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"Adding your images and videos to your XML Sitemap for Google’s index!"

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Wed 14/04/10 at 18:52
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083


In a previous article, use a sitemap to tell Search Engines about your web pages, I introduced the XML Sitemap, which allows you to list all your available web addresses, and add additional meta data to potentially help Search Engines better crawl your web site.

By using an XML sitemap, you can tell search engines that some pages are more important than others, and when a web page was last updated, enabling search engines to have more information about your web site before it decides which pages to crawl.

It’s important to remember that search engines do not always crawl every page of your web site, and so by using an XML sitemap file, you could provide hints to the search engine, such as which pages have not been updated since the last crawl (and so would be a waste to crawl again), which pages might be new, which pages are updated more often, and which you consider are more important that others.

Extending your Sitemap XML file to include images and video for Google!

The Sitemaps XML format allows for extensions to be included, and Google have made use of this extension process for some time to enable a web site owner to list videos that are included on a page, and have recently added support for adding image data as well.

Because people use search engines to find video and images, Google is clearly keen to be the best index for this type of content as well, and as a site owner who may have such content, you’d probably want to give Google the best change to crawl it as well.

In this little-ish article, I’ll extend my previous use a sitemap to tell Search Engines about your web pages article to show you how you can add your image and video meta data. If you haven’t read the previous article, you should make that your first point of call, as this article will assume the reader is already familiar with the XML sitemaps format. I will also not include every possible entry for each of the image or video sitemap entries, just the required ones to help get Google to see your content really is there.

Why add image and / or video meta data?

When Google crawls an HTML web page, it can usually find which elements are images and videos quite easily, but not always. For example, if JavaScript is used to embed a video or change an image, Google might not be able to figure this out, and so your video and images might go unindexed.

You might not consider this a problem, as people search for web sites, right? But people search for images and video all the time. YouTube was at one time (and may still be) the second biggest search engine on the web, beaten only by it’s parent company, Google, and if someone is looking for a picture of Big Ben, Google even places a few images at the very top of its standard search page, with a link to their image search.

By including meta data in your XML sitemaps for images and video, you can increase the chances of Google noticing its existence, and indexing it for you. In the case of images, by including your most important images, you’re already indicating to Google that you consider these images more important than any other on the page. The last thing you probably want to happen is to have your best and most relevant image of Big Ben being considered second place next to a photo you also included of yourself next to Big Ben, pulling a silly face.

Even if a web page is easily crawlable for images and videos, Google would first need to download the web page to find any reference to these types of media, and as mentioned before, search engines do no always download every one of your web sites pages. By including the image and video meta data directly in your XML sitemap Google can look it over before even hitting your web site, and hopefully make better use of any crawling time it gives to your web site.

Existing XML sitemap

Below is an example of an XML sitemap for the web site example.com, which is the same example I used in the previous article. I’ll be including an image and video example within the entry for the aboutme.htm web page.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<urlset xmlns=" http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-17</lastmod>
<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
<priority>0.8</priority>
</url>
[B]<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
</url>[/B]
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/contact.htm</loc>
</url>
</urlset>


Because we’re using a Google extension to the sitemap XML file, we’ll first need to update this example to include two new namespace entries, which are included as attributes within the root element <urlset>. You’ll see that already there is a namespace for the sitemaps protocol, which is defined using the xmlns attribute. We’ll need to create two new separate xmlns attributes to house the images and videos namespace web addresses. Don’t worry about understanding these; they are just required to be a part of the XML sitemap file.

<urlset
xmlns=" http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" [B]
xmlns:image=" http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1"
xmlns:video=" http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1" [/B]>


This tells Google to look out for entries for image and video meta data, while also alerting other search engines that the new meta data is separate from the current sitemaps XML format standard.

Adding an image to an entry within your XML sitemap

On a page that’s called aboutme.htm, it’s likely that an image might exist of the person the page is about. In this example, the image is named john-smith-1.jpg, and is included in the web page via the HTML code <img src="/images/john-smith-1.jpg" alt="John Smith">. While Google can pick up this photo quite easily, we’ll use this as our example to keep things simple, as it seems there is likely more than one photo or Mr. Smith on this page (based on the file name including a number), and we’d like this first image to be our most likely shown in an image search.

Our existing entry for the web page looks like this:

<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
</url>


To include a reference to an image, we will have to create the <image:image> element with an opening and closing tag, and place this within the <url> element:

<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
[B]<image:image>

</image:image>[/B]
</url>


Inside this new element, we need to then create the <image:loc> element, again with opening and closing tags, that contain the full web address of the image

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


And there you have your basic image sitemap completed. You can include more than one entry for each of your web pages, which is especially handy if you use JavaScript to change the main image to scroll through a photo gallery, for example:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-2.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-3.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


For each image, you can include a little more meaningful information, such as an images title, caption, location, and licence type. If you’ve taken a photo at a particular place of interest, you can include this within your meta data, which can help greatly with Google’s ever expanding local search features. The following elements are available to you:
<image:title> – the title of the image
<image:caption> – any caption that describes the image.
<image:geo_location> – location information of the image.
<image:licence> – a site address that describes an image licence.

