Video SEO plugin FAQ

Here’s a list of the common questions and their answers for the Video SEO plugin:

Can I use the plugin on multiple sites?

That depends on your license. We have different licenses with three common ‘clearances’. The single site license, the 5-site license, and the 20-site license. There are also bigger licenses available on our bulk pricing page.

If you bought a Video SEO license ($89) before January 7th, 2013, you have an unlimited license.

Also, if you bought any Agency (20-site) license before August 12th, 2013, your license is unlimited.

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We can solve that quite easily, enter the email you used to purchase the plugin here and your purchase email will be resent:

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Would you recommend adding the Video Sitemap to GWT?

You don’t have to do that specifically for the video XML sitemap. It is linked from the Index Sitemap that is generated by the WordPress SEO plugin, which will make Google recognize it automatically. I assume you will have already added that Index sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools, if you haven’t, that might be smart to do. Clicking on that will then show you the stats for the individual sitemaps that are contained in it.

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How does the plugin work with videos in custom fields?

The Video SEO plugin can work with custom fields. You can set the custom fields the plugin has to check for video content. This can be done by going to the SEO tab and clicking Video SEO. Under General Settings you will find a text box in which you can fill in your custom field names. However, you will have to know the name for the custom field you’re using.

To find out the name of your custom field, just download and install the Custom Field Finder plugin and easily find the custom fields you’re using!

Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to ‘Tools’ > Custom Field Finder and paste the ID of the post or page you want to check the custom fields of in the appropriate field:

Custom Field Finder

This will show you a list of the custom fields you’re using. Find the custom field that has the video URL or ID in it, and copy the key.

Next, you should go to the Video SEO settings and paste your custom field name here:

Video SEO ‹ Video SEO test site — WordPress

And, of course, don’t forget to hit Save Settings!

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Why doesn’t the Video SEO plugin index all my videos?

Especially on websites with a large number of videos, the plugin can have problems finding all the videos, due to (a shortage of) memory. You should try re-indexing a number of times, but be sure to leave the ‘Force Re-Index’ box unchecked. Once the number in the sitemap is static, it has found all videos.

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My sitemap is blank, what’s wrong?

There could be several things wrong. First, check whether the source of the sitemap shows you the video data you would expect in an XML video sitemap. If it does, make sure the XSLT file, linked in the very top of the XML file, is available. Sometimes this file gets blocked by .htaccess prevention of the wp-content directory.

Or, if you’re using W3 Total Cache, and the setting “Do not process 404 errors for static objects with WordPress” is turned on, you should add the following exception:


Another possible issue is that the XML is invalid, if you open the XML sitemap in Firefox, you’ll usually see this as that would display an error. If that’s the case, please email us with a link to the XML sitemap and we’ll try to debug and fix the issue.

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Why is Google saying my XML Video Sitemap is an HTML file?

This can occur when you’re running W3 Total Cache and you’ve ticked the setting to hide the sitemap from normal visitors. What W3TC does is cache the error which normal visitors get, if they want to view the video XML sitemap. This error is then also served to googlebot, because the logic to show the sitemap to googlebot won’t execute.The best way to fix this is to create an extra user agent group. You can create this user agent group by going to the W3TC’s settings. Under Performance and then User Agent Groups there’s a button “Create a group”. Click this button and call your group “Google” or “Googlebot” and then in the user agents field you just enter “googlebot”. This will force W3 Total Cache to make a separate cache for Googlebot user-agents. Another option is to prevent W3TC from caching video-sitemap.xml entirely, but since that’s slower, we actually prefer the user-agent group.

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Would you recommend using YouTube for Video SEO purposes?

The short answer: no. I would prefer Wistia, Vimeo, Blip or Dailymotion. While YouTube works at the moment, it might break if Google decides they want to send the traffic to YouTube instead of your site. Thus we would advise against using it for Video SEO purposes. It is however a great site to get found on as well, so if you’ve got the resources for it, upload it to both YouTube and another video platform of your choice and use that second video platform for embedding on your blog.

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Why are my videos not showing up in the Google search results?

It can take more than two weeks for the videos to show up in the Google search results. This depends on how often Google spiders your website. So don’t expect the search results to change in a day, or even a week. Give it some time.

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Can Google show both a Google Authorship Markup and a video snippet in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)?

Yes. It can show them both, which will look like this:

video seo plugin Google Search





So it won’t show your avatar, but it will show the markup “More by <author name>”, and your Google+ circles.

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Why doesn’t my Video SEO plugin create a sitemap?

To prevent this from happening, you should do the following:

  1. Go to WordPress Settings in the backend
  2. Go to Permalinks
  3. Click Save Changes (without altering anything)

Your video XML sitemap should now work.

