Vimeo SEO: How To Get Embedded Vimeo Videos Into Google

Vimeo SEO: How To Get Embedded Vimeo Videos Into Google

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As I mentioned previously, Google is pushing hard to let people know that video sitemaps are the way to go when looking to get video into Google’s search results.  And I am happy to report to you that video sitemaps DO work for Vimeo videos.

Greg Funk, Product Manager at YouTube/Google stated the following in a comment posted to a previous article of ours.

“Video sitemaps are useful to Google regardless of how video gets onto your site. If you post …on any other site and then embed that player onto your site, a video sitemap will help us ‘find’ that embed. Think of it as a way to cue us where to look.” – Greg Funk Product Manager, Google

What does this mean?  Well, according to Google, they want sitemaps for any and all videos on your website, regardless of whether they are published to your site using a video sharing site, self-hosted, or using a video hosting platform.  With regard to YouTube videos, Im working on an answer for all of those who are interested in getting YouTube embeds indexed.  For now, let’s start with videos from Vimeo.

Example Vimeo Embed in Google For

On Monday, Jeremy wrote about the new Star Wars Uncut film that is almost completed and in the post, I embedded a vimeo video and separately submitted a video sitemap entry for the post.  Here is the result (not too shabby, huh?  Take a look at #1 and #2 – granted, I know this is not the most searched keyword phrase – but it illustrates the point)

Publishing Vimeo Videos – Which Embed Code is Best

Just this past week, Vimeo announced that they were rolling out a new HTML5 video embed code for their players called the “Universal Player”.  The new embed code is designed to be able to serve HTML5 video properly when the requested user-agent is a mobile device. The new Vimeo embed code utilizes an iFrame, similar to that which YouTube is testing for their HTML5 Embed.

Unfortunately, there have always been problems with iFrames when it comes to SEO.  The content in an iFrame is not considered part of the parent page and the page within an iFrame may be spidered and indexed (or it may be not) but no PR (PageRank) is passed.  Most importantly, when it comes to video SEO and video sitemaps, it is important that Google can 1) verify your sitemap and most importantly, 2) verify that the video in your sitemap is actually on the URL you indicated.  Unfortunately, this second part is difficult in that using iFrames makes it difficult to associate video content with the URL that has embedded it.  I can confirm that I have done several tests using the iFrame embed code along with a sitemap and those videos have not been indexed.

Here is what the new Universal Player embed code looks like:

<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe>

At the same time, there are also benefits to using this embed code.  Namely, it helps the platform (Vimeo, YouTube, etc…) better control the delivery and player to the end user, regardless of the device used, and it allows for an easy way to share HTML5 video content.  Most importantly, using iFrames can help with page load times, which we now know are an important new ranking factor in the search engines.  By using iFrames, content on your site will not wait to load the video – instead, the iFramed video will be loaded in parallel.

Unfortunately though, at least for now, if you want to get Vimeo embeds into Google search, you will need to refrain from using the iFrame embed.

Use the Old Embed Code From Vimeo

When Vimeo rolled out its new iframe based embed code, several plugins like the popular Viper Video Quicktags plugin for wordpress broke as the old method for embedding the videos using SWFObject no longer works.  So, it is important that you make sure your embed code is visibile to Google on your page.  To do this, it is advised to use Vimeo’s older embed code.

How to Get Vimeo’s Old Embed Code

When you are viewing the video that you want to embed, click on the “embed” link and then choose “use the old embed code.”

The resulting embed code should resmeble the following:
<object width="640" height="324"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="640" height="324"></embed></object>

Note:  You can still use the iframe code above, as long as you still include the old embed code above so that Google can actually see the player on your page.  This can be done by putting the embed code within the iFrame itself or by using <noframes>.  Here is an example of how that code might look:

<iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0">
<object width="425" height="239"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="" /><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="425" height="239"></embed></object>

Once you have added the embedded Vimeo video to your site, the next step is to create a video sitemap, submit that to Google, and wait to see your video get indexed.

How to Create a Video Sitemap for Vimeo Embedded Videos

I am not going to go into a lot of detail on how to create and sumbit your video sitemaps.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process, you can read about it here.

Here is the format of the video sitemap entry that you will need for Vimeo videos along with the required sitemap fields (though you can certainly add more information using optional fields like “<video:tag>” and “<video:category>” etc…:

<urlset xmlns=""
<video:player_loc allow_embed="yes"></video:player_loc>

Good luck and be sure to let us know how this works for you.  As evidenced in the screenshot above, it works.  Stay tuned for my upcoming post within the coming weeks – How to get Blip Videos into Google search – with or without a sitemaps.


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