Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic

by on May 5, 2012 · 123 comments


youtube traffic Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website TrafficIn this article you will learn the incredible news of Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos on your websites, and how you can take advantage of this.

Google and Youtube, partners and co-conspirators of search engine domination, continue to bring havoc on SEOs and webmasters worldwide with their recent move in their verticle video search engine technology.

This is the biggest shake up for 2012 thus far.

You thought Google’s spam team is busy penalizing webmasters with their Google Panda and the new Google Penguin doctrines?

This is nothing compared to the shake up (and opportunity) in video seo and marketing…and many of us have not noticed. And what makes matters worse, is that as soon as I am done writing this blog post, Google most likely will be changing this loophole or pandora again…. icon sad Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic

Let me get right to the crux of the matter….

Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Video

Video powered by The Traffic Player

Google now allows you to embed a youtube video on your website (using iframe or embed code) and this video will show up in the search engines with a thumbnail pointing to, not Youtube, but to your website.

What is more staggering is that you can take other people’s videos on Youtube, iframe it on your website, and the video will show up in the search engines with a thumbnail pointing to your domain.

And it gets better….

You do not even need a video sitemap for this to work! Nor do you need a markup schema as was previously suggested by Google Video.

And it gets more awesome! Even many self hosted videos are presently getting in the search engines without a video sitemap. Check out this image of one of my websites in the serps. I have highlighted the videos with “YT” that are youtube videos:

youtube embed index proof Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic
Now of course, many of you will test this and say, "my videos are not in the serps." They will be if your website has authority, relevancy, and is not brand new.

Video SEO History Lesson:

Back in 2008 when I first started online with my business, I did a massive amount of video marketing on Youtube and embedding my videos on my websites. However, the Youtube video in the search engines would never point to my website, but would point to Youtube.

In 2009 I created the Google Video Sitemap for self hosted videos. I extensively tested putting Youtube videos on the sitemap (which you can easily do), but the Youtube videos in the search engines would mostly always point to Youtube, not my domain. I say “mostly” because out of 50 Youtube videos embedded on my website, and on my video sitemap, I did have 1 Youtube video in the serps pointing to my domain. However, I felt this was a random mishap, and I could not replicate it.

Mark Robertson at ReelSEO and myself conversed by email in 2009 on what Google is doing at the time, as he was having similar results. Our conclusion was that self hosted videos is the surefire way to get your videos in the search engines pointing to your domain using a Google Video Sitemap. This still holds true today. What has changed is Google’s recent inclusion of embedded Youtube videos pointing to your own domain, without the need of a video sitemap. Mark Robertson gives evidence of this at ReelSEO as well. When Mark first wrote the article, Google was still making changes and so I sat and waited for the dust to settle.


Watch out for scam profiteers! I laughed when I saw Alex Goad and Bryan McConnahea launch a Warrior Special Offer at the Warrior Forum selling a video sitemap wordpress plugin and stating that their video sitemap puts Youtube videos in the search engines. Let me repeat. You do not need a video sitemap for Google to index your embedded Youtube videos on your domains. Google does this without a video sitemap. Anyone who tries to sell you a tool that does this is a scammer.

Google has enhanced their ability to index videos without a video sitemap, both self hosted videos, and Youtube videos. For example, has anyone noticed that the Duration of the videos is automatically inserted in the serps now? See the Video Duration in the serps:

video seo duration Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic
What does all this mean for us as video marketers and webmasters? Should we now all go out and post embed videos on all of our websites, and/or replace our self hosted videos?

This is my humble opinion on what you should do for Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos….

  1. Google and Youtube are STILL making changes. The results you saw last week for your videos in the serps are not the same today. Youtube alone is going through upgrades at an outrageous speed.
  2. Be cautious! Do not go and delete all self hosted videos and set up all Youtube’s on your websites in the hopes that they will forever be indexed in Google. Google has not formally given us announcement on this. Are they testing? Are they fixing? Are they researching? Have the messed up? We do not know.
  3. Self Hosted Videos with a Video Sitemap is still the best and surefire method to ensure your videos are in the search engines.
  4. Protect your own YT videos by disabling the ability for others to use Youtube embed code function.
  5. In my mind, Google needs to link up Google+ verified websites and authors, and have their Youtube channels verified, and then allow embedded Youtube’s to be indexed. This will help for any copyright issues, or swiping/stealing in the search engines. Perhaps this is what is coming shortly. So get prepared now! icon smile Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic
  6. Currently, if two separate websites embed the same Youtube video, which one will be indexed? Google will surely sandbox one of them so their users will have good search results. The best optimized website wins out. If the YT URL video and channel is better optimized, it also will win out in the serps. Video seo is an extension of regular seo.
  7. Build up your Youtube channels. Google and Youtube videos will continue to dominate the search engines. Youtube’s search function alone is the 2nd largest search in the world for traffic.
  8. Embed Youtube videos on your websites for indexing, but be prepared for quick changes.

