Video Sitemaps & mRSS vs. Facebook Share & RDFa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Webmaster Level: Intermediate to Advanced

What are the benefits of submitting feeds like Video Sitemaps and mRSS vs. the benefits of Facebook Share and RDFa? Is one better than the other? Let’s start the discussion.

Functionality of feeds vs. on-page markup

Google accepts information from both video feeds, such as Video Sitemaps and mRSS, as well as on-page markup, such as Facebook Share and RDFa. We recommend that you use both!

If you have limited resources, however, here’s a chart explaining the pros and cons of each method. The key differentiators include:
  • While both feeds and on-page markup give search engines metadata, Video Sitemaps/mRSS also help with crawl discovery. We may find a new URL through your feed that we wouldn’t have easily discovered otherwise.

  • Using Video Sitemaps/mRSS requires that the search engine support these formats and not all engines do. Because on-page markup is just that -- on the page -- crawlers can gather the metadata through organic means as they index the URL. No feed support is required.

 Feeds
(Video Sitemaps & mRSS)
On-page markup
(Facebook Share & RDFa)
Accepted by Google
Helps search engines discover new URLs with videos (improves discovery and coverage)
Provides structured metadata (e.g. video title and description)
Allows search engines without sitemap/mRSS support to still obtain metadata information (allows organic gathering of metadata)
Incorporates additional metadata like “duration”


If you’re further wondering about the benefits of specific feeds (Video Sitemaps vs. mRSS), we can help with clarification there, too. First of all, you can use either. We’re agnostic. :) One benefit of Video Sitemaps is that, because it’s a format we’re actively enhancing, we can quickly extend it to allow for more specifications.

All this said, if you’re going to start from scratch, Video Sitemaps is our recommended start.

 Video SitemapsmRSS
Accepted by Google
Been around for a long, long time and pretty widely accepted
Extremely quick for Google Video Search team to extend


“Starving” to start conversation about feeds or on-page markup? Join us in the Sitemaps section of the Webmaster discussion forum.

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