Introduction to Video Markup

In order to deliver search results, Google crawls the web and collects information about each piece of content. Often the best results are online videos and Google wants to help users find the most useful videos. Every day, millions of people find videos on Google search and we want them to be able to find your relevant video content.

Video results

Video results appear both in Everything search and in Video search. Usually, they will appear as a normal result with some video-specific information, such as a thumbnail and duration. When a user clicks on the video result they will be taken to your page, where they can watch your video.

Google Video Result

Indexing videos

The key to getting your videos to show up in search is to help Google properly index them. Often the information on the page that contains a video is not enough to describe the video to us. Specifically, we require three pieces of information for each video:

  • A title
  • A description
  • A thumbnail

In order to provide this information to Google, you will need to use either on-page markup or a video Sitemap. Both of these options are completely invisible to users and will not affect how your page looks or behaves.

Once Google knows about your videos, we will indicate that your results are videos when appropriate. There is no guarantee that results will appear as videos.

On-page markup

On-page markup is hidden descriptive data that is added to the source code of your web page. Google recommends using the, a new markup format that has been collaboratively designed and is supported by Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Learn more about using or view the full vocabulary.

Google also supports Facebook Share and RDFa on-page markups. More about using Facebook Share and RDFa for video data.

Video Sitemaps

Video Sitemaps are XML documents that describe your videos. Video Sitemaps are submitted to Google and let us know about your video without waiting to automatically crawl your video page. Find out more about using a video Sitemap. Sitemaps offer advanced functionality such as indicating expiration dates, country restrictions, platform restrictions or live streams.


  • Add and verify your site in Google Search Console. This will let you see any problems that Google encounters when crawling your site. If you are using Sitemaps, you will need to submit them through Search Console.
  • Use both on-page markup and video Sitemaps. A common scenario is to use on-page markup for all of your videos and a video Sitemap to tell Google about any new, time-sensitive, or hard to find videos.
  • Make sure you have a publicly available video page where users can watch your video. Google recommends using a dedicated video play page for each video.
  • Use unique descriptive data for each video in your markup or Sitemaps.
  • Find out some common problems with video indexing.