Yahoo Video RSS

WARNING: Unpolished note to self. I’ll modify it as I know more about video RSS.

I’m having some problems getting new videos indexed in Yahoo Video. I’m reusing XML feed that worked in the past, but Yahoo is just not biting. Here’s a list of what I know works and what didn’t work in the past so I can come up with some ideas. Getting indexed in Yahoo Video is so much easier if I hosted videos on the same domain, but that’s out of the question at the moment.

BTW, I also noticed that my usual RSS feed validator doesn’t detect Media RSS errors. Use the link on the bottom for validation.

What seems to work before:

  • Embedding videos in HTML, and 302 redirecting.

What didn’t work:

  • Linking to video clips with url /xyz.wmv, then redirecting in .htaccess.

With my main site, I’m linking straight to video clips, so that might be the problem.

One validation error I fixed was this:

<guid isPermaLink=”false”>video #x from</guid>

if isPermaLink=”true”, then a valid URL should be used instead of text.

Then again, my older RSS feeds don’t use guid but they worked.

How would I go about testing some stuff with Yahoo video?

Type of Link Same Domain mod_rewrite Indexed?
href Yes No -
href No No -
href No Yes Not Yet
embed Yes No -
embed No Yes Yes

Another possibility is if RSS feed is sitting on and the html is on

Systematic testing

Upload 10+ video clips. Write a few different versions of Yahoo RSS feeds. Submit them all to Yahoo. Submitting one feed and waiting for results eats up too much time.

How do I improve my placement in Yahoo Video Search?

Right now, competition seems to be thin so placement isn’t a huge concern, but I’d still like to know the answer to this one.

Other Yahoo video related questions:

  • If I give Yahoo a specific thumbnail, will Yahoo use that instead of scanning the video? (I can test this by giving them a thumbnail showing the middle of the video instead of the beginning)
  • Would it save me bandwidth if I specified video dimension, bitrate, filesize? If I fed Yahoo an erroneous spec, will Yahoo believe me? If not, I can assume no matter what I specify, Yahoo scans the videos anyway? (Yahoo will scan the video if the media:content url is given. If only playerURL is mentioned, Yahoo won’t touch the video).
  • Can I submit my RSS to places like Technorati?
  • How do I “ping” Yahoo to re-read my RSS file? Do I just resubmit the RSS url? How quickly will Yahoo index a new video in an updated RSS?

Also, it would be cool if I wrote a script for generating Video Search RSS. Writing RSS by hand is a bit of a chore.

Interesting quote regarding PlayerURL Field

Hopefully, that makes the reasoning a bit more clear. One of the
problems we want to solve is in the cases that a RSS feed can only
publish the playerUrl (for whatever reason).

Our playerUrl is just a normal web page
that shows the media content in the general sense of syndicated web

How do we efficiently
allow the feed to include all interesting meta data about the media
object (such as real height/width)? From the search perspective, we
want this information since we can’t actually “touch” the media
object to determine it ourselves.

Ideally, from the search perspective, we’d much prefer that the
content provider include both a direct link (url) as well as a player
link (playerUrl). That way, we could harvest all the meta information
from the real content, while still delivering the experience to the
end user that the content provider prefers and/or requires.

So this means supplying a direct link will allow Yahoo to scan the video and generate meta data automatically, while just providing player URL will allow you to supply any url to Yahoo.

Yahoo Group: PlayerURL

Yahoo Video Hearsay

Some untested comments I picked up while surfing.

“the example in the spec leads me to believe that urn:mpaa ratings are
expected to be in lowercase.”

“The space in the media:thumbnail url needs to be replaced with %20″

“Since you are doing bold, italics, and line breaks inside the
media:text, you want to indicate this by specifying ‘type=”html”‘ on
that eleemnt.”

“This is pointing to the channel description, which is described in the
RSS 2.0 spec as being a “Phrase or sentence describing the channel”.”

Yahoo Video Search Resources and Links

Yahoo Video submit form
Yahoo Video Media RSS Specification
Yahoo Group: RSS Media
Feed Validator Test Cases
Feed Validator

For my main site, I want to decide on a page layout that will help me get my videos indexed while not throwing video pages into the supplementals. How can I do this?

One site I see link going straight to videos on the same domain.

Log: Last submitted a feed to Yahoo on 5/4/2006

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