As I mentioned previously, Google is pushing hard to let people know that video sitemaps are the way to go when looking to get video into Google's search results.  And I am happy to report to you that video sitemaps DO work for Vimeo videos.

Greg Funk, Product Manager at YouTube/Google stated the following in a comment posted to a previous article of ours.

"Video sitemaps are useful to Google regardless of how video gets onto your site. If you post ...on any other site and then embed that player onto your site, a video sitemap will help us 'find' that embed. Think of it as a way to cue us where to look." - Greg Funk Product Manager, Google

What does this mean?  Well, according to Google, they want sitemaps for any and all videos on your website, regardless of whether they are published to your site using a video sharing site, self-hosted, or using a video hosting platform.  With regard to YouTube videos, Im working on an answer for all of those who are interested in getting YouTube embeds indexed.  For now, let's start with videos from Vimeo.

Example Vimeo Embed in Google For

On Monday, Jeremy wrote about the new Star Wars Uncut film that is almost completed and in the post, I embedded a vimeo video and separately submitted a video sitemap entry for the post.  Here is the result (not too shabby, huh?  Take a look at #1 and #2 - granted, I know this is not the most searched keyword phrase - but it illustrates the point)
Vimeo SEO: How To Get Embedded Vimeo Videos Into Google google vimeo results 600x307

Publishing Vimeo Videos - Which Embed Code is Best

Just this past week, Vimeo announced that they were rolling out a new HTML5 video embed code for their players called the "Universal Player".  The new embed code is designed to be able to serve HTML5 video properly when the requested user-agent is a mobile device. The new Vimeo embed code utilizes an iFrame, similar to that which YouTube is testing for their HTML5 Embed.

Unfortunately, there have always been problems with iFrames when it comes to SEO.  The content in an iFrame is not considered part of the parent page and the page within an iFrame may be spidered and indexed (or it may be not) but no PR (PageRank) is passed.  Most importantly, when it comes to video SEO and video sitemaps, it is important that Google can 1) verify your sitemap and most importantly, 2) verify that the video in your sitemap is actually on the URL you indicated.  Unfortunately, this second part is difficult in that using iFrames makes it difficult to associate video content with the URL that has embedded it.  I can confirm that I have done several tests using the iFrame embed code along with a sitemap and those videos have not been indexed.

Here is what the new Universal Player embed code looks like:

<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe>

At the same time, there are also benefits to using this embed code.  Namely, it helps the platform (Vimeo, YouTube, etc...) better control the delivery and player to the end user, regardless of the device used, and it allows for an easy way to share HTML5 video content.  Most importantly, using iFrames can help with page load times, which we now know are an important new ranking factor in the search engines.  By using iFrames, content on your site will not wait to load the video - instead, the iFramed video will be loaded in parallel.

ALSO ►  YouTube Q2 Report: What Marketers Need to Know - HUGE ↑ Watch-Time, Mobile & Ad Spend

Unfortunately though, at least for now, if you want to get Vimeo embeds into Google search, you will need to refrain from using the iFrame embed.

Use the Old Embed Code From Vimeo

Vimeo SEO: How To Get Embedded Vimeo Videos Into Google old vimeo embed 300x370 When Vimeo rolled out its new iframe based embed code, several plugins like the popular Viper Video Quicktags plugin for wordpress broke as the old method for embedding the videos using SWFObject no longer works.  So, it is important that you make sure your embed code is visibile to Google on your page.  To do this, it is advised to use Vimeo's older embed code.

How to Get Vimeo's Old Embed Code

When you are viewing the video that you want to embed, click on the "embed" link and then choose "use the old embed code."

The resulting embed code should resmeble the following:
<object width="640" height="324"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="640" height="324"></embed></object>

Note:  You can still use the iframe code above, as long as you still include the old embed code above so that Google can actually see the player on your page.  This can be done by putting the embed code within the iFrame itself or by using <noframes>.  Here is an example of how that code might look:

<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0">
<object width="425" height="239"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="425" height="239"></embed></object>

Once you have added the embedded Vimeo video to your site, the next step is to create a video sitemap, submit that to Google, and wait to see your video get indexed.

How to Create a Video Sitemap for Vimeo Embedded Videos

I am not going to go into a lot of detail on how to create and sumbit your video sitemaps.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process, you can read about it here.

Here is the format of the video sitemap entry that you will need for Vimeo videos along with the required sitemap fields (though you can certainly add more information using optional fields like "<video:tag>" and "<video:category>" etc...:

<urlset xmlns=""
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"></video:player_loc>

Good luck and be sure to let us know how this works for you.  As evidenced in the screenshot above, it works.  Stay tuned for my upcoming post within the coming weeks - How to get Blip Videos into Google search - with or without a sitemaps.

