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A Video Sitemap is an extension of the general Google sitemap protocol. As with the standard XML sitemap, a video sitemap lists all the video content you have on your site which enables Google to find and index them easily (hopefully).

Video sitemaps contain more data than the standard sitemaps, and they allow for elements such as keywords, length of video, video implementation links (as in with .flv video files being played through a Flash player), thumbnail image pathways, and the page where the video is embedded.

With regards to the thumbnail image, Susan Moskwa, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google who works out of their Kirkland WA office:
If you submit a Video Sitemap for your site you can include a preferred thumbnail for each video. It's not guaranteed that we'll use the thumbnail, but this is the best way of telling Google what your preference is.
A good example of where Google has chosen to display a thumbnail for a streaming video on the justweb website can be seen in our Videos SEO page. It actually took quite a few weeks for Google to start displaying the thumbnail image, but only a couple of weeks to display the video link itself. The reasons for not displaying the thumbnail, or for delaying the display of the thumbnail, are not clear, but perhaps it may be simply a matter of time.

The video sitemap for this page is displayed below the video and may be copied or downloaded from the link and edited to suit your purposes.

This page contains an FLV video being played through a Flash player.

The artist is Julie Kember from Sydney, Australia. While you're here, check it out - it's a fantastic song. Her debut album is also reviewed on the Sugar and Stone page.

Julie Kember

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Rob - JustWeb

25.01.2009


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