Google Search Console’s Video Indexing Issues & Fixes

Video Indexing Issues banner

In May, Google shared a new teaser of “Video Indexing Report” in the Google Search Console. The main properties and elements started to roll out in July. Now, it’s almost the end of August, and now, the report is finally live for all.

What is Google’s Video Indexing?

Google’s video indexing report shows the total number of indexed pages on your website that contains either one or many videos. Moreover, it shows the number of video pages that get indexed by Google’s bot.

With the help of the video indexing report, you’ll be able to understand how your video performs on Google. Additionally, you can thereby notice the areas that need improvement.

Aren’t you able to see this report for your site?

The video indexing issue came into role gradually, and it might take some time to get it live for your site. If your site doesn’t contain videos, then you won’t be able to see this report on your Google Search Console.

What is the purpose of rolling out the video indexing report by Google?

If Google detects one or many videos on your website, you can find the video indexing report on the left navigation bar in the coverage section. If you haven’t uploaded or posted any video on your website, you won’t be able to view the report on your search console.

What do you get to know about this?

The video indexing report shows the status of your indexed videos on your site. It will help you to:

  • Know the number of pages that the bot identified a video
  • Check the status of videos that got indexed successfully
  • Locate the issues that are preventing the videos from getting indexed

Using this report can help you to pinpoint the areas that need improvement and fix the issue. Moreover, you can fix and track the video issues in the Google index.

What are video indexing requirements?

For instance, Google found out that one of your web pages has at least one video embedded on it, but due to some reasons Google couldn’t index it. Firstly, you need to pay attention to the video indexing requirements that you need to keep in mind while embedding a video on your website.

Let’s check out the Video indexing requirements!

  • It must be embedded within a host page: If a video you post isn’t with a host page, it will not get indexed, even if it’s included in the sitemap.
  • The host page must be indexed: You need to use the URL Inspection Tool to check whether or not the host page is indexed. One of the possible reasons for the host page not getting indexed is that it could be in the canonical pages.
  • It must be prominent on the page: This implies that the video shouldn’t be hidden behind any elements and it shouldn’t require any complexities for the player to appear on the page.
  • Video is indexed by the primary bot: It is always advised to provide the same videos for both mobile and desktop versions so that prominence is maintained on every page. It prevents indexing videos.
  • Provide a valid thumbnail: You must be able to provide a valid thumbnail. Well, if you do, it’s good. If you don’t, Google will generate a thumbnail from your video.
  • Provide video with proper size: Google indexes a video only if it sticks to the width requirements of 140-1080 pixels, height requirements of 140 pixels or wider, and the video should be at least 1/3 of the screen width.
  • It should be playable within the page: If you post just links to videos on your webpage, it isn’t counted as videos.
  • It must support Google’s format: Google checks out the video format based on its extension. If on any page, video is the main content, then Google might ignore this criterion to index the video.
  • Must provide consistent metadata: Do not keep metadata like title, thumbnail URL, and video URL different for all the sources such as sitemap, HTML tags, Meta tags, and more. Keep it the same across all the sources.

What are no video indexed reasons and their easy fixes?

Now, we will get through the reasons that prevent a video from getting indexed in the Google search:

1. Google isn’t able to find out the prominent video on a particular webpage:

One of the possible reasons of not the video not getting indexed is that Google doesn’t find a video that could be considered prominent enough for the webpage. 

It could be due to rendering issues in the bot, thus, you might not be able to fix it. But, you must make sure that the video you upload must be prominent on your webpage. 

To fix it, get to know the possible reason behind it. Use the URL Inspection Tool to test your webpage, and try to view it as Google sees it. Then, rule out all the issues that you notice.

2. Can’t determine video position & size:

This implies that the video player isn’t presented on the page when loaded. This issue occurs when the webpage has an image where the video player typically occurs and that must be clicked to play the video.

To fix this issue, you need to load it according to the specified criterion, which means according to its actual size and position. 

3. Unsupported Video Format:

One of the other reasons is that the video extension doesn’t get matched with Google’s supported ones, or it could be that the video has no format extension. You must know that Google judges the video format based on its URL and extension. 

Keep in mind that you embed the videos with the extension .mp4 and .mpeg. If there are any unspecific file extensions like .ogg, then Google won’t index the videos on the webpage.

4. Video is too small or too large:

The video player is either too small or too large for the webpage. You need to ensure that it stays according to the video criterion.

To fix it, the video should be 140-1080 pixels by width, 140 pixels or wider by height, and should be at least 1/3 of the screen width.

5. Invalid video URL:

In some cases, the format of the video URL goes invalid. For instance, it uses an invalid protocol like “HTTTTTP” or contains unspecific spaces or dots.

Ensure that you use legal characters, avoid using dashes or spaces, and use the valid protocol in the URL like “HTTP”.

6. Unknown Video Format:

The file extension of the video embedded on the page doesn’t get matched with any specified format extension. As mentioned above, Google judges the video file based on the URL of the video. 

Keep in mind that you embed a video that is in a supported format and also consists of the proper file extension. For instance, if your video file’s extension is .6735bsjo79 or something similar to this, consider changing it. It must be with the extension somewhat similar to this video1.mp4. 

7. Invalid thumbnail & size:

Due to some reason, the thumbnail is invalid or could be due to other errors. Ensure that you upload a specific image in the thumbnail section and that it follows the guidelines stated by Google. 

In another case, the thumbnail size you uploaded is invalid and Google wasn’t able to generate a specific thumbnail. To fix this issue, you need to provide a thumbnail accepted by Google. 

8. Thumbnail blocked by Robot.txt:

The thumbnail that you provided for the video is blocked by the robots.txt file. If the thumbnail you provided is already hosted on another website, then you can reach out to them to how you can unblock that image.

One additional fix to this issue is that you can provide a link to the thumbnail such that Google reaches out for it without any login and it doesn’t get blocked by the robot.txt.

9. Thumbnail is missing:

Either the thumbnail isn’t provided, not available, or invalid. Due to some technical issues, the bot couldn’t able to differentiate between these issues. 

You can fix it by providing a valid URL of the thumbnail and which should be in a supported format, should support proper file extension, and it should be easily available to the crawler.

10. Thumbnail is transparent:

The thumbnail that you provided for the video supports a transparency level that exceeds Google’s accepted threshold. It should be at least 80% of the image and must contain an alpha level of more than 250. Your video should contain transparent thumbnails as it creates difficulty while indexing the video. 

11. Thumbnail couldn’t be reached:

Google’s bot was unable to access the thumbnail URL that you provided. It could be due to the fact that either it is password protected, or it no longer exists at the URL.

Confirm that it isn’t password protected and that it functions properly at the URL that you provided. 

12. Video is not found on the host service:

The video that you embedded on the page is missing from the host service. Either case would be that it is hosted on a private service that isn’t reached by the bot.

To fix that issue, you need to visit the service using the video ID, and later on, update the page with the correct URL for your hosting service. 

Conclusion

No doubt, video plays an important role in the functioning of many websites, and the video indexing reports are enough to help you gain deeper insights into how these videos are for Google search.

The video indexing report in Google’s search console can help you find video indexing issues within your web pages and how to fix them.

We’ve already highlighted the main video indexing requirements that must be kept in mind while embedding videos on your webpage. Additionally, we’ve shared some no video indexing reasons in the blog and their quick fixes. Go through them and fix the issues on your website.

If you have additional queries related to Google’s new video indexing issue, let us know in the comments section. We’ll be happy to guide you along the way!