  • bugzbrian

    Great post! I am building video sitemap for my Vimeo Pro, and was wondering where should it reside on my domain? I created an alias (, but I have not figured out how to access this yet to place site map there. Perhaps it does not matter and I can just put it in the root of my root domain? What is the best practice? 
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • bugzbrian

    Great post! I am building video sitemap for my Vimeo Pro, and was wondering where should it reside on my domain? I created an alias (, but I have not figured out how to access this yet to place site map there. Perhaps it does not matter and I can just put it in the root of my root domain? What is the best practice? 
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • Michele Gordon Hart

    Did you ever get the chance to explore this same topic for YouTube?

  • Serega Lunev

    Tested and not working.
    try to search your site in google for video results.

  • Tom Harari

    Hey guys - are you worried about the code not validating for HTML5? I implemented the old embed code inside noframes tag nested inside the "new" embed code (iframe) and it rendered on the videos rendered on my phone just fine. Now just need to make sure Google can crawl the link and show it in SERP.

  • Mark Jacobs

    HTML5 does not support tag so what code should be used for Google.

  • Ardin Lalui

    Any update on this now that HTML5 does not support tags?

  • Charley

    Does the old embed code allow for HTML5/mobile? I'm using Vimeo PRO.

  • Local Online Videos | Video Marketing Solutions

    Great Article...I've just recently found your site and I've got to say that it has been EXTREMELY helpful.

  • Sean McMenemy

    For YouTube there is this great plug in "XML Sitemap for Videos" for WordPress. It does a nice job formatting the XML but all it seems to see is YouTube videos. Since I'm not a code person I don't know the difference between iframe or embed.

    I don't understand why there isn't a plugin like this for all these other video players. Doesn't Blip, Vimeo, Viddler insert your favorite player here to get indexed into Google?

    There has to be a better way.

  • Nicholas G

    Hi Mark, I notice this post is about 8 months old at the time of my reading, so as far as you know does this still stand true?  I.e. for Vimeo, do you still need to add the old embed code to get the Vimeo videos indexed on your site or has Google started treating videos in iframes differently?

  • Atlanta Video Production

    Hi, just needed to let you know how much this post helped me! I created a site map for one of my videos, and within three hours, it was number one on Google for my (not remotely competitive) keyword. Thanks!

    • Jeff

      Great!! Mark really has a nice and informative site here. Congrats on your video being ranked.

  • Jeff


    Thanks for all this information. Last night I uploaded a video to Vimeo, used the old embed code on my HTML web page, and made a video site map. I then submitted the site map to Google "the green check mark appeared and then it showed a #1 in the "URLs in web index". No errors were reported either.

    This particular page that I embedded the Vimeo video on has already been ranked in Google for 3 keywords. This page is ranked page 1 at the #1 spot on Google for one of the keywords that I'm trying to rank the Vimeo video for if that makes sense. I did this to see if Google will give this page a 1st page rank for both the video and the regular text link and to see if this really is still working.

    This particular page was last cached by Google on December 10, so should I somehow notify Google that I updated this page with a video? and if the answer is yes what is the best way to notify Google of my changes?

    • Mark Robertson

      How long ago did you add it? Id depends on the frequency with which they crawl that page. You can build some links to it to get it re-indexed faster but Id probably advise you to wait a little while..

      • Jeff

        I embedded the video and submitted the video sitemap on Thursday. This particular page is already on the 1st page #1 spot on Google but I am doing this to see if it is still working. If it is it will open up some nice opportunities.

        I will post here as soon as this page is reindexed and if it appears in the organic search

      • Jeff

        WooHoo!! I just checked and it worked. The keyword phrase that I just got my embedded video ranked for has exactly 3,540,000 results. It ranked #5 on Google's 1st page. Above my video the first 4 spots are taken by Google Maps. "not sure why Google Maps, Places takes up so much of the 1st page"

        Before my video was ranked there were two youtube videos at the #5 spot and my video replaced one of the youtube videos.

        • Mark Robertson

          Woohoo indeed. What phrase? Did you click on it? :-)

        • Jeff

          Well my WhooHoo is gone. I just checked again and now my video link is gone. The youtube video that it replaced is now back in place of mine? My video still shows up in the Google Video but not in the organic search.

          Here is what happened. Before doing this video, my page was ranked #1 on Google's first page with a certain keyword phrase. When my video showed up in Google it placed my video on the #5 spot and my #1 spot text link disappeared. Now for some reason my video link disappeared and my text link showed back up on the bottom of the 1st page of Google. I'm not sure what happened? any feedback would be welcome.

          Yes I did click on the link and it took me to my page on my site where the video is embedded before it disappeared.

        • Mark Robertson

          Can you email me the phrase? Mark@ReelSEO dot com. I can help

        • Jeff

          I just sent you an email

  • Christopher Bauer

    Thanks for this :D I was intimidated by the video XML, but i successfully submitted mine today!

    • Mark Robertson

      You are welcome. In the end, the XML was easy, ya? BTW, are you on

  • TC

    So, just to clarify...

    Should this work with YouTube iframe embed as well? So if I put the old YouTube embed code within "noframes" then Gbot won't have a problem verifying / indexing videos according to my video sitemap?

    Thanks for an informative post!

