Create Image and Video Sitemaps for Google

By | July 16, 2012

Image and Video Sitemaps

In this article we are going discuss how to create two popular XML sitemap formats, image sitemaps (first half) and video sitemaps (second half). Both types can often help your website
to increase its traffic through blended search and/or specifc image/video search.

Note: As both the Google image sitemap and Google video sitemap formats are extensions of the standard XML sitemaps format, you can check the complete XML sitemaps guide for information about how to ping and FTP upload generated image and video sitemaps.

Introduction to Image Sitemaps

Does your website contain lots of images, possibly even lots of unique images? If so, it makes good sense to create an image sitemap for search engines like Google, so you more quickly can get all the images indexed and found in image related searches. This tutorial will show you how to create image sitemaps in a few simple steps using our sitemapping software.

Find All Images in Your Website

First make sure you configure the sitemap generator tool to collect all images during the initial website crawl:

Google image sitemap crawl

Having done that, simply initiate the website crawl.

Create The Image Sitemap

Make sure you select the correct sitemap file kind to create, here image sitemap:

Google image sitemap create

How an Image Sitemap Looks Like

Here is a simplified example showing how a simple image sitemap looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="" xmlns:image="">
      <image:title>image one title</image:title>
      <image:caption>image one caption</image:caption>

Verify The Image Sitemap

As Google Webmaster Tools reports the number of page URLs in all XML sitemap file kinds including image sitemaps (even those with no images associated) it can sometimes be difficult to verify the actual number of images submitted if you experiment with different sitemap generator tools. Here is a couple of things you can do:

  • Make sure the image sitemap generated only contains page URLs <loc></loc> with associated images <image:loc></image:loc>.
  • Try perform a search/replace of <image:loc> in the generated XML image sitemap file. Most text editors gives you a count of found/replaced text items.

Create Video Sitemaps

Before creating video sitemaps, you have to know what they are 🙂 Video sitemaps file kind is a Google extension of XML sitemaps. If you do not know how to create these, check the XML sitemap tutorials at this website. Video sitemaps help search engines like Google to identify video content, video players and primary pages for your videos. This guide explains how to build video sitemaps in a few easy steps using our sitemap creator tool.

Crawl Site to Find All Videos

First use the video sitemap crawl preset to ensure the sitemap generator tool finds and keeps all video related URLs during website scan:

crawl website first to create video sitemap

After that, just start the website crawl for video related URLs.

Build The Video Sitemap

Select the correct sitemap file kind to create, video sitemap:

create the video sitemap for Google search engine

Verify Video Sitemaps

Google Webmaster Tools can reports the number of page URLs in all XML sitemap files. However, strictly speaking, that is rarely what you will want to know for pure video sitemap files which only list page URLs that has video content. Instead, you will probably want to know how many videos were found and submitted to Google. Here is a trick to find the number of submitted videos in case you experiment with different video sitemap generator tools:

  • Always ensure that the video sitemap only contains page URLs <loc></loc> with videos <video:loc></video:loc> associated to them.
  • You can use search/replace of the <video:loc> tag in the XML video sitemap file created. Many text editors will let you know the number of found/replaced text count.

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