Why is the video on this post above not using Youtube embed but is self hosted using my Google Video Sitemap?

It is because Youtube can unilaterally delete my channel, particularly if they are targeting direct sales types of videos. Self hosted videos gives me more control, and when it comes to online marketing, you don’t want to leave anything to chance and fate, or what if’s…..

So, tell me what you think!

Is the new Youtube embed indexing friend or foe?

Make a comment, I read them all. icon smile Google Indexing of Youtube Embed Videos | Website Traffic

{ 123 comments… read them below or add one }

Otto May 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Great post as always,

What is your opininion about using a self hosted video AND a YT embedded one in a blog post. Can it be a more sure way to be able to put your site with a video thumbnail into the G SERP?
Otto recently posted…Facebook ajánlatok – hogyan kell beállítaniMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

@ Otto – It is recommended only to have one video per page/post for seo purposes. You can put self hosted on your website, and still put video into Youtube, and both can be in the serps. You can see both of mine here #1 and #4:

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Sunita Pandit May 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for your valuable insight. There are so many offers that come through Warrior Forum that it is hard to keep up with what is needed and what is hyped up money makers. I appreciate your efforts in keeping us informed.
My question today is how do you insure your video brings people to your site and not theirs as your stated?

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Joel Shorey May 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm


The comment by Otto about using self hosted and imbedded YouTube videos seems to makes sense. Would you agree? Trying to keep up with Google’s changes is becoming a full time job.
Joel Shorey recently posted…Pressure Washing Facelift For A Medical CenterMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm

@ Joel Shorey – Having a Youtube Video and a Self Hosted video on the same site, of the same video? If it is the same video, this would be stupid from a user experience perspective. If you want, you can use this method:

I have not tested, but both MAY point to your own website.

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Otto May 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Not the same video of course :)
Otto recently posted…Facebook ajánlatok – hogyan kell beállítaniMy Profile

Alan's Internet Marketing May 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I have a hobby type site and the easiest way to convey information is using YouTube video’s and adding text commentary. Will be interesting to see how this catches on and if the ability to embed YouTube videos starts to slow.
Alan’s Internet Marketing recently posted…[RANT] Profiting from the Google Panda-Penguin Comedy ActMy Profile

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Lant May 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

So if I have a youtube channel with my own videos I should not embed them on my site? If this is true what good does it do me to have that channel?

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

@ Lant – Just the opposite, you do want to embed for backlinks to raise your channel and YT videos.

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Roda May 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hi Mark … watched your info above …. when I went to check out my 6 videos I found they point to youtube and not my website. Shall have to figure out how that is done … or maybe you can tell me.

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Tatiana May 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Hi Mark,
Very useful post! At these days I am working on series of video for my websites and your ideas help me to make right decision. I wanted to know: Is there any rules about size of YV and on what part of post should I put my video – at the beginning, in the middle or at the end?
I appreciate your time to answer this question.
Tatiana recently posted…Laminate Floor Installation – Where and Why to Use?My Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

@ Tatiana – Above the fold will get Google’s bot attention more. As for size, size does not matter for seo. But it does for user experience.

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Hunter Williams May 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Once again, brilliant thoughts and insights. I have used some of your hidden video code to have Google see two videos but the page only shows one. Do you see any complications/fall out for using that strategy?
Hunter Williams recently posted…Video that Opened My Eyes and Maybe Open YoursMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

@ Hunter – I have not tested this. Feel free to though

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felix May 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Its amazing Mark, i just checked it with my site as well and exactly what you showed in the examples…. videos that are not mine have been indexed with my my url. I hope this stays long. thanks for sharing

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Tim May 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Another great article and discussion. The irony is that I first received the email about this article on my mobile. Unfortunately the video on this page would not show on my iPhone due to Flash, so I had to wait until I got to my PC to check it out – I am a fan so I went to that trouble. I believe the most important priority should always be the user experience followed by the search engines. In my experience, the YouTube embedded videos get picked up and shown in the SERPs much faster than self-embedded ones, even if you use a video sitemap for the latter. Our stats on the linking still show a significant ratio pointing back to YouTube, however that seems to be shifting with newly published content.

