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Google: 5 Video SEO Best Practices To Consider

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Google has recently recommended five video SEO best practices for the webmasters to follow while optimising Video for the search results.

The best practices for video SEO were shared in the video series Lightning Talk on the Google Search Central channel. The presentation covered how webmasters can send the right signals to Google about content and what video is all about. When it understands what the Video is about, Google will understand when the video has to be shown in Search and Discover for the relevant searches.

Signals Google Looks for

When Google crawls the web page and finds a video on it, it immediately starts looking for video signals to understand better what the video is all about. Understanding the Video helps Google index the content to show on relevant searches.

Google uses the below signals to understand the video better: 

  1. On-Page Texts: On page texts such as Title of the page, captions near the video
  2. Structured Data: Relevant structured data that provides additional metadata about the video
  3. Referral Links: Signals sent from the linking site, including the anchor text used to link the video 
  4. Video files: Google can access the file to understand if it is video or audio content with the help of file format

So, these elements should be clearly defined to provide the right signal to Google about the video.

Best Video SEO best Practices by Google 

  • The video should be publicly accessible

If website owners want the video to be shown in search results, the video should be publicly available on the web. It should be present on the web page with a URL that Google can crawl. The video should also be easily visible on the page rather than require specific user action to load.

  • Use Structured Data

Webmasters can use structured data, specifically VideoObject markup, to provide more information about the Video to Google. 

The markup contains information about the video such as the title and description, time and thumbnail, video file URLs & more. Additional structured data enables more search features such as “live badge” for live stream videos.

  • Submit Video Sitemap

Submitting a video sitemap is another way by which Google discovers the video asset on the website. Metadata tags can be added in the sitemap to add information about the video.

  • Provide High-Quality Thumbnails

High-quality thumbnails should be provided for the videos. However, make sure Google can easily access the thumbnail image and the URLs are not blocked in the robots.txt file, which might create a problem.

  • Accessible Video files 

Keeping video content files accessible to Google helps pages be shown in search results for features such as video previews. Video previews is a unique feature where Google takes a preview of your video and showcases it in the search result. This is more engaging than the static thumbnail, which may not entice the user to click on the Video. You can use the max-video-preview robots meta tag to control the length of these previews.

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