I recently came across no easy explanation on how to create a Google Video Sitemap for your website when you are using YouTube as your video host. Many people benefit from YouTube’s excellent video embedding options to deliver their videos reliably and quickly within their own website. As a results-driven SEO agency, we have seen that adding these videos to your pages can actually help to improve your search performance in the search results.
Google originally created Video Sitemaps to be able index video content of websites that had created, uploaded and hosted their own videos. But these days more people use the excellent free video hosting services to save on their bandwidth costs and increase their involvement in social media.
When you use Google’s current video sitemap template for any hosted video you come across a big problem: where is the video file and thumbnail image hosted? After searching the internet hopelessly I found some software that discovered the current location of my embedded YouTube videos.
The sitemap generator I used to create a Video Sitemap was Microsys’ A1 Sitemap Generator (Professional edition – $69). You simply choose the Google video sitemap preset and enter your websites URL. It will then crawl your website and find your embedded YouTube videos, then go off and grab the source and thumbnail image URLs and add them to the sitemap. The sitemap will get the title, description, tags and category from the HTML of your page with the embedded video.
If you want to create a Video Sitemap for your YouTube videos for free, try using my Embedded YouTube Video Sitemap template, it may not always work for you and is not guaranteed to work. Just replace the XX’s with the video id of your YouTube video and edit the Title, description, tags and category as necessary. Duplicate the <url></url> section to add more videos.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="https://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:video="https://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1">
<video:description>The video description goes here.</video:description>
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