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm

@ Tim – thank you for this. I see that. It works on mobile when you view video from homepage url, but not post url. Either theme or player. I will do fix.

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Susan Ripley May 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Hi Mark,
Great info as usual. This is pretty cool. I will have to check out and see what’s going on with my videos, plus I have a bunch I need to upload to Youtube. Time to get moving with this!

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Matthew Hunt From Small Business Online Coach May 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm


awesome update! great news. but as you said I am sure they’ll connect it to G+ and you are right self hosting with video sitemap is always the best way to go to protect your brand.

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

@ Matthew Hunt – Yes, I hope G+ verifies YT’s. I have suggested this to Matt Cutts. Whether he reads or implements this, I have no idea. :)

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Dorothea May 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thanks Mark for this info. Very valuable.

Question: if I embed my video on my site and would like to stop that others can embedd it. I guess this is not possible. It is either embed for all or not embed. do I see this right?

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Will Cunningham May 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hey Mark, this is awesome news! I purchased your Tube Fool video site map a long time ago and ranked for my niche videos with your advice, and it never made much sense that Google would not do this. I am glad and I honestly think that this is a good thing – even if my videos are being embedded on other peoples sites and there sites are ranking higher than mine, it is still my video and my message. I like it! I suspect you will come up with some training, right?

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Mark Dulisse May 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm

@ Will Cunningham – I am hesitant to do any updated training on Youtube SEO right now as I think Google is doing algorithm fixes on a number of areas right now. We shall see.

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Mike T May 7, 2012 at 1:48 am

This is a great post and an interesting thing they’re doing with video. Not sure I agree with disabling embedding, but it’s probably something to consider on a case-by-case basis.
Mike T recently posted…10 Ideas for Anchor Text DiversityMy Profile

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Reno Computer Repairs and Website Development May 7, 2012 at 2:11 am

Mark, great points about SEO and youtube videos. I just noticed that my youtube videos also point back to my website as well!

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Paul May 7, 2012 at 4:48 am

Hey Mark,

Thanks for sharing this video, you never seise to amaze me with the cool things you post on your blog.

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Maxp May 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The issue I’m having with all this for the past couple of weeks that it has been going in. Is that everyone is using a site: parameter. That is restricting it to the site, but you are not getting a link to your site in regular serps.

From what I can tell it’s just a catalog feature where it’s saying hey this video is being shown on the site but under regular rankings, even just using video rankings “without” the site parameters it is reverting back to the original location where they video is hosted on.

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Mark Dulisse May 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

@ Maxp – This is not the case. We have discussed this on this comment thread already. Please see below my samples. It all comes down to keyword targeting, seo of your website, relevancy, authority, etc….

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Maxp May 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

I understand the site search that it’s listing the video I see that even on my own authority site. But when I research other high authority sites they have the same listing of the videos with the Site: . But when you look at the regular search and the same video appears in the search it is showing the you tube link. I’ve been looking at various keywords and I’m finding this to always be the case the video listing with site is showing the way you show in the example but with out the “site:” it shows the original source.

If this was showing up in regular search results where the site is ranking for and the video was not owned by them and it links to there site in universal serps be it in the video section or everything then that would be a problem, but so far I can’t find one live example that it’s doing this outside of site:domainname

That’s what I meant to say, This would be very alarming and it would be a copyright issue if they allow it in normal serps which it has not. What I would like to find instances where this is happening without the site: that’s what I am more interested.

Craig September 8, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Mark,
It’s the first time I’d heard of this and it sounded great, but from my research it appears that you’ll only see this when searching and viewing the videos.
They would not appear in any WEB results for any phrases, all thumbnails would be linked to the Youtube video page.
After going over most of the comments I see you said “See examples below” but I couldn’t find any.
I also know that this was posted about 4 months ago.
Craig recently posted…WordPress Blog BackupMy Profile

Ludovic May 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Hi Mark,

I have a question : how is it possible to embed my YT video on my blog
if I protect my own YT videos by disabling the ability for others to use
Youtube embed code function ??

Ludovic recently posted…[Blog Affilié] Comment j’ai multiplié par 3,5 mon nombre journalier d’inscrits en moins d’un moisMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

@ Ludovic – Not possible. Youtube does not know that it is your website as creator of video. This is why I have asked them to link up to G+ to change this.

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Chip May 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Mark you have done it again. Thanks so much for keeping us up to date with the most current information. I’m going to start using this today in checking the status of my videos I’ve made for my clients online.
Chip recently posted…Nashville Day Spas and Nashville Massage – VideoMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi everyone, keep an eye on your video results. Things are changing again today. Is it the Google Peacock? :)

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Christa Herzog May 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I have not so many videos yet. I publish them on YouTube when they are content only.
I am letting others post my videos. I have often the URL of my website in all my video.