And if included, would create a sitemap entry that might look like this:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-2.jpg </image:loc>
[B]<image:title>John Smith visiting Big Ben</image:title>
<image:caption>This is me, John Smith, standing by Big Ben</image:caption>
<image:geo_location> Westminster, London </image:geo_location>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


For more information on image sitemaps, see the Google Sitemap Images documentation.

Adding a video to an entry within your XML sitemap

On the same page, you may find John Smith has uploaded a video of himself, explaining his interests, his business, or his views on the iPad. In a similar way to including image meta data, you can include video meta data within an entry of your sitemap, using the element <video:video>, with an opening and closing tag containing the information.

If we continue with the above example code, we can include the video meta data for John Smiths video file, john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4. We’ll start by adding the <video:video> element within the <url> element entry for the aboutme.htm web page:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
[B]<video:video>

</video:video>[/B]
</url>


Within the new <video:video> element, we need to either include the full URL to the actual video clip, or the video player that appears on the page (e.g. Flash Player) that shows the video clip, or both.

To include the video clip itself, we need to use the <video:content_loc> element to hold the full URL to the video:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


If, as with most web sites, John Smith is using Flash to show his video, and has a flash player embedded in the page, we can instead include the URL of the player in-place of the video clip directly, using the <video:player_loc> element:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


The required attribute allow_embed is, um, required within the <video:player_loc> element, which can have either a "yes" or "no" value, depending on whether or not you would like to allow Google to embed your video player directly within their video results pages.

Or, as mentioned above, you could just include both:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


You’ll need to include the <video:thumbnail_loc> </video:thumbnail_loc>, <video:title> </video:title> and <video:description> </video:discription> elements, which I’m sure are rather self explanatory. The thumbnail will be shown in the results pages, so it’s important to use a meaningful image in this case. The title and description values should also be cared for in the same way as you would for the web page itself.

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>
[B]<video:thumbnail_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.jpg </video:thumbnail_loc>
<video:title>John Smiths views and thoughts on the new Apple iPad</video:title>
<video:description>I give my little review of the new iPad from Apple, that I won from Freeola last week.</video:description>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


Google also recommends, though doesn’t require, the duration in seconds of the video to be included as well, for example, if the video clip is 5 minutes and 30 seconds long, we’d need to include the value 330, for 330 seconds:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>
<video:thumbnail_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.jpg </video:thumbnail_loc>
<video:title>John Smiths views and thoughts on the new Apple iPad</video:title>
<video:description>I give my little review of the new iPad from Apple, that I won from Freeola last week.</video:description>
[B]<video:duration> 330 </video:duration>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


Other optional settings you can include are:
<video:expiration_date> - when a video will no longer be available.
<video:rating> - a number between 0.0 and 5.0 (e.g 3.5).
<video:view_count> - the number of times your video has been seen.
<video:publication_date> - when the video was uploaded / published.
<video:tag> - how a video might be tagged, with one element used per tag, rather than separating each tag with a comma.
<video:category> - the category the video belongs to.
<video:family_friendly> - if the video is not suitable for kids, use the value "no".

As some web pages include more than one video, you can also include more than one video referenced within each <url> entry, with each video having its own <video:video> block.

For more information on video sitemaps, see the Google Video Images documentation.

Letting Google know about your updated sitemap.

You can tell Google that your sitemap has been updated by resubmitting it via the Webmaster Tools service, or “pinging” it to them via your web browser using the address below. Be sure to replace the bold text URL with your own web site address and sitemap location:

Google:
http://google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap= URL

To sum it all up!

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating an XML sitemap file, and have images and video that are either not indexing well, or are not being kept up-to-date (index wise) in Google, then adding image and video meta data using Google’s sitemap extensions may be the extra push Google needs to get crawling. As always, Google does not guarantee that adding such information will boost your ranking, but it’s an additional feature that may just help you out, and certainly can’t make your ranking any worse.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

As always, any comments, questions, and especially corrections are welcome.
Fri 16/04/10 at 10:49
Regular
Posts: 190
Dont worry its me, I am a real beginner!
Thu 15/04/10 at 18:41
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
It's been a little while since I've written an article like this, so perhaps my way of portraying the information is a little rusty, sorry for that.
Thu 15/04/10 at 09:28
Regular
Posts: 190
wow To much for poor little me, I understand why but dont think I could manage to do that,
Thanks anyway as its a bit more knowledge if a little over my head
Hugh
Wed 14/04/10 at 18:52
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083


In a previous article, use a sitemap to tell Search Engines about your web pages, I introduced the XML Sitemap, which allows you to list all your available web addresses, and add additional meta data to potentially help Search Engines better crawl your web site.

