Schema.org Video Support

Last year, Bing, Yahoo, and Google collaborated to create Schema.org, a language that allows webmasters to mark up text.  By doing so, they can write a rich snippet, which appears on search results pages, giving the user a chance to see what type of content is inside the page before he/she clicks through. This has been enormously valuable; studies show that the use of these snippets increases click-through rates.  Google announced this week that it is officially supporting video on Schema.

Henry Zhang, product manager for Google Videos, says, “Videos are one of the most common types of results on Google and we want to make sure that your videos get indexed.”  VideoObject enables webmasters to markup videos just as they do other types of content.  This benefits the websites, obviously, but it also makes it much easier and more efficient for Google to index the millions of hours of video content that are uploaded each day.  It is still a great idea to have a video sitemap, but using Schema will help your video gain visibility and hopefully raise your CTR.

Google requires that each video have a:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Thumbnail image
  • Embed URL or content URL

You then use Schema’s extensive vocabulary to markup your video as precisely as you can so Google can return relevant results to users.  For instance, if you are doing your description, it may appear as follows:

<span itemprop=”description”>Video demonstrating proper use of Schema.org and explaining how to markup video</span>

The description, or what is inside the > < , will appear to searchers under the title and next to the thumbnail.

This is the example that Zhang provided in Google’s announcement:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/VideoObject”>
  <h2>Video: <span itemprop=”name”>Title</span></h2>
  <meta itemprop=”duration” content=”T1M33S” />
  <meta itemprop=”thumbnailURL” content=”thumbnail.jpg” />
  <meta itemprop=”embedURL”
    content=”http://www.example.com/videoplayer.swf?video=123″ />
  <object …>
    <embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” …>
  </object>
  <span itemprop=”description”>Video description</span>
<div>

Using rich snippets adds a little more work for you, but the results of this on-page SEO may be well worth the effort.  Remember to test your markup before going live with Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool.

Leave a Comment