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Max May 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

Hi Marc,

Thanks for this post. It explains what I noticed earlier in the week: I posted a video on YT that went to no.2 on p1 of Google within 36 hours and very much to my amazement pulled up my blogpost to p1 as well (it’s the latest post on my blog right now). Now I have 2 entries on p1 above the fold :-). Fabulous. Let’s hope it lasts.

Thanks for all the information and freebies you are putting out. Great job and much apporeciated.

Max recently posted…WP Supermax – How Secure Are Your WP Sites? (Review)My Profile

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Max May 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Just a brief update, Marc.

After my comment here a couple of days ago I checked my video again today, just for fun (vanity??). :-)

After entering the keyword I couldn’t believe that my blog post had now overtaken my video and sits at no.1 on p.1 of Google, both in the UK and the USA, without(!!) me having done anything to promote it. The video is no.3 on p.1. How to dominate without really trying, at least keywords that are not highly competitive.

Long may this last!

Max recently posted…WP Supermax – How Secure Are Your WP Sites? (Review)My Profile

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Ludovic May 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm


I have noticed that Google Indexing my Amazon hosted videos too.
(better than Youtube videos right now).

Ludovic recently posted…Découvrons le principe du régime MontignacMy Profile

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Mark Dulisse May 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

Yes, my videos using amazons3 and my Google Video Sitemap also are having better than Youtube rankings. :)

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Ludovic May 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm


The strange thing is that I have no “Google Video Sitemap” installed on my blog…
and all my Amazon Videos are indexing in the Google engine.

My question is : is your “Google Video sitemap” pluggin really needed ?

Ludovic recently posted…[Blog Affilié] Comment j’ai multiplié par 3,5 mon nombre journalier d’inscrits en moins d’un moisMy Profile

Christa Herzog May 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

What happens when you post a video from your pc? When it has its own URL on your website and is posted on a page?

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Tom May 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Hi Mark–just a FYI, the DCMA in yr footer goes to a Thesis 404…am implementing DCMA on my sites as have tons of my original content appearing on scraped blogs. Thanks for the great post.

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Mark Dulisse May 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

@ Tom – Thanks Tom for this.

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Juan May 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm

this is the best from google, i like it

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Ethan Poltrack June 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Hey some great information, thank you. What I have found is linking to a youtube video and even creating one linking back to my site helps them get indexed fast. Iv gotten a brand new site indexed in under 48 hrs doing this method. A site indexer is what I use now to help outsource the task. Thanks again.

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Mark Dulisse June 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

@ Ethan Poltrack – Hi Ethan, I have removed your video and affiliate link. Any site indexer software is a sheer scam. You do not need to tell Google to index your website, that is what it does already and are good at it. If you want fast indexing, just Digg it once.

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Malcolm Gibb June 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

Brilliant post Mark, I have seen much argument about whether to self-host or embed from Youtube – there are pros and cons of both. Self-hosting requires higher overheads, but if as above your self-hosted videos get listed you are promoting your own site and driving traffic to it. However Youtube embeds enable you to build up organic views and following which ultimately lead to higher rankings within the universal serps.

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Alex July 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

That’s amazing. I didn’t know about this indexed youtube embed videos, but I certainly already caught a few of them among my searches… Of course it’s an incredible feature and quite advantageous! It’s great publicity at the very least :P

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Mark Dulisse May 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

@Maxp – We gave you universal search results in this comment section. Google is still making changes on this issue and results jump around day to day. I posted a live search result on this comment section above 3 days ago with a result in universal search pointing to a domain. Today it is not.

What bothers me is that you asked this same very question on another blog, and I answered you there, and now you come here and ask the very same thing. If this happens again, I shall ban you from commenting.

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Mark Dulisse May 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

@ Ludovic – Like everything, if your website is authoritative in Google’s eyes, their crawlers are visiting your website often for indexing. If your domain authoritative, videos have been on the website for a long time, then they probably will be indexed. But, a video sitemap does a lot more. It speeds things up and helps Google find your videos. Google tells us to have one to help our video seo. Same as a regular sitemap, it helps Google find your content.

But there is more. A video sitemap will also help you with meta data, and give to Google additional information about your video, from category, tags, a specific title or description, and more….
For example, we all know that Google will index a webpage on its own, but we use ALL in One SEO pack to optimize our website for the search engines, and we put a regular sitemap on our domains to help Google find our content for seo purposes.

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