Question: I am hosting my own videos on my site using an embedded Flash player. Sitemap Creator doesn’t include them in my sitemap. What’s wrong?

Answer: The most common reason that Sitemap Creator skips embedded videos is because it cannot detect a thumbnail image URL for the video’s first frame. Google’s Video Sitemap protocol requires that each video in your sitemap includes:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Play Page URL
  • Thumbnail URL
  • Raw Video URL and/or Player URL

If any of this information is not available, Sitemap Creator will omit that specific video from the sitemap. All this information is usually contained on the page hosting the video, except for the Thumbnail URL. The thumbnail is extremely important as an SEO best practice as it is displayed in Google result pages.

To ensure that Sitemap Creator finds your video’s thumbnail image, make sure that your HTML video¬†<object> has a parameter named one of the following:

  • img
  • image
  • thumb

(If your embed HTML code uses a “flashvars” parameter, you can add the thumbnail URL there too.)