Video Sitemaps and Google

It’s funny to think that a couple years ago, I had absolutely no knowledge of SEO, and how it works. But since I began working at Everspark, I have learned an incredible amount seemingly overnight. Using Chris and Jason’s methods on my own site and videos has done wonders. As you can see, one of my videos is currently number one for a fairly competitive keyword:

Notice that it is number one in organic, not just Google video search. However this video is about four years old, has nearly 2.5 million views, and thousands of comments, all of which play a factor in YouTube’s rankings, and consequently Google’s. So I’ve been researching how to beat a video like that.

Part of the answer is with video sitemaps.

There are a few benefits to creating video sitemaps. They simply allow Google to locate and index your video more easily. When a video is embedded onto a web page, Google can’t actually see the video. It needs to be told what it’s about, and why it is worthy of a high rank. Your video sitemap tells Google all the information it needs to know.

Additionally, video sitemaps allow your own website to appear in Google Video SERPs:

Again, my video is number one in the organic results. Actually both of those videos are mine. In fact, they are the exact same video hosted on Vimeo. But you can see that the first result is hosted on my personal site. Not YouTube, not Vimeo, or Viddler, or any other video-sharing site. My site. Furthermore this screenshot was taken about one hour after I submitted my video sitemap to Google. It only took one hour to beat the exact same video that has been hosted on Vimeo for months! Granted this is for a non-competitive keyword, but I think it illustrates the importance of video sitemaps perfectly.

Keep in mind this is just one piece of the puzzle. Google considers many factors when they rank anything. But if you are trying to rank your videos, video sitemaps should not be forgotten.