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Why doesn’t the Video SEO plugin index videos on my category page?

The Video SEO plugin only indexes videos on your taxonomy pages that are in the description of that taxonomy. If the videos are in shown as excerpts of underlying pages, it will not index them.

If indexing the videos in descriptions of taxonomy pages is exactly what you want, you should check the taxonomies you want indexed by ticking these taxonomies under ‘Taxonomies to include in XML Video Sitemap’.

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Can I buy a single license now and upgrade to another license later?

Yes, you can! Just go to the license questions page, enter your license key in the appropriate form and you’ll be given a discount based on how long you’ve had the license for and what it cost originally. The sooner you upgrade, the higher your discount!

Note that your old license key will cease to work as soon as you’ve upgraded.

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I have a multilingual site, do I need a multi-site license?

That all depends on how many WordPress installs you have.

Do you have 1 domain name? You just need a single license, no matter how many languages you’ve got!

If you have more than one domain name, you’ll need a multi-site license.

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My sitemap is giving a 404 error, what should I do?

First of all, let us be clear that this is not due to our plugin, but due to poorly coded themes and/or other plugins.

You should go to your .htaccess file (WordPress SEO plugin > Edit Files) and add the following code before the main WordPress rewrite rules:

Remember that you might have to modify this if you are running WordPress in a subfolder. For instance, if you run it in a subfolder called /wordpress/, this would be the proper code.

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Why are my new videos on the bottom of my second sitemap?

These videos are on the bottom of your second sitemap, because that way only the last video sitemap changes and Google only needs to re-fetch that one instead of re-fetching all the video sitemaps all the time. The last update time will tell Google what’s new.

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I’ve added the custom field in the admin, but the plugin still doesn’t recognise my YouTube video?

When using a custom field for your YouTube video, you probably only had to enter the ‘variable’ YouTube uses to show your video. There is no way our plugin knows what this code means without extra information.

To solve this, you can add the following code to you functions.php (Theme file).

Note: Replace ‘video’ on line 15 with the name of your custom field!

Haven’t added the custom field to our plugin-settings yet?
Check our install guide.

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I’ve added the custom field in the admin, but the plugin still doesn’t recognise my Vimeo video?

When using a custom field for your Vimeo video, you probably only had to enter the ‘variable’ Vimeo uses to show your video. There is no way our plugin knows what this code means without extra information.

To solve this, you can add the following code to you functions.php (Theme file).

Note: Replace ‘id_vimeo’ on line 15 with the name of your custom field!

Haven’t added the custom field to our plugin-settings yet?
Check our install guide.

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Why does my podcast or RSS feed stop working when Video SEO is enabled?

This is an issue we’ve built a manual fix for, just for the people with this problem. We’ve implemented a setting you can simply turn off, and it’ll make sure your RSS and podcast will keep working:

Video SEO

Just check this, and you’re done!

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Video sitemap doesn’t work when I have Custom Post Type ‘Video’?

If you have a Custom Post Type called ‘Video’, it might be possible that your video-sitemap.xml returns an error (404). You can solve this by adding the following line to your functions.php:

define ('YOAST_VIDEO_SITEMAP_BASENAME', 'vsvideo');

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How can I update my premium plugin?

There are two ways to update your premium plugin.

  1. Use the update function in the plugin-admin
  2. Manually update the premium plugin

Use the update function in the plugin-admin

When you login to the admin of your website, you may see a number in the Plugins-item in the menu. This indicates the number of updates that are available for your plugins.

If you use WordPress 3.8, it may look like this:
Example of available plugins in WordPress admin

If you see this and you go to your installed plugins, by clicking the Plugins-menu-item, you will see the following text below a plugin. (Or in case of the above example, at 4 plugins)

WordPress plugin update available - example

By clicking the ‘Update now’ link, your plugin will automatically be updated to the latest available version.

Manually update the premium plugin

If your WordPress admin doesn’t show the available update (which might happen due to a failure to communicatie with our licensing server) or if the automatic update doesn’t work, you may want to manually update your premium plugin.

In order to do this you’ll have to take the following steps:

  1. Go to and retrieve your license by entering the email address you used to purchase your premium plugin at the ‘Retrieve License’-box.
  2. We will now resend your purchase receipt via email, which contains your license key(s) and download links for the latest version of the plugin files (if your license hasn’t expired).
  3. Download the plugin files and save them to your computer.
  4. Extract the downloaded .zip file.
  5. With your FTP program, upload the extracted plugin-folder to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online.
    The name of the extracted plugin-folder should be equal to the name of the existing plugin-folder online.
    NOTE: Make sure you overwrite the existing plugin-files.
  6. Your plugin has been updated!

All settings will be saved, so you will not have to reconfigure or activate the plugin again.

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