Video Sitemaps for SEO

SproutVideo makes it very easy to take advantage of video for SEO purposes. We automatically generate video sitemaps for you that make it incredibly easy for search engines to find your videos and display them in search results.

There are three steps you need to take to get your video sitemap setup. First, obtain your video sitemap URL from within your SproutVideo account. Second, add the video sitemap URL to your robots.txt file. Finally, register your robots.txt file with SproutVideo. We will verify your robots.txt file automatically, and submit your video sitemap to all major search engines. We’ll also notify them whenever you’ve added new videos.

NOTE: Search engine indexing must be enabled for your content landing pages hosted by SproutVideo to have the greatest reach. You can read more about our search indexing options here.

Getting started


The first thing you’ll need to do is set up the robots.txt file on your website. By making a simple one line modification to this file, you’ll authorize SproutVideo to host and submit your video sitemap to search engines on your behalf. Here is how to do it:

First, go to your sitemap settings page. There you will find your sitemap URL. It should look something like this: Sitemap:

Sitemap settings in your SproutVideo video hosting account

Next, open up your robots.txt to edit it.

Text Editor

If you are just using a text editor, add your sitemap to the bottom of your file like this: Sitemap: If you do not already have a robots.txt file, make sure to create it at the root of your website.


If you’re using Wordpress, you will need to use a plugin like Wordpress Robots.txt or Yoast SEO, both of which allow you to edit your robots.txt file. There are plenty of other plugins for Wordpress with this functionality - feel free to use your favorite.

Registering your robots.txt file with SproutVideo

Once you have updated your robots.txt file, you will need to register it with SproutVideo. This way we can validate that you have set it up correctly and also let the search engines know when your sitemap has been updated. To register your robots.txt file with SproutVideo, do the following:

  1. Go to your sitemap settings page.
  2. Put the location of your robots.txt file in the box labeled ‘robots.txt location’
  3. Click the ‘Verify robots.txt’ button.

If we are able to verify that you have successfully set up your robots.txt file, we will submit your sitemap to all of the major search engines and notify them whenever you’ve added new videos.

Adding videos to the sitemap

We automatically generate a video sitemap for your SproutVideo-hosted website and landing pages, so you do not need to manually add any videos to your sitemap. All details used in the sitemap will come directly from your video settings (title, description, tags, etc.).

However, if any of your videos are embedded outside of SproutVideo, simply add the “Embedded URL” (or Canonical URL) in the “Additional Video Settings” section of your video settings page. Adding the Embedded URL will automatically add the video to your video sitemap with the details from your video settings. Any changes made to your video settings will also automatically update in the sitemap.

Any videos with an embedded url set on SproutVideo will automatically be added to the video sitemap

Please note that removing the Embedded URL set for any video will also remove the video from your sitemap.

Recommendations to optimize your video sitemap for search engines:

Video Titles

It’s usually best to have the title of your videos match the title of the pages where they are embedded. So, if the page where you have embedded a video has a meta tag title (<title>) of “How to use the SproutVideo Uploader”, for instance, you should set the title of your video to be the same. This will ensure that a video snippet will be displayed along with your page in search engine results.

Video Descriptions

Try to be as descriptive as possible, but avoid abusing keywords as search engines tend to frown upon keyword stuffing. Your description should also match the description displayed on the web page where it is embedded, but does not need to be a word-for-word match.

Video Tags

It is best to not have too many tags, three to four tags works best. However, you may have up to 32 tags per video. Keep the tags short, simple, and descriptive. Your tags should show the video’s content topic and category.

Embedded URL

The full URL of the page where your video is embedded. e.g. This setting is found in the “Additional Video Settings” section of your video settings page, and is only needed if you’ve embedded your video outside of the SproutVideo-hosted landing page. Adding the embedded URL tells search engines what your preferred location is for your video, also known as the canonical URL, so they will know to prioritize your specified URL when your video appears in search results.

How long will it take for my videos to start showing up in searches?

The short answer is, “It depends.” The amount of time before Google and other search engines start indexing and displaying your videos in search results is highly dependent on many different factors such as PageRank, the number of links to the page you want to be indexed, the speed of your website, and many others.

Some people have seen their videos start showing up in results in as few as 3 days and others have had to wait several weeks. The best advice we can give you is to just be patient, and try to improve your on-page and offsite SEO to increase your chances of getting indexed more quickly.

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