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Build Video Sitemap with XML Sitemaps Generator

Build video sitemaps if you own a video related website. Learn how to make video XML Sitemaps with A1 Sitemap Generator.
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Remember: To see all options in A1 Sitemap Generator you will have to switch off easy mode.

Creating Video Sitemaps Using Presets

Making video sitemaps for search engines such as Google is similar to the process for creating standard XML sitemaps. The main difference is that the sitemapper crawler needs to collect more information.

To get started creating video sitemaps using A1 Sitemap Generator, just select and use the appropriate video sitemap preset before starting the website scan. This will configure all the settings necessary for creating video sitemaps of most websites.

Note: If your videos are externally hosted on another domain, be sure to select the preset optmized for that.

scan website video sitemap.png

Note: When selecting the video sitemap preset, you can afterwards choose to combine it with e.g. the WordPress preset. Combining the two will give you the best results for WordPress video sitemaps.

After the website crawl has finished, you can create the Google video XML sitemap by choosing the correct sitemap file kind to build:

build google video sitemap

And you are done. This is all required to generate video sitemaps for the majority of all websites.

However, if you run into problems of any sort (e.g. if your robots.txt file blocks access to video related files) read the help sections below to learn more about creating video sitemaps.


Flash and Google Video Files

While .swt flash movie files are not officially supported if trusting the documentation provided by Google for video sitemaps, you can still include such files as videos. To do that, add the .swt file extension to output filters. (The presets automatically do this as well.)

If your Flash video player embed links video related files inside itself (and not in the surrounding page HTML code), you will get best results if you configure our sitemap creator to crawl and search inside Flash files for video file references. (Not part of the configuration in the presets available.)


Video File Formats

When picking a video file format and encoding, you may want to use one that can be played acrosss all devices and mobile phones including Android and iOS/iPhone, e.g. .mp4.

Depending on the device where the search is performed, how well the video can be played could influence existing of future search engines like Google how a video is ranked in tthe search engine result pages.


Blocking Images and Videos with Robots.txt

Remember: The crawler engine in our sitemapper defaults to obey robots.txt files. This means that if you block crawlers from accessing folders containing your images and videos, these will not be included. For more information, see our help page explaining this and related topics.


Video Sitemap Code Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1">
  <url>
    <loc>http://www.microsystools.com/products/sitemap-generator/videos/sitemap-builder-sitemaps-tool/</loc>
    <video:video>
      <video:player allow_embed="yes">http://www.youtube.com/v/xZ-LrxSA3Yo?fs=1</video:player>
      <video:thumbnail_loc>http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/xZ-LrxSA3Yo/default.jpg</video:thumbnail_loc>
      <video:title>A1 Sitemap Generator - Videos [ sitemap builder sitemaps tool ]</video:title>
      <video:description>Video: A1 Sitemap Generator - build sitemaps quick demonstration</video:description>
      <video:category>sitemaps</video:category>
      <video:tag>a1</video:tag>
      <video:tag>sitemap</video:tag>
      <video:tag>generator</video:tag>
      <video:tag>google</video:tag>
      <video:tag>xml</video:tag>
      <video:tag>html</video:tag>
      <video:tag>sitemaps</video:tag>
    </video:video>
    <video:video>
    ...
    </video:video>
  </url>
  <url>
  ...
  </url>
</urlset>


How Video Sitemap Builder Picks Video Thumbnail Images

The video thumbnail image is selected using a generic algorithm in the video sitemap generator. However, you can help A1 Sitemap Generator picking the correct video thumbnail picture by:
  • Have at least part similarity between page, video and thumbnail image path and file names.
  • Have thumbnail pictures include the word "thumb" or "thumbnail".
  • Use Facebook Open Graph Protocol tags and attributes:
    • <meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/example.png" />.
    • <meta property="og:video" content="http://example.com/example.mp4" />.
  • Use Facebook Share tags and attributes:
    • <link rel="image_src" content="http://example.com/example.png" />.
    • <link rel="video_src" content="http://example.com/example.mov" />.
  • Use Video Schema tags and attributes:
    • <meta itemprop="thumbnailUrl" content="http://example.com/example.png" />.
    • <meta itemprop="embedUrl" content="http://example.com/external.php" />.
  • If you have thumbnail images, place the image code close to the video code.


How Video Sitemap Creator Chooses Titles and Descriptions

The default order for how video titles and descriptions are selected is:
  • From video movie related tags and tag attributes. (Found on the page associated to the video.)
  • From video thumbnail related tags and tag attributes.
  • From video page related tags, i.e. title and meta tags. (Found on the page associated to the video.)

Tips:
  • Sometimes FlashVars and similar will also be searched for relevant descriptions.
  • You can edit titles and descriptions in the software after the site crawl has finished.
  • For the best results, make sure to use at least some of the above mentioned markup.
  • If some markup is missing, A1 Sitemap Generator will attempt to mix and mash what it has.

Example #1 of a page with poor markup:
  • Missing meta or video descriptions.
  • Missing meta or video keywords.
  • Exact same page title and thumbnail image title.

In above situation, A1 Sitemap Generator will be forced to use a non-ideal fallback solution for generating descriptive video text and keywords.


Video Content Servers and Video Players

Hosting videos on external video content servers is a popular method to lessen server and website load. As a general guideline, this works fine when creating video sitemaps using our sitemap generator tool. However, many video hosting sites require added programming to work correctly. If you encounter one that is not working with video sitemaps, please contact support.

We aim to have the best possible support of all major external content and video hosting networks. However, do remember that some video hosting networks may have or enforce limitations that are out of our control.

We recommend that you host videos yourself if possible as this helps search engines associate the videos with your website in search results.

Supported video hosting and video players:
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Easywebvideo
  • Flowplayer
  • Vooplayer
  • JW Player / jwplayer
  • Blip.tv
  • Wistia (additional configuration required)
    • Disable domain restrictions in Wistia settings.
    • Use embedded iframe method for showing videos.
    • Set Scan website | Crawler engine | Max simultaneous connections to one.
    • Optional: Remove .bin in Scan website | Output filters | file extensions.
  • More...


Configuring Settings Manually for Video Sitemaps

If the video sitemap preset is not sufficient, you can configure settings yourself.

In output filters you can do the following:
  • Make sure the configuration includes the relevant video file extensions and MIME types you use. The list of video formats Google officially accepts include: mpg, mpeg, mp4, mov, mv,asf, avi, ra, ram, rm, flv.
  • Help the program associate videos to the correct pages by excluding unwanted pages. This helps in cases where multiple seemingly equally relevant page URLs show the same video.

If you have videos hosted externally (Vimeo, YouTube or similar), you should ensure that you have enabled option: Scan website | Data collection | Verify external URLs exist

If you only link to videos (and not use through e.g. src HTML attribute), enable option Scan website | Crawler option | Search for video content in links. This particular option will not be set by any of the video sitemap presets.
Help page primarily maintained and written by

As one of the lead developers in Microsys, his hands have touched almost all the code in the software available at this website. If you email any questions, chances are he will be the one answering them.
A1 Sitemap GeneratorAbout A1 Sitemap Generator

Build all kinds of sitemaps including text, visual HTML / CSS, RSS, XML, image, video, news and mobile for all your websites no matter the platform they use.
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