Last week, at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer and head of Google's web spam team. Matt is a well-known figure in the SEO community and often advises the public on how to get better visibility in Google search. At the conference, Matt made it absolutely clear that Google video sitemaps are crucial for indexing video content and that publishers everywhere should create and submit video sitemaps.
At the opening session, "SEO For Google Vs. Bing: How Different Are They," Matt made the following statement when taking about the web sitemap protocol.
"…Video sitemaps are something that we're probably going to look at a little more closely. If you tell us where your videos are, we will try to index them a little bit harder," Cutts said. "For example, if you think about things like Google TV, coming out in the fall, it's in everybody's interest that all the videos that are on the web be able to be very discoverable and very searchable. If you produce videos and you haven't done a video site map, that is something that I would definitely recommend."
After the session, I met up with Matt and asked him if he could reiterate his message – essentially calling on all video content publishers to embrace video sitemaps as a means of helping Google find, crawl and index video content.
"We want to be able to crawl and find all the video across the entire web, so that we can return them. and so I think we are going to be putting more and more weight on video sitemaps going forward, like this fall and into the future. If you make video, if you are a site owner, or a publisher, please start exploring video sitemaps," said Matt.
Google Video Sitemaps Moving Forward
Indeed, there has been a lot of discussion lately about the anticipated launch of Google TV later this year. There is no doubt that YouTube is a giant in terms of video destinations, but Google clearly understands that there is also a wealth of video content elsewhere on the web and it is in their best interest to find and index that content, not just for Google TV, but for all of Google's search products. Video sitemaps will be crucial to this effort.
When Matt commented on video sitemaps at the conference, I literally shouted "Woot Woot" and gave a huge thumbs up (I think he noticed). For me, it was refreshing to hear that something I've been evangelizing for years, namely hosted video SEO and the use of Google video sitemaps and MRSS feeds, would be taking center stage over at Google. There are several issues currently with getting videos indexed within Google and the Google video sitemap guidelines have changed many times over the past year. It is nice to know that there may be some additional focus and effort on the part of Google to solidify guidelines for publishers who want to submit video content to Google.
Additionally, stay tuned to ReelSEO – I've had a lot of experience in testing video sitemaps and as soon as I have adequate time, I plan to write a detailed guide on how to get videos indexed in Google. In the meantime, feel free to comment below with any questions that you have and Ill do my best to answer.
Matt: Thank you for your time. It truly was a pleasure to speak with you. I apologize for positioning you such that a land mass disappears in your ear ;-)
Special thanks to CJ at VideoArmy.tv for helping me fix the lousy exposure.