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by Stephen Logan on 20th April 2010
Webmasters might be familiar with the concept of sitemaps – not in the sense of an index page that is visible to users, but as a list of files that Google should index.
Submitting a sitemap is a relatively easy process through the robots text file that can be hosted on servers to tell search engines how to handle the site content, or through Google Webmaster Tools, where formats ranging from plain text to xml files can be uploaded.
But Nelson Lee, product manager for Google Video Search, writes on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog that sitemaps can also alert the search engine to the availability of multimedia content such as video – a fact that webmasters may want to take into account when assessing their use of SEO expert services.
Sitemaps are not only useful for letting the search engine know that the content exists, but can also define specific time periods during which it should be indexed, to allow for its removal once it is no longer available.
Additional information such as titles, duration and thumbnail images can also be defined in the sitemap to enhance the video’s inclusion in results pages.