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I encountered a problem today when I decided to implement structured data for a YouTube video on my website. I was puzzled about the "contentURL" and "embedUrl".

While the "embedUrl" is clear where to get from YouTube, there's a problem with “contentURL”. Google's spec doesn't help much since they provide such an example: "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/video/123/file.mp4", "embedUrl": "https://www.example.com/embed/123".

While my video is hosted on YouTube, there is no .mp4 path for it. So, in my case, I added the following structured data on the page of my website: "contentUrl": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jee4qFYdP8", "embedUrl": "https://www.youtube.com/embed/1jee4qFYdP8?si=UnP-PsGhOxMGR5jZ"

I'm not sure if this is correct, but Google's Validator did not complain and the validation was successful.

How do you make such markup on your websites?

2 Answers 2

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I have no idea, but I have done it like this:

<meta itemprop="thumbnailUrl" content="https://img.youtube.com/vi/xxxxx/0.jpg" />
<link itemprop="embedUrl" href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xxxxx" />
<meta itemprop="contentUrl" content="https://www.xxxxx.co.uk/video.php?v=xxxxx" />    

To be honest, I did it the other way round first. Further, all I was concerned about was the 'No thumbnail URL provided' error I was getting in Google Search Console and thought I would add a bit more into the schema info.

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I think the difference between contentURL and embedURL is determined by how you are hosting the file. If you are embedding the file from a streaming service like YouTube, then you would use that property.

If you a natively hosting the file from your site, not a stream service, then the contentURL would apply.

So in your example, I would only use embedURL since it is coming from YouTube and your are embedding it from that service.

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