Google recommends website owners to follow five best practices when optimizing video content for search results.

This information is shared in the latest Lightning Talks video on the Google Search Central channel.

Google’s video SEO presentation explains how website owners can send signals to communicate what a video is about.

If Google can understand what a video is about, it will know how the video will appear in Search and Discover.

Here is a recap of Google’s advice.

Video SEO signals Google is looking for

When Google crawls a page and finds that it contains a video, it looks for signals to understand what the video is about. These signals enable the video to have popped up for relevant searches.

Google uses these signals to understand a video:

  • On-page text: Like page titles, headings, and captions near the video.
  • Reference links: Signals sent from other websites that link to the video.
  • Structured data: Markup that submits video metadata to Google.
  • Video files: Google can use the file itself to understand the audio and video content.

Video SEO is all about adding the right elements to a page so that the above signals are clearly conveyed to Google.

Video SEO Best Practices Recommended by Google

Google recommends these five best practices for search crawlers to find and understand.

1. Make the video publicly available

The first step in discovering videos from Google is to make sure they are publicly available on the web. That means the video should have a related webpage with a URL that Google can access.


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A video must also be clearly visible on a page without the need to load complex user actions.

2. Use structured data

To help Google find video and understand what it’s about, website owners can use’s VideoObject markup to provide structured data.

The markup can include information like the video tile, description, duration, thumbnail, URLs of the video content file, and more.

Additional structured data can be used to activate special search functions, e.g. B. the video badge “LIVE” for live streams.

3. Provide high quality thumbnails

Provide high quality thumbnails for each video at URLs that Google can access.

If Google can’t access a thumbnail, the page may not be able to be viewed in video features. For example, if the thumnail url is blocked with robots.txt, Google will not be able to access it.


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4. Submit a video sitemap

Video sitemaps are another way to help Google find video content associated with pages on your website.

A video sitemap can also include metadata tags to help Google better understand what the videos are about.

5. Accessible video files

Make sure Google can fetch your video content files so your pages are eligible for search features like video previews and key moments.

Video previews are a feature in search results where Google pulls a few seconds from a video to use as a clip. This can be more engaging than a static thumbnail.

You can use the Max Video Preview Robots meta tag to control the length of these previews.

If Google can analyze the content of videos using the file itself, it can display it for more relevant queries.


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For more information on video SEO best practices, check out Google’s full presentation: