So quite a few months ago, after getting pretty tired of not being able to find a decent sitemap validtor, I decided to code my own. Sitemap Inspector checks your sitemap for errors and generates a new one free from broken links. It also pings all major search engine once it validated your sitemap.
Archive of articles classified as' "SEO"Back home
Nowadays video counts for an impressive amount of content. Making this content available to search engines is therefore a crucial aspect in SEO, so that they can be correctly indexed and bring some more traffic to your website. If SEO often focuses on text content, there’s plenty of things which can be done to improve your video content and gain a good amount of organic traffic.
According to a study recently released by Nielsen, time spent online by users watching videos increased 45%. Also overall number of streams and streams by users increased significantly on month-to-month and year-to-year basis. If videos are considered this important by users, SEO on-site video optimization becomes a necessity, not just a secondary task to a more traditional search engine optimization.
First things first: file types currently crawled by Google
Google can crawl the following video file types: mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf, so long as the files are accessible via HTTP. Metafiles requiring a download of the source via streaming protocols are not supported. Just make sure you’re video is available in one of the mentioned formats and you should be fine.
Videos can searched through Google Video, Youtube or generic Social Media platform.
However the same optimization focus might easily be applied to all of these sources, considering that Google alone and Youtube make up for a 90% of all video search queries. A slightly different approach might be considered if we want the video to spread virally through social networks, hence some strategic planning ahead of the launch and strict
As for generic pages, the video URL must comply with the most typical URL optimization tips: avoid too many nested folders, keep your video file name clear and with relevant keywords separated by an hyphen.
Content surrounding the embedded video is considered relevant as well, so make sure you add some relevant text description to your video in the same frame or page area. It must be something related to the video, able also to spark some interest on the users and make sure your keywords are always present.
Always keep your keyword list at hand, you’ll have to make sure that the video file name contains at least some of the keywords you want to be ranked for.
Create a video sitemap
If your website features a significant amount of embedded videos, you’d better get a video sitemap. A video sitemap would definitely help Google when going through your website trying to index and categorize your content, making sure no video gets lost or not indexed.
How to manually create a video sitemap
- Create a text file and save it with an .xml extension.
- Write the following lines at the beginning of the file:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
- Write the following to the bottom of the file:
- Create an entry for each URL. The <loc> tag is required; the others are optional.
<url> <loc>http://www.yoururl.com/</loc> <lastmod>2011-01-01</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.8</priority> </url>
- Upload your Sitemap to your site. The file should be located at www.yoururl.com/sitemap.xml
Google’s webmaster central states, “Video content includes web pages which embed video, URLs to players for video, or the URLs of raw video content hosted on your site. If Google cannot discover video content at the URLs you provide, those records will be ignored by Googlebot.” As such, each video URL entry in the sitemap must contain:
- Video Title
- Short Description
- Play page URL
- Thumbnail URL
- Raw video file location and/or the player URL (SWF)
Further information on the topic available here.
Sentiment Analysis: the next big thing in SEO?
HTML5 is already here and it is changing the SEO world forever.
HTML 5 basically follows the way the web evolved in the last years and includes many useful tags and elements. It develops more towards a semantic approach to content, with specific tag which mark the kind of content is going to be displayed. It might seem as its developers where aiming to create a PHP kind of programming language but it is still an XML-based markup language.
The major development from HTML5 is a bunch of new tags with outline the semantic content of a page section. It is quite of a revolutionary change, considering now search engine will be finally able to understand the actual content of a page.
It’s easy to see how letting sites mark individual blocks of their page with meaningful information would assist in the segmentation of a page. Search engines would be able to know instantly what is what and decide how to treat it.
Here is a short list of a few new tags and the way the should be implemented on page:
<article> tag – The new <article> tag is probably the best addition from a SEO point of view. The <article> tag allows to mark separate entries in an online publication, such as a blog or a magazine. It will reduce the need to use <div> tags, hence making the code cleaner and easier to be understood both from humans and search engines. Search engines will put more importance on the text inside the <article> tag as compared to the contents on the other parts of the page.
<section> tag – The new <section> tag can be used to identify separate sections on a page, chapter, book. Each section can have its separate HTML heading. As with the <article> tag, it can be presumed that search engines will pay more attention to the contents of separate sections. For instance, if the words of a search string are found in one section, this implies higher relevance as compared to when these words are found all across the page or in separate sections.
<header> tag – The new <header> tag (which is different from the head element) is meant to give developers much more flexibility in term of heading categorization. The <header> tag is very similar to the <H1> tag but the difference is that it can contain a whole different set of header tags (h1,h2….) or whole paragraphs of text, hard-coded links (and this is really precious for SEO), and any other kind of info you feel relevant to include.
<footer> tag - Both the footer and header tag can be used several times in a pge, which means the do not have to belong necessarily to the standard header and footer of the page. For instance it can be used to define recurrent elements on a page (think of a blog post) with specific header and footer.
<nav> tag – The new <nav> tag can be used to identify a collection of links to other pages. It is quite important when it comes to define page rank distribution through links on a page. We often have to struggle a bit in order to distribute page rank through link, this should be make life a bit easier.
Beside these tags there a whole bunch of new ones which might require further explanation. For instance, <audio>, <video> or <dialogue> tags are also part of the HTML 5 standard and they will allow to further separate the content into the adequate categories. As you can see the main point of this update is making HTML closer to a human level of understanding, besides the obvious consequences with SEO.
How it works: HTML4 tags vs HTML5 semantic tags
Currently with HTML4, mark-up coders are working with document structures like this:
[links or navigation]</div>
<div id=”leftnav”>[navigation links]</div>
<div id=”footer”>[footer links]</div>
With this kind of markup, search engine will exactly know what goes in each section of the page, treating links in a different way for instance. It’s a big step forward in optimization especially from a more strict SEO point of view: we could finally know on which bases search engines might rank links depending on their position on the page. It allows also a better control on links value across the page.
There’s still a lot to be covered about the new features of HTML5 and how they affect the main SEO practices. I guess the update is to be considered a fairly good step forward, increasing both chances of correct optimization and ease of life for developers and programmers.
Besides the new features discussed in the previous post, which focus on the semantic value of content, HTML5 also implies further changes regarding links, especially the value of the rel tag.
If you are already familiair with link scuplting techniques, you should already know the rel attribute (rel=nofollow anyone? . HTML5 introduced a bunch of new values for this attribute
Using this attribute we will be abe to show the same content in different format (print ready or pdf). It definetely come handy when having to avoid duplite content issue.
Defining the right context is the first step towards making content fully available to search engines. Mostly used in blog or website whose content is produced by different authors.
This attribute helps us out when having to define content hierarchy, when using breadcrumbs for instance or when setting up different categories for product pages.
As you can see this new values comply with the more general outlook of the HTML5 standard, which is mainly focused on adding a semantic valuer to code in order to better understand content.