I’m not huge on video here at Sugarrae, but when Joost deValk let me know he had a new video SEO plugin for WordPress, I knew it would come in handy for some PushFire clients – so I bought the plugin this week and decided to test it out. I also know that videos are an effective avenue of promotion for some affiliates, so I decided to test out the plugin and review the plugin here on Sugarrae.
First, to be clear, this plugin has nothing to do with optimizing your videos to show up higher on YouTube or other video sharing sites – rather it’s aimed to help get you more traffic through the regular search engines by helping the videos you embed on your own website appear alongside the search results when the ranking page on your site has a video embedded on it.
Second, the Video SEO plugin requires you to ALSO use the (free) WordPress SEO plugin (but frankly, you should be using that anyway if you have a WordPress based site and want to rank in the search engines).
Installing the plugin was about as simple as it gets. I uploaded it, activated it and then went to the WordPress SEO menu and clicked “Video SEO” and put in my license key (by the way, Joost told me that when you buy the plugin, you have the ability to use it on an unlimited number of sites) and clicked to save it.
Then a secondary menu popped up asking me “Post Types to include in XML Video Sitemap” with several check boxes underneath…
I was a little unsure what to do with these options, so I went to re-open the Installation & Usage Instructions that I’d previously opened and glanced at when I bought the plugin seven days earlier. However, when I clicked the link in the email, I got a screen that said “You do not have permission to download this file.” [headdesk] Luckily, because I already downloaded it when I first bought the plugin, I was able to find it in my downloads folder.
I was on my own for Pages, Posts and Media because the installation guide didn’t touch on these. So I simply assumed that the question was “do I want videos to appear next to any or all of these types in the SERPs?” So I checked off Posts and Pages and clicked Save Settings. I wasn’t sure what Media meant to be completely honest. All I see in the Media library on the sites I work with are pictures. And I’m not sure why I’d want a video to show up next to pictures. I’m obviously missing something about how some other people use the Media Library. I’d like to see the Installation guide assume I’m more inept. :)
The installation guide then said…
Be sure to click the “Re-Index Videos” button. You don’t have to do this after publishing a new post, but you have to do it now to make sure all your older videos are recognized by the Video SEO plugin.
So I did as I was told and then waited for it to do its thing. It said it was reindexing for a minute or two and then showed me all the posts it found that contained video (ex. The Post Title Here – youtube from iframe or oEmbed). That’s it. New posts with videos automatically get added to the Video XML sitemap.
After installing it on a client site, I remembered I do have a few videos embedded here at Sugarrae, so I decided to add the plugin here as well. Then I ran into a few issues.
I ticked off Posts and Pages and clicked Re-Index. When the plugin said the list was complete, I instantly noticed that my About page – which has a video embedded – wasn’t in the list of videos it found. I then noticed my recent post on how you can make money blogging was also missing (which has an awesome video featuring Derek Halpern embedded within it). Those were two I was able to spot off the bat, but I have no idea if it missed any others.
I also have a video on my affiliate marketing category archive – which ranks very well for the term “affiliate marketing” – but I also didn’t see an option to have the category archives included in the video sitemap (i.e. there was no category checkbox).
So, since I know Joost, who owns Yoast (which is how “Joost” is pronounced #funfact), I sent him an email describing the above issues. Not surprisingly, he updated the plugin within a day to not only include include the ability to tick off categories (as well as tags), but that also fixed the issues I had with the above videos being recognized.
The plugin works perfectly now.
Adding the video markup did leave me with one question though. On several of my posts, I use review markup, authorship markup and now, video markup. I know that combining authorship markup and review markup results in the review markup showing AND the authorship markup showing, but smaller, underneath the result (see below example).
But how will Google handle posts with video markups now included and how do they choose which of the applicable markups to display? I asked Joost this question and he responded:
“When you combine authorship and video markup, Google will show a small author highlight below the snippet. With ratings there is, as of yet, no real good way to be certain what Google shows, but combinations are rare.”
See below example:
I’ll update the post once Google re-indexes the reviews I have with all three markup options to show a screenshot of what they decided to display. :)
One other thing to note… if you’re concerned about listing video markup next to posts on your site that are from videos that were not done by you… clicking on the video in the SERPs will not take the user to the video on whatever video sharing site it comes from rather than your actual post. The video picture shown next to the result is simply that – a picture. If you click on the “video” shown in the SERPs, it takes the user to the actual post on YOUR site where the video is embedded.
The Video SEO plugin is $89 – and if you’re using a lot of video on your site(s) and want those videos to show alongside your posts in the SERPs, it’s well worth the price to be able to create a video XML sitemap with a few checkbox clicks and the push of a button.