointed to by <video:content_loc>, it’s okay for different video pages to use the same Flash player, provided each page uses Flash parameters as a mechanism to show unique videos.
  • Each Sitemap file that you provide must have no more than 50,000 video items. If you have more than 50,000 videos, you can submit multiple Sitemaps and a Sitemap index file. Video Sitemaps does not support nesting.
  • Google can crawl the following video file types: mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf. All files must be accessible via HTTP. Metafiles that require a download of the source via streaming protocols are not supported. 
  • Make sure that your robots.txt file isn’t blocking any of the URLs included in the Sitemap.
  • Google web crawlers will verify that the information you include in the <video:title> and <video:description> fields matches your live site. You should view your play pages in a text-only browser such as Lynx, or a more conventional browser where you’ve confirmed that Flash and JavaScript are enabled.
  • If you have multiple websites, you can simplify the process of creating and submitting Sitemaps by creating one or more Sitemaps that includes URLs for all your verified sites, and saving the Sitemap(s) to a single location. All websites must be verified in Google webmaster Tools.

You can either hand code the video sitemap or use free Google Sitemap Generator Tools  to create the video sitemap. Once you have created your video Sitemap, you can submit it to Google using Webmaster Tools.

  1.  Log into Google webmaster tools with your Google Account.
  2.  Click ‘Add a Sitemap’ next to your site.
  3.  Select ‘Video Sitemap’.
  4.  Put in the URL of your Video Sitemap. (Be sure to include http://)
  5.  Click ‘Add Video Sitemap’.
  6.  Wait for the ‘Pending’ status to change to ‘OK’. This may be several hours so don’t worry.

If you receive an error take a look at the descriptions. Not all of the errors will stop the processing of your Video Sitemap and may only be informational as in an unrecognized tag due to a typo, etc. 

That’s it. You’re done. You now have successfully added a Video Sitemap to your site and Google should start indexing all of the included video content.


Social Media Self Test

Sure there are more tests than you can shake a stick at, but give this one a shot.

    Un-googleable Person

  • Is your facebook status updated?
  • Have you tweeted today?
  • Can you “Google” yourself?
  • Can Ya “Digg” it?
  • Viral means disease or success?

Chances are you if can answer one or more of those questions, you know a little something about social media. Which leads to the question, is their really such a thing as an un-googleable person? Furthermore, if and when there is…would you trust them?

Most business people today meet a new client, investor, partner, provider, etc. and as soon as they get back to their office they Google that person to see what more they can learn about that person. Often times they can find pieces of your history online, and learn more about you. Depending on your online profile, people can gather a positive or negative impression, but one thing they know for sure is that you are who you say you are.

How did you feel the last time you Googled someone and did not find anything about them? Did you trust them? Did you wonder what rock they just crawled out from under? I personally have more trust for a business that has a website, and a person who has an online profile. Both show me they are at least valid and not a fly by night company.

Welcome to 2010! The time is right for Social Media

So what if you are a business, and you do not have an online profile? What if you failed the Social Media test? Well there is still hope for you, but the time to act is now! The first thing I would suggest is getting a website, which will help validate your business. Many web development companies have low cost, entry level websites that can get you started. Typically by putting up a website, doing some basic search engine optimization, and populating your site with relevant, unique, high quality content, you can put your business on the map. Now when people search for your business name, or your online profile, your website will come up first, validating your business.

Once the website is up and running, you can evaluate if you need to branch even further by using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Each of those tools should be considered only once you have a successful website.

The time to act is now, make sure you are not the un-googleable man, women or business.

Social Media Self Test #2

How many of the Social Media Icons below can you identify? Furthermore, how many of them is your business listed on?
Social Media Icons (Orange)

Free Google!

Google is constantly working on developing new and innovative ways to allow webmasters to promote their sites and increase the rankings of their client’s sites. It seems that almost every month, Google releases a Beta version of a new application. The following is a description of three of the primary free features Google offers to webmasters to promote and list their sites. Continue reading

Google Base – How to Use Google Base

Last month we reviewed three free features of Google: site submission, sitemap and maps. These are all essential to anyone interested in getting indexed by Google and more importantly found by potential clients.

This month we are going to look at another free feature of Google called Google Base

As described by Google:

“Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we’ll make searchable on Google (if your content isn’t online yet, we’ll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches.”

Google Base is a must have for any eCommerce website, but is also very valuable for any service related business as well. The first step is to create an account with Google Base, if you created an account with Google last month to submit your site, sitemap and maps you can use the same account this month.

The next step is to select a category for your products to be added to or you can create a new category. I would suggest for your first use to select an existing category. Following the category selection you will need to provide details regarding your item, from the title through the overall description. Google also allows you to upload a photo, and provide basic contact information.

The final step is to indicate the how long this item will be valid for, the maximum is 30days. The nice part about the expiration is once your ad expires, Google sends you an email asking you if you want to renew it. With a simple click of a button the ad renews for another 30days. Your ads are editable at any time, simply log in and edit your ad. Google Base also allows you to control a few options under the settings tab that will assist you in providing your potential client more information about your company (URL, Email, and description).

Google base is a great way to enhance an existing business, promote a seasonal item, or reach a new market. Once you get comfortable adding a few items, you will find more and more reasons to add Google Base ads for more then just products and services.

Stay tuned next month when we discuss the advantages of Google Adwords

Google Ignores Keyword Meta Tag

Google has made it official that the keyword meta tag is not used in their search engine ranking algorithm.

Here is a short video by Matt Cutts on September 21, 2009 making it official.

In my opinion, the keyword meta tag should still be used to help track the words you are trying to promote on that page. It is a valuable reminder of what the goals are for the page. In addition, other search engines and spiders review the keyword tag.

My main concern for Google comes from people who fill the keyword meta tag with 50 keywords and keep them the same on every page of the website. This certainly does not help, and more than likely raises a flag to search engines indicating a potential spam site. So, if you use this field be sure to use it as designed, for a few keyword relevant to that exact page.

Best Practice for Keyword Meta Tag: Leave it blank, or make it unique to that page only including the 2-5 phrases used to optimize that page.