Once your marketing videos are ready for the world, it’s time to optimize them for search engines. At Wistia, we recommend optimizing your videos for both Google and Bing.
Google is the largest search engine (with YouTube trailing behind as the second largest), but what about Bing? Right now, Microsoft’s search engine has just under 9% of the worldwide search engine market share.
This doesn’t mean you should sleep on Bing as an opportunity to drive more visitors to your site. Fewer sites are optimized for video on Bing, so there’s less competition. This may mean more eyeballs on your videos!
Bing offers a unique method of video discovery that’s distinct from Google’s approach to video. Read on to find out all the different ways Google and Bing treat video content — and to get tips on optimizing your videos for both search engines.
On Google and Bing, there are two ways to discover videos: via a video-specific search and via universal web results. Each search presents and ranks videos differently.
When you look something up on Google and then click the “Videos” tab, you’ll get video-specific search results. Those results resemble Google’s regular web search results. You’ll see a list of blue links that are augmented by thumbnails and descriptions.
There’s a Bing video search page called Bing Videos. It’s where you can perform a video-specific search. You’ll notice that Bing Videos presents its search results in a grid without such a clear hierarchy.
What happens when you click on a video in Google video search? You’ll be taken away from Google to a site like YouTube.com, TikTok, or a page on a third-party website where a video is embedded, as is typically the case when using Wistia to host your videos.
When you click on a video link in Bing Videos, the video in question will expand and you’ll have the option to watch it from within the page. It’s likely that Bing designed it this way to keep its visitors on its page instead of sending them to other sites.
If you look above the video player, you’ll find a list of related keywords that will help you discover other videos. If you’d rather see a selection of similar videos, all you need to do is look below the video player.
We think that Bing provides a pretty good user experience, mainly because it doesn’t bombard you with ads like YouTube does. In fact, Bing Videos provides an experience that’s far more similar to the one you’d get on Google Images than one you’d get on Google video search.
If you perform a standard Google search, you may see video results well integrated into the universal web results. If Google deems videos to be especially appropriate for your query, you can find them presented in a variety of different search engine results page (SERP) features and rich results. That may include “key moments” links that will take you to a specific timestamp within a video.
The videos in Google universal search results often don’t correlate precisely with its video-specific search results.
Google’s universal search results commonly include more YouTube videos, whereas its video-specific search results usually show videos from a much wider selection of sources. This may be because each type of search comes with its own set of algorithms, so they handle the rankings quite differently.
Like Google, Bing includes videos within its universal search results. However, it only offers a much more limited selection of options, like a horizontal scroller. When you click on a link, you’re kept on Bing Videos (instead of being taken to the website hosting the video). The video results within Bing’s universal search results are basically identical to the results you’d find in Bing Videos.
So how do you get your videos to appear on both search engines? You need to provide structured data tags about each video to both Google and Bing in a readable format they can interpret and parse. These are:
|< loc >||The URL of the page where the video is embedded|
|< video:title >||A title for the video, distinct from the title of the page it’s embedded on|
|< video:description >||A description of the video, distinct from the page meta description|
|< video:thumbnail_loc >||A link to an image file of the video thumbnail, ideally at 1920x1080 resolution|
|< video:content_loc > or < video:player_loc >||The URL of the video file (e.g. .mp4 or embedded player)|
|< video:duration >||The length of the video|
|< video:publication_date >||The date of publication, in W3C format|
A video sitemap is a simple XML file that lists all of the URLs where videos are present and then stipulates the aforementioned bits of data for each video. It’s quite similar to a standard XML sitemap (which is usually generated by a content management system) that acts as an open directory for all the content across a website.
In fact, you can either include the video data in a standard XML sitemap or create and manage a separate video sitemap. Either method works for both Google and Bing.
The simplest way to provide a video sitemap is via a link in your robots.txt file (which also controls directives for crawlers across your website). Another way is to submit the sitemap to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
If you want a simple and clean way to deliver video metadata, provide it through schema.org markup. This method allows you to just augment an existing embedded video with further information instead of creating an entirely new web asset with relevant data. There are two ways to do this:
- Via microdata within the HTML body of any page on your site
- Via JSON-LD in the head of the page
Keep in mind that only Google uses this method. It currently doesn’t work for Bing.
If a video sitemap is a challenge for whatever reason, you can offer video data via an mRSS feed. This will allow your content to be indexed within Bing Videos. There are two different types of feeds you can provide:
- A full feed of the video data to give Bing the information it needs to index all of your video content
- An incremental feed to indicate when aspects of the video data (such as the location or thumbnail) have changed or been updated
While the starting point for both Google and Bing indexation is pulling together structured data, Google is far more proactive in discovering this than Bing.
Google crawls the web, trying to find and understand the videos you’ve put on your website, through the aforementioned schema.org mark-up.
The best starting point to deliver this is to use the Wistia platform. We automate the creation of structured data and ensure that all your videos are indexable and readable by Google crawlers. Sign up now for free if you haven’t already! Once you’ve uploaded your videos to Wistia and embedded them on your website, they’re optimized for Google search.
Bing doesn’t have a specific crawler, so it needs you to provide it with information in the form of a video sitemap or mRSS feed. Like with Google, Wistia is a great starting point if you want to optimize your videos for Bing, but you’ll need to put in just a bit of extra effort. Here’s what you need to do once your videos are uploaded to your Wistia account:
Once you’ve optimized your videos for both Google and Bing, it can take a few days before they’ll show up in search results. But how can you go further with video SEO? Read on to find out.