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Whether you are uploading videos related to education, sports, or any other field, it is important that Google finds your videos and displays them to users. In this article, we will give you some basic details on how Google indexes videos and the best practices for optimizing your videos.

How Google identifies a video

  • Google checks for various signals to identify videos. These signals are video HTML tags, structured data markup, video sitemaps, and many others.
  • After identifying a video, Google tries to understand its content so that relevant videos are displayed to users.
  • To understand the content of a video, Google looks for available text on the video page. Various texts like the page title, heading, captions, referral links (if mentioned), etc. are considered. Google also fetches structured data markup to analyze the audio & video content.

Locations where your videos can appear if optimized correctly

  • Google’s main search result page
  • Google’s Video search tab
  • Google’s Image search tab
  • Google Discover suggestions

Best practices to follow

  • Make your videos available publicly. Do not block your page by using robots.txt.
  • Use appropriate HTML tags to organize your content properly & make it easy for Google to understand.
  • Use a specific & unique title or description for each video.
  • Each video must have a single, unique, and stable URL.
  • Use Video Object markup to include details of your videos like duration, thumbnail, descriptions, etc.
  • Videos must include a high-quality thumbnail. Either you provide one or let Google generate a thumbnail for you. For more information about supported image formats, click here.
  • For live streaming videos, display the ‘LIVE’ badge on your video. Use Broadcast Event structured data and the Indexing API to make the badge visible.
  • Google suggests using video sitemaps. To test your sitemap, use Search Console Sitemaps tool or Search Console API.
  • Videos should start in minimum steps. Complex user actions make it difficult for Google to find your videos.
  • Even if the videos that are embedded on your page use platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook, you must provide structured data & make sure that these hosts permit Google to access your video file.
  • You can also restrict your video based on the users’ location. If you use Video Object structured data, then follow these steps.

Benefits of allowing Google to fetch your files

  • Google selects a preview of your video to make it more engaging. To set the duration of the video preview, use the max-video-preview robots meta tag.
  • Google can also automatically detect key moments (video segments) in your videos. There are two ways to inform Google manually about the key moments.