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This is poorly documented by Google and has been hotly debated by SEO's but has anyone actually done it?

There is no info. on Google Webmaster Forums although they recommend that a person does submit a video sitemap for embedded YouTube videos.

It is possible with Vimeo but the only methods I have seen for YouTube involve cloaking and/or dodgy/old methodology.

This question has been asked on this forum once before in 2010 but the landscape has changed a lot since then.

Has anyone had any traction with this?

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You're make several unexplained references to things other people say to do or not that you're wanting us to confirm/challenge. Could you provide some actual links for these things? I don't, for example, see why this would be possible with Vimeo, but not for YouTube without "cloaking, etc." They both have URLs that can be reference, so what exactly is the problem? –  Su' Mar 7 '12 at 10:01
    
This is the main article I am looking at at the moment. Vimeo works but there is a big debate over YouTube and has an explicit reference to cloaking: seomoz.org/blog/video-sitemap-guide-for-vimeo-and-youtube –  Sandy Lee Mar 7 '12 at 10:56
    
These guys reference it as best practice but don't mention how: distilled.net/blog/video/video-seo-tactics-to-get-ranked –  Sandy Lee Mar 7 '12 at 10:57
    
This method is hacky and us just advocating spamming: fourblogger.com/… –  Sandy Lee Mar 7 '12 at 10:59
    
Even on Google Webmaster Forums there are a few posts like this: google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/… –  Sandy Lee Mar 7 '12 at 11:00
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2 Answers 2

This is pretty good documentation http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=80472

More information is available in webmaster tools

http://www.google.com/webmasters/videositemaps/

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It has been my experience (and understanding) that YouTube-hosted videos CAN be embedded into Video Sitemaps.

However, to get the maximum SEO benefit (higher video listings in the SERP's), you need to host the video and video thumbnail on your own web site. This is more difficult because you need a video player, a good web hosting provider that supports video playback, and just more effort is involved than merely adding a YouTube embed code to a web site.

So, techincally XML Video Sitemaps support YouTube Videos, but for optimal SEO results, you need to host the videos on your own website.

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