Structured Data for Videos: The Case Study of Dailymotion, Vimeo and Vevo
In this article we are going to show:
- Case studies (Warner Bros and Vevo), where structured data for videos are not properly used.
- Case studies of best practices (DailyMotion) where structured data for videos appear on SERPs
- Case studies of optimal practices (Vimeo) where structured data ( for Open Graph and Twitter Cards) appear successfully in the form of social rich snippets on Twitter and Facebook
Why is it important to have schema.org mark-up for videos?
A video defines a company; especially if this company is related to the entertainment industry or (music, film industry etc.) or the news industry (e.g. broadcast station or even a documentary channel etc.).
Thus, as important it is for a retailer to have an image in the search engine results (or a thumbnail in the social web), it is (or better, it should) be equally important for a company that produces videos to produce also video rich snippets, that will boost its CTR. Especially the right selection of the right thumbnail can make a significant difference is the potential increase of your traffic.
Enough with the talking and it’s better to cut into the chase.
Case studies where schema.org/VideoObjects and Open Graph Tags that are not used
Looking at various sites that produce high quality videos like Warner Bros or Vevo, I noticed that the use of open graph tags is quite limited (but there’s no use of video objects schema.org).
I haven’t expanded my research to any news stations to see if they are doing something similar like Vevo and Warner Bros where the use of schema.org for video objects and open graph tags is quite limited.
However, at least these 2 case studies pose a great opportunity for SEO professionals to fully dedicate themselves on producing video objects and open graph tags and potentially increase the CTR levels of these two companies.
Just a quick example from Warner Bros (from the trailer Tammy)
Reviewing the source code we see that in terms of open graph tags, we only have the open graph tag for image, so we are just talking about the thumbnail image. In terms of Twitter cards (the equivalent of open graph tags), we haven’t found something.
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Moreover, for schema.org/videoObject, I was not able to find something and therefore I can only assume that it’s not used.
Definitely that’s an opportunity for Warner Bros, should take seize for the creation of structured data.
Just another quick example from Vevo:
As we can see the use of open graph tags and Twitter cards is quite limited to what we see in the source code, highlighted in blue.
Regarding the use of schema.org for video objects, I was not able to find something within the source code either (similar case to Warner Bros).
Another fantastic opportunity for Vevo to work on their structured data for rich snippets in the search results and rich snippets on Twitter and Facebook
Best practice example for schema.org mark-up for videos (DailyMotion)
Dailymotion is the perfect example of a company that uses optimally the schema.org mark-up so that it appear on SERPs. So, what have they done?
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By using the schema.org markup, search engine spiders (either the Bingbot or the Googlebot) they will be able to index this video once they find in the source code the respective mark-up for video with the respective properties. It makes perfect sense, right?
As an example we are using this random video from Dailymotion.
So we have on Dailymotion or any other site a video (or many videos) for which we would like to create structured data so that they can be indexable.
Once we have uploaded the video on our site, and since we don’t have the respective properties ready, that would define our video, we start working on these properties:
- name (mandatory)
- description (mandatory)
- thumbnailURL (mandatory)
- contentURL and/or embedURL (one of these two is mandatory)
- All the other item properties are not mandatory (duration, uploadDate, height, expires, FamilyFriendly etc)
So once we fill out the respective properties with the relevant information of our video and the developer uploads everything in the source code, that’s what we are going to see in our source code:
Once Google or Bing crawl the page of this site, then they will be able to index it accordingly.
So, in the search results, we see the mandatory properties from the source code:
- name(which is also the title)
If you see the description or the name or the thumbnailURL of the source code, they appear also in the search results. Exactly what we wanted…
Bonus Tip: If we want to make a test to ensure that our rich snippets are going to appear the way we want to in the search engine results, we can use the Structured Data Testing Tool.
Best practice example open graph tag – Twitter (Vimeo)
Vimeo is a good example of a video sharing company whose videos are of high quality.
For Vimeo on Twitter, everything works fine in the source code for all Twitter Card properties (apart from the mandatory ones).
For example we don’t see the mandatory Twitter card for Title and description. The ones that we see on Twitter as title and description are pulled by default by the source code from Twitter (from the og:title and og:description) which perceives them as Twitter cards, whereas they are the actual open graph tags for Facebook.
The lack of these mandatory Twitter cards, is a unique opportunity for Vimeo to work on its structured data (Twitter Cards, the case in point) for Twitter by including in the missing cards in the source code.
Best practice example open graph tag – Facebook (Vimeo)
Here we have another video from Vimeo that appears on Facebook
On Facebook we see the:
- Image (The og:image is the thumbnail that we see in the video above)
The Type and the Title that we see in the source code below are mandatory fields (theoretically we could omit all the non-required fields).
As we saw, in these simple steps we can work for our videos within the source code and produce open graph tags (for Facebook), Twitter cards (for Twitter) in order to create rich snippets in our social media.
As for the search engine results we can use schema.org for video objects so that we increase the levels of CTR of our site with these videos.
In case you have any questions or you would like to contribute with your own case studies, do not hesitate to do so.
Until next time, happy marking-up!