  • Ingo

    great post! One question - what kind of video prefereneces do you use on vimeo? My videos should not appear on Vimeo but only on approved sites. However, I assume Google actually needs to get access to the file, right? I noticed your example video can be accessed by but it's not visible on itself. How did you do that?

    • Mark Robertson

      Hmm.. Im not sure I understand your question but unfortunately, I believe
      that I would actually be able to do this, even with videos that are

  • jkatmoney

    i added my vimeo sitemap last week GWT shows that i have "0 urls in web index".
    however this URL is also in my Regular Sitemap
    when i google "site:" it DOES show my site
    when i search for the keyword of for my video, i do not see the video/my site.

    should i just wait it out?

    • Mark Robertson

      What's your site and landing page? can I take a look?

  • Grant Crowell

    In regards to Vimeo, if we're still keeping our eye on doing marketing and business activity, Vimeo accounts are allowed based on the terms of keeping videos for sharing creativity, and not commerciality. (Otherwise, they have the right to remove those videos.) It clearly says on their uplading guidelines, here at

    "Do NOT Upload Videos Intended for Commercial Use."

    However, if your video is informational and without a sales pitch, I presume that showcasing your business and business partners in the credits (and the intro), with a link back to your site, is acceptable. What I don't know whether it's acceptable or not is, what if the link you have in the video is to a produce or service you're selling?

    • AndyBeard

      I have seen Vimeo accounts banned that were purely educational

      I have been covering this as a problem for almost a year

      The guidelines are probably the best resource

      If you are Seth Godin or Mozilla you are going to get away with it - Seth is an author, Mozilla is a non-profit

      If you are trying to find loopholes in their terms of service, you are probably breaking their terms of service, and it would be pure stupidity to invest time in ranking a video on your own site that could be removed on a whim by the service.

  • breedbeeldtv

    If I understand this correctly it will work with any video. So even a simple video made with for instance Windows Moviemaker. Is there a way to let Google know the video sitemap other then the webmaster tools page?

    • Dave Holland

      I believe you can link to your sitemaps in your Robots.txt file but webmaster tools gives much more information and is worth using.

      • Mark Robertson

        yes sir

    • Mark Robertson

      Yes, it should be added as an entry to your Robots.txt file and you can always ping Google when it is updated.

  • Sam Beavan

    What about creating video xml sitemaps for youtube embeds and when using Youtubes API ?
    Anyone had experience of this yet? I'm experimenting with this at the moment but my suspicion is that
    self hosting video is the way to go if possible but development time and cost are often the issue.

    • Mark Robertson

      Ive had lots of experience with this and it only works with a unique hack BUT Im working a bit with Google to set it up so that this will work for all YouTube videos. Should know more in about a month's time.

      • Ronnie Bincer

        It has been 3 months since this comment ... any more you can share with us on YouTube embeds and video sitemaps?

        • Mark Robertson

          Not until YouTube or google tell me somethin :( they said they would
          when they figure it out and you can bet I'll write it up when they do

  • Everett

    NM - Delete. I double posted.

    • Mark Robertson

      No prob Everett... Yup - cat is out of the bag. Unfortunately, although I dont think Vimeo would want to stop it, they cant. They could turn off the feature that lets people get the old embed code but the old embed code would still work - as long as it follows what I have above. Object/embed is what is is and there is little they could do to stop it outside of a robots.txt - which would be a problem for them in Google - SO.... I think we are good here for some time. Stay tuned for next - you actually dont even need a sitemap for those.....

      • Mark Robertson

        BTW - I just added a comment without being logged in, signed in - and it seemed to remember it ok...

      • Dave Holland

        Hey Mark,

        You said "Unfortunately, although I dont think Vimeo would want to stop it, they cant."

        Not sure if you are suggesting they would or would not want to let this happen?

        I am just wondering if there is a benefit to third party sites of allowing or even encouraging this?


      • AndyBeard

        Actually you have never needed a video sitemap for Vimeo either - it just greases the wheels a little.
        Well I say never.. in internet terms certainly for a good 10 months I have seen Vimeo in SERPs without, just like you can get corner peel ads appearing as video.

        • Mark Robertson

          It used to be that you could trick google to get thumbnails for video even without a video, I know..... I did it too... However, I have yet to see this work in 2010 and the only way that I have been able for Vimeo (there are others that dont need sitemaps) is with a video sitemap

  • Everett

    Ahh, you finally let the cat out of the bag. :-P

    Mark do you think Vimeo is going to put a stop to this by not allowing people to use the old code? Do you get the impression this isn't something the video sites WANT people doing?

    It is great for now, but I'm leaning toward custom player and my own CDN for the long run.

  • AndyBeard

    Should always note that Vimeo is not for commercial use - I see it used so frequently on the home pages of commercial startups and for product videos.

    • Mark Robertson

      Absolutely - great point....

  • Russ_Somers

    One of the cool and striking things here is the speed. I read the post on Monday and see the search results today. If there's an SEO technique that delivers faster results, I don't know what it is.