Google Video Sitemap: Making Video Even More SEO Friendly

When parsing content, Google has a tougher time with video than with text or even images. For this reason, it provides multiple ways for publishers to present their video content.

The Mediavine Video Player makes SEO a top priority. By default, we output Schema.org markup via JSON-LD for any manually embedded video, with no work needed from you on any platform.

There’s another way to indicate video content to Google, though, using what’s called a video sitemap. We’re proud to announce, as of today, the release of a new feature that automatically builds Google Video Sitemaps for Mediavine videos. 

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a computer document generated in XML. Using sitemap standards, it directs search engines such as Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo to where your content is.

Although search engines are pretty good at following links on page, sitemaps are used to provide additional information about pages to make it easier on the web crawlers.

The internet is a VERY large place, so making things more efficient for Google’s crawlers will only make indexing of your content more accurate and even faster.

So, while the use of sitemaps is completely optional, Google recommends doing so and lists them among its best practices.

What is a Google Video Sitemap?

The Google Video Sitemap is an extension of the regular sitemap protocol. It allows you to provide a listing of pages on your site containing videos and meta information about them.

Remember, video is difficult to parse.

All players are different, ads often run as pre-roll before the content, and in general, video is more expensive for a computer to process than text or images.

A Google Video Sitemap allows you to show the search engine exactly what page a video appears on, along with the original video file (so they don’t need to access it via the Mediavine Video Player), its length, a thumbnail, its publication timestamp and other relevant information.

How do I generate Google Video Sitemaps for Mediavine videos?

Easy. We do it for you!

Mediavine takes the video details you provide us in your Dashboard, and the information we know about the video, to automatically generate a Google Video Sitemap for you.

All you have to do is make sure the permalink field is filled out and properly pointing to the URL containing the video, and we do the rest. We even host the sitemap file.

You can find where the video sitemap is hosted by selecting “Video Player” under settings in the Mediavine Dashboard. You’ll find a link to your sitemap there.

Now, for how you get that sitemap to Google …

How do I submit my Google Video Sitemap?

Step 1: Set up a Redirect or Self-Host

You can only submit local URLs to Google Search Console, so you’ll need to set up a redirect from your website to our hosted version of your Google Video Sitemap.

The redirect allows you to submit to Google, at which point Google will follow that redirect and use the sitemap hosted by Google. (Yes, this works.)

If you’re running the Mediavine Control Panel (MCP), we automatically set up a redirect for you at /mv-video-sitemap as of version 2.2.0. For example: https://www.orwhateveryoudo.com/mv-video-sitemap.

If you’re not running MCP or WordPress, ask your provider how to set up the redirect. Alternatively, you can download and host the file yourself, although you would also be responsible for updating it every time you upload or change a video in that case.

Step 2: Submit to Google

In Google Search Console, under Index > Sitemaps, there’s a spot at the top of the page to “Add a new sitemap.” It will automatically fill out the base of your URL, so you simply enter “mv-video-sitemap” or the location of your redirect or manually hosted file if you aren’t using MCP.

Google Video Sitemap

Then click Submit. You’re done. Yes, it was that easy. Now Google will come back each day to download your sitemap that we automatically update for you!

What about non-Mediavine videos?

We get it. Nobody’s perfect. If you have non-Mediavine videos, you can simply generate additional Google Video Sitemaps on your own and host them yourself.

You can submit multiple sitemaps, including video ones, to Google without issue.

However, those videos will NOT be included in the sitemaps Mediavine generates. These are just for videos uploaded through the Mediavine Dashboard.

Does a Google Video Sitemap improve SEO?

It’s considered best practice by Google to submit a sitemap, and we always recommend following Google’s advice, so we’re going to say yes.

Mediavine publishers can now submit them with virtually no effort, so we encourage it.

We’ve discussed the Mediavine Video Player’s SEO strength at length; videos uploaded through the player have already become eligible for video-specific features in Google Search.

Just think of sitemaps as making your video process even more SEO friendly now. Give Google everything they could ever want and a little bit more.