Reviewing My Website With Google's Webmaster Guidelines Part 5 - Video

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49th day of the epic 100 posts in 100 days challenge

In part 4 I looked at what Google's Webmaster guidelines said about images and how my website stood up against those guidelines.

Today I'll look at what they say about video, though at present I have no video on the site, that was..... until today! (see below) (don't get too excited though, it's just me saying that this is a video that goes with this post!)

The guidlines give you information about how to make the videos on your website appear in the search results. Now what do you think of when you think of video's coming up in search results? For me I just think of YouTube and Vimeo, which is where I go when I want to look for videos.

But videos also come up in the regular search results. And people like to watch videos, it's an easy option. And the guidelines make suggestions on how to increase your chances of this happening for your videos.

The first suggestion they make is to add markup to your site.

What's markup? Markup, in this scenario, is small pieces of code in the page that tells the search engines what the content is. It defines the content using a given rule set.

They mention three rule sets: schema.org, Facebook Share and RDFa (Yahoo! SearchMonkey)

It seems that their favourite of the three is schema.org, and I am going to dedicate a whole blog post to that later. For this post I will look at the other two.

Facebook Share

When a page on your website is Facebook shared or liked a snippet of it will appear on the timeline of the person who took the action. The open graph protocol gives you the opportunity to have some control over the image and description that appear in that snippet. (This applies to any sort of content not just video)

The markup for the video below will look like this:

<meta content="Reviewing My Website With Google's Webmaster Guidelines Part 5 - Video" property="og:title">
<meta content="article" property="og:type">
<meta content="Onsitenow Website Design" property="og:site_name">
<meta content="http://onsitenow.co.uk/reviewing-my-website... /" property="og:url">
<meta content="assets/images/journal/100blogs/blog-post-challenge49.png" property="og:image">
<meta content="Day 49: In part 4 I looked at what Google's ...." property="og:description">
<meta content="//www.youtube.com/embed/Sqj7QgxdukU" property="og:video">
<link href="//www.youtube.com/embed/Sqj7QgxdukU" rel="video_src">

You will see that each tag (called a meta tag) entry contains a different piece of information about the page. It represents that information in terms that the open graph protocol understands: og:title, og:type etc.

All this information is hidden in the HTML <head> tag of your page. (Hit F12 to see the underlying code of your website if you use IE, Firefox or Chrome and select the head section in the HTML, OR try right clicking and choosing view source)

So how do you make sure all this information appear where it should?

That all depends on what system you are using to create your blog posts.

For this blog I have it set up so that for each blog post I create the meta tags are automatically populated with the appropriate data. The og:title is the title I created for the post, og:site_name is the name of my website the og:url is the web address of the particular page.

These, though, are distinct items associated with the mechanics of every blog post, every blog post has a title, which you put into the title field. But what about the less distinct items like the images and videos that you use in your post, there could be several of each, how do you choose one?

I do this by having extra fields for each post such as Open Graph Protocol Image and Open Graph Protocol Video (which I have just added!) that I can then use to choose which images and videos I have appear in the meta tags.

Your web developer should be able to set this up for you. I hope this post helps you know what you need to ask for from your web developer, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

PS. RDFa (Yahoo! SearchMonkey) - Yahoo, Search Monkey? Who cares? Not me, compared to Google hardly anyone uses Yahoo and Search Monkey so I don't think it's worth the effort.

A blogger's day.

What did this blogger do today?

6 hours 15 minutes Client website: .htaccess redirects, caching policies, sitemap.xml generation, research for client requirements
1 hour 50 minutes This website: Updating blog, checking search engine ranking
32 minutes Reading small business related articles
6 minutes Email and social media

Total: 8 hours 44 minutes

Plenty of progress made to day, but my to-do list is also getting longer.

Exercise: Short run followed by 45 minutes of press-ups, dips, alt arm curls and sit-ups.

Tomorrow: Final touches to a new client's website think about projects to boost my search engine ranking's for "Leeds" related terms.

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Mike Nuttall

Author: Mike Nuttall

Mike has been web designing, programming and building web applications in Leeds for many years. He founded Onsitenow in 2009 and has been helping clients turn business ideas into on-line reality ever since. Mike can be followed on Twitter and has a profile on Google+.

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