Here at SEO Cooking we were pretty excited to hear, on 24 April 2012, that Bing is now accepting a broader range of video feeds and sitemaps, including the Google XML video protocol.
At the same time we posted our inaugural "How to Chop an Onion" video we also posted (what we believe is) a well-formed Google video sitemap. Google seemed to find it pretty tasty, and after bouncing in and out of the Google video index (pretty typical behavior), the video eventually seems to have stuck (though Google extracted its own thumbnail in preference to the one we declared in the sitemap.
Bing, though, is a finicky eater, and lacking either a Bing mRSS video feed or an easy method of supplying video XML to Bing, we thought we'd just see if Bing consumed and indexed our video organically.
In any case, the recent announcement now means that our Google video sitemap is apparently digestible by Bing. What's not clear from the post is whether or not this also means that Bing is now capable of accepting video sitemaps via it's Webmaster Tools sitemap submission mechanism. We thought we'd give it a crack.
Historically, as per the highlighting below, Bing has only accepted a video feed via email. Whether or not it ultimately recognizes the content, we were at least able to submit a video sitemap on 26 April 2012.
The video remained in "pending" status for some time (which is where we left our Google+ post that chronicled this adventure up until this point). By 30 April 2012, though, the status has changed to (gasp) "Success"!
"Success," of course, is relative. That Bing "successfully" ingested our sitemap doesn't mean it understood the video content contained therein. And that there's one URL that's been "successfully" submitted doesn't mean that Bing will necessarily make a table available for this URL (17 web pages have been "successfully" been submitted, but there's only seven in Bing's index.
Ultimate victory will be declared when SEO Cooking videos actually start appearing in Bing's index, but that day has still to come.
In the interest of science (or something), we're going to let things stand for the time being. If the submitted video appears in Bing's index this will strongly suggest that Bing successfully understood the video sitemap XML, and was able to accept a video sitemap through the usual Webmaster Tools submission utility. (Bing could, of course, simply spontaneously index the video through regular crawling, but since that hasn't happened in the past three months, an appearance of the video would be strongly correlated with our video sitemap submission.)
If the video persistently refuses to appear in the index, we'll eventually surrender and submit the video sitemap to Bing directly using their high tech "electronic mail" method. Then, if the video still doesn't appear, we'll get to speculate fruitlessly about video formats, players and other things that Bing may not understand about video. Stayed tuned!
UPDATE – 2 May 2012
Duane Forrester, manager of Bing Webmaster Tools, kindly provided this in reponse to a question I posed to him on Google+:
Darn – we thought this was clear in the blog post – submit the video sitemap to the email alias…
You CAN submit the video sitemap.xml via the webmaster tools interface, but it doesn't follow the same path to the video index, so could take longer to get content indexed on the video side.
Now, I'd like to order a souffle please. Easy on the salt, hard on the cheddar!?
Thanks Duane. We're going to ride this one out by seeing what happens with the Webmaster Tools-submitted sitemap … and we'll see what we can do about wrangling up a soufflé.