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Cooperate with Search Engines to Improve Your Website's Traffic

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Semantic markup help search engines deliver more sophisticated results. Without the incorporation of RDFa rich snippets, Google and other providers are left to their own devices when judging the merits of the content on your website.

Conversely, webmasters can encode this type of structured data to create a more cooperative relationship with web crawlers. At this point, various search engines support a wide range of semantic markups that demonstrate different types of information.

Businesses can plant location information, user reviews, and other associations by incorporating RDFa rich snippets, microdata, and microformats into their web designs.

If you are in the market for cutting-edge internet marketing techniques, it would be wise to enlist the help of a search engine optimization specialist that understands the importance of RDFa rich snippets.

The most attractive search engine listings are granted to those companies that provide semantic information on their websites.

Your Business Can Capitalize on the Future of the Semantic Web

The semantic web represents the true cutting edge of intelligent web browsing. Essentially, this philosophy has lead many programmers to invent new techniques that help web crawlers understand the intent of specific pieces of on-page content.

RDFa rich snippets are an example of this type of technology in action. At the present time, business owners are increasing their traffic by placing RDFa rich snippets structured data on their websites.

You may have already noticed some examples of this. Some companies use this technology to place genuine user ratings in the annotations beneath their search listings.

By comparison, a drab presentation plagues those sites that do not include structured data to inform web crawlers of the importance of standout content.

Video RDFa Rich Snippets for Google, Yahoo, Bing & Facebook

Most people unknowingly encounter rich snippets while searching for information online. Some search engine listings contain additional annotations that provide a glimpse into the purpose of the video in question.

In order to improve the quality of search results, search engines and social media platforms began to incorporate RDFa rich snippets into proprietary algorithms. As a result, some search engine optimization firms now offer support for this new type of semantic markup.

For instance Google recognizes two video markup formats: Facebook Share and Yahoo! SearchMonkey RDFa. If you use one or both of these formats to mark up your video directly in your HTML document, it will help Google better understand and present your video content.

Google Tips for Creating Video RDFa Rich Snippets

Google highly recommends adding the duration of the video in seconds, expiration date, relevant regional restrictions (if relevant). An international region where the video may be played. The default is * (play in all regions).

If you are restricting to certain regions you can add multiple regions like for example:

<span property="media:region" content="us" />
<span property="media:region" content="ca" />

Also Google recommends to add a thumbnail image size, because they show the thumbnail-sized summary images next to each video result. They accept thumbs of any size and image format, but they recommend creating thumbnails that are at least 120x90 pixels.

Then they will identify representative thumbnail images for your video pages based on the information found on your site, in your HTML or XML Sitemap, or in markup such as Facebook Share and RDFa.

Required Meta Tags and Link Relationships for Facebook

You must add in the head of your HTML document the following meta tags and link relationships if you want your videos to be shared on Facebook and for improved visibility:

<meta name="title" content="The title of a video. Up to 60 characters." />
<meta name="description" content="A short (up to 150 characters) description of the video." />
<link rel="image_src" href="http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/tXGwVKq-PLE/default.jpg" />
<link rel="video_src" href="http://www.youtube.com/v/tXGwVKq-PLE" />
<meta name="video_height" content="640" />
<meta name="video_width" content="385" />
<meta name="video_type" content="application/x-shockwave-flash" />

Required HTML Name Spaces

Another thing you need to do is to add the following HTML namespaces into your HTML Tag for the pages your videos are published:

...
xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/"
xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/"
xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
...

Thumbnail Images License

The short path for adding a licence to your thumbnail image would look like this: <img src="/image.jpg" alt="Title of my video" width="120" height="90" rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" />, but with this mark-up Google will have no way to tell whether the license applies to the page or the image.

Why? The problem will be if there are a number of images on the same page. That problem can be solved by adding a container for your mark-up, and placing an @about value into that container, for example like this:

<div about="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" rev="license">
<img src="/video-image-thumbnail.jpg" alt="Title of my video" width="120" height="90" />
<img src="/video-image-thumbnail2.jpg" alt="Title of my video 2" width="120" height="90" />
<img src="/video-image-thumbnail3.jpg" alt="Title of my video 3" width="120" height="90" />
</div>

The above will give Google exactly the same information as if you HAD implemented the following code:

<img src="/video-image-thumbnail.jpg" alt="Title of my video" width="120" height="90" />
<img src="/video-image-thumbnail2.jpg" alt="Title of my video 2" width="120" height="90" />
<img src="/video-image-thumbnail3.jpg" alt="Title of my video 3" width="120" height="90" />

Alternatively you can add the license for multiple images in the head of you document which will give Google exactly the same information:

...
<head>
<link about="/video-image-thumbnail.jpg" rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" />
<link about="/video-image-thumbnail2.jpg" rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/" />
<link about="/video-image-thumbnail3.jpg" rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/" />
</head>
...

Video RDFa Rich Snippets Code

Here is a sample of the structured data code for a Google video hosted on YouTube:

<p><object width="640" height="385" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
data="http://www.youtube.com/v/tXGwVKq-PLE" rel="media:video"
resource="http://www.youtube.com/v/tXGwVKq-PLE"
xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/searchmonkey/media/"
xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/terms/">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tXGwVKq-PLE" />
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" />
<a rel="media:thumbnail" href="http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/tXGwVKq-PLE/default.jpg" />
<a rel="dc:license" href="http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS" />
<span property="dc:description" content="A short (up to 150 characters) description of the video." />
<span property="media:title" content="The title of a video. Maximum 60 characters." />
<span property="media:width" content="640" />
<span property="media:height" content="385" />
<span property="media:duration" content="60" />
<span property="media:type" content="application/x-shockwave-flash" />
<span property="media:expirationDate" content="2032-08-19" />
<span property="media:region" content="*" />
</object></p>

Embedding these techniques will boost your visibility in the search engines and social media arena, which appears to be rapidly becoming the central driving force of web search. Ensure that you follow this tutorial step by step so as to cooperate with search engines to improve your website's traffic.

About this SEO tutorial

This tutorial was written by , Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant at SEO Workers and was published September 30, 2010.

Copyright reserved. Not to be reproduced.

Comments & Ratings

Increased Traffic Through Video RDFa Rich Snippets David Sottimano 5 stars 2011-06-30 08:53:18 I've been searching for a genuine resource on this for a while. Thanks for cutting the crap and sharing this information.

Just curious if you've noticed that Youtube is using Facebook markup on each video page. I understand the reasons, and thanks to your post I understand that Google had to adopt the FB markup for it's own good.

One question. Will rdfa data override video sitemaps?

Increased Traffic Through Video RDFa Rich Snippets Dave Lauretti 5 stars 2010-09-30 08:43:47 It was interesting, just two days ago I was on Google's help page with regard to video and RDFa/Rich Snippets and I did click the chedkbox that asked "was this information helpful", but when asked if the article complete with enough details, I checked No.

Thanks for putting so much work into this John and for creating a great resource on the topic. I'll be here quite frequently over the next few years...


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