By using an XML sitemap, you can tell search engines that some pages are more important than others, and when a web page was last updated, enabling search engines to have more information about your web site before it decides which pages to crawl.

It’s important to remember that search engines do not always crawl every page of your web site, and so by using an XML sitemap file, you could provide hints to the search engine, such as which pages have not been updated since the last crawl (and so would be a waste to crawl again), which pages might be new, which pages are updated more often, and which you consider are more important that others.

Extending your Sitemap XML file to include images and video for Google!

The Sitemaps XML format allows for extensions to be included, and Google have made use of this extension process for some time to enable a web site owner to list videos that are included on a page, and have recently added support for adding image data as well.

Because people use search engines to find video and images, Google is clearly keen to be the best index for this type of content as well, and as a site owner who may have such content, you’d probably want to give Google the best change to crawl it as well.

In this little-ish article, I’ll extend my previous use a sitemap to tell Search Engines about your web pages article to show you how you can add your image and video meta data. If you haven’t read the previous article, you should make that your first point of call, as this article will assume the reader is already familiar with the XML sitemaps format. I will also not include every possible entry for each of the image or video sitemap entries, just the required ones to help get Google to see your content really is there.

Why add image and / or video meta data?

When Google crawls an HTML web page, it can usually find which elements are images and videos quite easily, but not always. For example, if JavaScript is used to embed a video or change an image, Google might not be able to figure this out, and so your video and images might go unindexed.

You might not consider this a problem, as people search for web sites, right? But people search for images and video all the time. YouTube was at one time (and may still be) the second biggest search engine on the web, beaten only by it’s parent company, Google, and if someone is looking for a picture of Big Ben, Google even places a few images at the very top of its standard search page, with a link to their image search.

By including meta data in your XML sitemaps for images and video, you can increase the chances of Google noticing its existence, and indexing it for you. In the case of images, by including your most important images, you’re already indicating to Google that you consider these images more important than any other on the page. The last thing you probably want to happen is to have your best and most relevant image of Big Ben being considered second place next to a photo you also included of yourself next to Big Ben, pulling a silly face.

Even if a web page is easily crawlable for images and videos, Google would first need to download the web page to find any reference to these types of media, and as mentioned before, search engines do no always download every one of your web sites pages. By including the image and video meta data directly in your XML sitemap Google can look it over before even hitting your web site, and hopefully make better use of any crawling time it gives to your web site.

Existing XML sitemap

Below is an example of an XML sitemap for the web site example.com, which is the same example I used in the previous article. I’ll be including an image and video example within the entry for the aboutme.htm web page.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<urlset xmlns=" http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-17</lastmod>
<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
<priority>0.8</priority>
</url>
[B]<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
</url>[/B]
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/contact.htm</loc>
</url>
</urlset>


Because we’re using a Google extension to the sitemap XML file, we’ll first need to update this example to include two new namespace entries, which are included as attributes within the root element <urlset>. You’ll see that already there is a namespace for the sitemaps protocol, which is defined using the xmlns attribute. We’ll need to create two new separate xmlns attributes to house the images and videos namespace web addresses. Don’t worry about understanding these; they are just required to be a part of the XML sitemap file.

<urlset
xmlns=" http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" [B]
xmlns:image=" http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1"
xmlns:video=" http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1" [/B]>


This tells Google to look out for entries for image and video meta data, while also alerting other search engines that the new meta data is separate from the current sitemaps XML format standard.

Adding an image to an entry within your XML sitemap

On a page that’s called aboutme.htm, it’s likely that an image might exist of the person the page is about. In this example, the image is named john-smith-1.jpg, and is included in the web page via the HTML code <img src="/images/john-smith-1.jpg" alt="John Smith">. While Google can pick up this photo quite easily, we’ll use this as our example to keep things simple, as it seems there is likely more than one photo or Mr. Smith on this page (based on the file name including a number), and we’d like this first image to be our most likely shown in an image search.

Our existing entry for the web page looks like this:

<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
</url>


To include a reference to an image, we will have to create the <image:image> element with an opening and closing tag, and place this within the <url> element:

<url>
<loc>http://example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
[B]<image:image>

</image:image>[/B]
</url>


Inside this new element, we need to then create the <image:loc> element, again with opening and closing tags, that contain the full web address of the image

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


And there you have your basic image sitemap completed. You can include more than one entry for each of your web pages, which is especially handy if you use JavaScript to change the main image to scroll through a photo gallery, for example:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-2.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
[B]<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-3.jpg </image:loc>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


For each image, you can include a little more meaningful information, such as an images title, caption, location, and licence type. If you’ve taken a photo at a particular place of interest, you can include this within your meta data, which can help greatly with Google’s ever expanding local search features. The following elements are available to you:
<image:title> – the title of the image
<image:caption> – any caption that describes the image.
<image:geo_location> – location information of the image.
<image:licence> – a site address that describes an image licence.

