Video SEO: Optimize Videos for Google Search

In the Year 2020, video consumption has increased globally as most people were working and studying from their homes due to COVID19. Video content consumption will continue to grow in the year 2021 as well. So Google has shared two new resources to help you in Video SEO and improve your search results experience with more relevant videos.

The two resources are Search Central Lightning Talk and Updates in Video best practices. These resources will help you in optimizing your videos for Google Search and Discover. There are a few Video related stats that confirm why you need to create SEO-friendly video content.

Video Content Statistics

  • 6 out of 10 people would prefer online video platforms to television. (Google)
  • 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (Wyzowl)
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. (SmallBizTrends)
  • 68% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google Ads. (Biteable)
  • 86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. (Wyzowl)
  • 85% of people would like to see more videos from brands in 2021. (Wyzowl)

What is Video SEO?

When you optimize your video content to make it both user friendly and search engine friendly, it’s called Video SEO. The main purpose of Video SEO is to rank your video well in search results so that more users can watch your video.

How Google Indexes Videos?

Google indexes videos from all publicly accessible websites available across the world wide web. These websites include small websites to large video platforms. Google’s purpose is to provide the most relevant videos in its search results. Google goes through 2 steps to index videos:

1. Crawl to Identify Video

While crawling Google identifies videos on a webpage with variety of signals which include:

  • Video HTML tags: These tags are used to add video in a webpage. Below is the example code:
<video controls width="400" height="300">
  <source src="example-video-tag.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  Video tag is not supported in this browser.
  • Structured Data Markup: Adding VideoObject schema mark up in your video can help Google to get information about video content. Your video can provide a good user experience with rich snippets in search results. Here you can see the example schema markup code:
<script type="application/ld+json">
      "@context": "",
      "@type": "VideoObject",
      "name": "Name of example video",
      "description": "Description of example video.",
      "thumbnailUrl": "",
      "uploadDate": "2021-03-22T09:00:00+09:00",
      "duration": "PT1M54S",
      "contentUrl": "",
      "embedUrl": "",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": { "@type": "" },
        "userInteractionCount": 10010
  • Video Sitemaps: This sitemap helps Google to find and understand the video content on your site. Newly added videos can be crawled faster by regularly submitting video sitemaps in Google search central and Bing webmaster.
<urlset xmlns=""
       <video:title>Example Video Title</video:title>
       <video:description>Example Video Description</video:description>
       <video:uploader      info="">ABC

2. Understand Videos to Index

After identifying videos on your webpages Google needs to understand what each crawled video is about. There are some signals which help Google to understand a video.

  • Text Content on webpages like title, heading, transcription, and caption.
  • Signals from other links like referral links.
  • Video file to check its audio and visual content.

Updated Video Best Practices by Google

1. Easily Accessible Video

Your video should be available on a public webpage that is accessible to Google. Users should easily be able to see your video on the webpage. Accessing and playing your video should not be confusing.

2. Provide Structured Data

Adding structured markup helps Google to understand your video with additional information about the video. This information can be video title, description, the thumbnail of the video, video duration, expiry date, video ratings, and video watching counter.

You can even add a live video badge if your video is live streaming for more user engagement.

3. Add High-Quality Thumbnail

You should add a high-quality thumbnail to your video. Thumbnails should be accessible through an easily accessible URL. Keep in mind that your thumbnails should not be blocked in your website’s robots.txt file.

4. Submit Video Sitemap

You should create and submit video sitemaps to Google search central. This helps Google to easily find videos on your website pages. All the required and recommended metadata tags should be included in the video sitemap.

Required Meta tags
<video:content_loc> or <video:player_loc>

Recommended Meta tags

5. Accessible Video Content Files

Remember to make your video content files accessible to Google. This helps Google to easily access your video’s audio and visual content. Below are some benefits of accessible video content files:

  • This can help your videos to be more engaging as Google can show a preview of your video in its search results.
  • Your video can rank for relevant queries as Google can understand your video more by understanding the audio and visual content of your video.
  • Google can automatically identify key moments in your video which makes your video navigation more user-friendly like chapters.


The chances of your videos being ranked in top search results will be more if you follow these best practices. But the quality of your content also matters to rank your website in top search results. So you should focus on creating high-quality videos to rank well in Google search results.

We will keep updating you if there will be any further Video related updates from Google. Till then all the very best for your videos to be ranked in search engine results.

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