And if included, would create a sitemap entry that might look like this:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-2.jpg </image:loc>
[B]<image:title>John Smith visiting Big Ben</image:title>
<image:caption>This is me, John Smith, standing by Big Ben</image:caption>
<image:geo_location> Westminster, London </image:geo_location>[/B]
</image:image>
</url>


For more information on image sitemaps, see the Google Sitemap Images documentation.

Adding a video to an entry within your XML sitemap

On the same page, you may find John Smith has uploaded a video of himself, explaining his interests, his business, or his views on the iPad. In a similar way to including image meta data, you can include video meta data within an entry of your sitemap, using the element <video:video>, with an opening and closing tag containing the information.

If we continue with the above example code, we can include the video meta data for John Smiths video file, john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4. We’ll start by adding the <video:video> element within the <url> element entry for the aboutme.htm web page:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
[B]<video:video>

</video:video>[/B]
</url>


Within the new <video:video> element, we need to either include the full URL to the actual video clip, or the video player that appears on the page (e.g. Flash Player) that shows the video clip, or both.

To include the video clip itself, we need to use the <video:content_loc> element to hold the full URL to the video:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


If, as with most web sites, John Smith is using Flash to show his video, and has a flash player embedded in the page, we can instead include the URL of the player in-place of the video clip directly, using the <video:player_loc> element:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


The required attribute allow_embed is, um, required within the <video:player_loc> element, which can have either a "yes" or "no" value, depending on whether or not you would like to allow Google to embed your video player directly within their video results pages.

Or, as mentioned above, you could just include both:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
[B]<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


You’ll need to include the <video:thumbnail_loc> </video:thumbnail_loc>, <video:title> </video:title> and <video:description> </video:discription> elements, which I’m sure are rather self explanatory. The thumbnail will be shown in the results pages, so it’s important to use a meaningful image in this case. The title and description values should also be cared for in the same way as you would for the web page itself.

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>
[B]<video:thumbnail_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.jpg </video:thumbnail_loc>
<video:title>John Smiths views and thoughts on the new Apple iPad</video:title>
<video:description>I give my little review of the new iPad from Apple, that I won from Freeola last week.</video:description>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


Google also recommends, though doesn’t require, the duration in seconds of the video to be included as well, for example, if the video clip is 5 minutes and 30 seconds long, we’d need to include the value 330, for 330 seconds:

<url>
<loc>http://.example.com/aboutme.htm</loc>
<lastmod>2010-03-13T20:38:54+00:00</lastmod>
<image:image>
<image:loc> http://example.com/images/john-smith-1.jpg </image:loc>
</image:image>
<video:video>
<video:content_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:content_loc>
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"> http://example.com/video/player.swf?video= john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.mp4 </video:player_loc>
<video:thumbnail_loc> http://example.com/video/ john-smiths-ipad-thoughts.jpg </video:thumbnail_loc>
<video:title>John Smiths views and thoughts on the new Apple iPad</video:title>
<video:description>I give my little review of the new iPad from Apple, that I won from Freeola last week.</video:description>
[B]<video:duration> 330 </video:duration>[/B]
</video:video>
</url>


Other optional settings you can include are:
<video:expiration_date> - when a video will no longer be available.
<video:rating> - a number between 0.0 and 5.0 (e.g 3.5).
<video:view_count> - the number of times your video has been seen.
<video:publication_date> - when the video was uploaded / published.
<video:tag> - how a video might be tagged, with one element used per tag, rather than separating each tag with a comma.
<video:category> - the category the video belongs to.
<video:family_friendly> - if the video is not suitable for kids, use the value "no".

As some web pages include more than one video, you can also include more than one video referenced within each <url> entry, with each video having its own <video:video> block.

For more information on video sitemaps, see the Google Video Images documentation.

Letting Google know about your updated sitemap.

You can tell Google that your sitemap has been updated by resubmitting it via the Webmaster Tools service, or “pinging” it to them via your web browser using the address below. Be sure to replace the bold text URL with your own web site address and sitemap location:

Google:
http://google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap= URL

To sum it all up!

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating an XML sitemap file, and have images and video that are either not indexing well, or are not being kept up-to-date (index wise) in Google, then adding image and video meta data using Google’s sitemap extensions may be the extra push Google needs to get crawling. As always, Google does not guarantee that adding such information will boost your ranking, but it’s an additional feature that may just help you out, and certainly can’t make your ranking any worse.

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As always, any comments, questions, and especially corrections are welcome.

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