Video SEO Silo Plugin Help

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What Is Video Silo Builder?

The Video SEO Silo Builder will create a properly Silo Structured site on your blog without any advanced technical knowledge necessary. The plugin will create all the needed infrastructure and along with the menu widget will set up the required linking structure, url settings and on-page factors that you need. It can also automatically add a YouTube video to each page, either by automatically selecting a video that is thematically related to the topic of the page, or a thematically related video from a specific YouTube channel.

This plugin uses two tiers of static pages with blog posts underneath to create a structure that will rank quickly and well.

This plugin will accept the XML blueprint output from either Krakken or Network Empire Builder to quickly create the silo pages and supporting posts. Additionally, you can create the silo structure manually directly in the blog by adding each page one at a time - either by using the normal WordPress functionality to add pages and posts or directly into the plugin area where you can visually see the structure you are creating.

This plugin is ideal for a money 'website style' blog; where as our Simple Silo Plugin is often times more ideally suited for a 'news style' blog.


It is not recommended that you use this plugin on an already established site with rankings that are important to you. In order for this plugin to function optimally the permalink structure needs to be changed from the WordPress default, and this can disrupt an existing site.

We highly recommend you make a backup of your blog before you install and activate this plugin.

By installing this plugin you agree to indemnify Network Empire LLC and hold Network Empire LLC blameless for any issues this plugin might create on your blog, it's content or your rankings.

Using Video Silo Builder


  • A Self Hosted WordPress blog
  • php 5.3
  • Reasonable Hosting
  • You cannot have this plugin active when either the Simple Silo Builder or Deep Silo Builder Plugin are active


If you are upgrading from a version before 4.0, the following must be done:

  • you will need to delete the previous version and
  • install and activate the new version,
  • then click the Manual Silo Builder tab to update your old site structure to the new site structure.

Install this WordPress plugin as you would any other, upload it to your blog and activate.

Upon activation, the plugin will:

  1. Adjust your blog's permalink structure to /%category%/%postname%/
  2. Create a menu for the silo landing pages
  3. Create a Home page if you do not already have a static page set
  4. Change the blog landing page to the Home page.

If you desire, you can change the home page back to a blog roll in the Video Silo Builder Settings.  You can also rename the Home page to what ever name you want or set a different page as the Home page.

You may install this plugin on an unlimited number of your blogs with a single license.

Getting Started

Menus and The Silo Sidebar Widget

Once activated you will need to add the silo widget to your sidebar for the silo menu to be created automatically.

Additionally you will probably want a menu on the top or above the silo widget that will contain all of the top level silo pages. The plugin will automatically create a menu called "Silo SEO Menu". You will need to manually add that to your preferred location.

Creating The Silo

From this point you can create your silo structure one of three ways:

1. Through the plugin Silo Importer Tab where you can choose:
  • If your pages should be set to publish immediately or be in draft mode
  • If you want the Silo Shortcode to create the On-Page Contextual Link Block
  • Select the File from your Hard Drive that you want to Upload
  • Select any advanced settings for the meta title and slug to enhance visitor usability or reduce over optimization
2. Through the manual interface or one page at a time,
3. By creating pages and posts normally and adding them to the silo structure as you go (look for the "Silo Structure" box in the upper right side of the screen as you add pages and posts to your blog).

On-Page Contextual Link Block

When adding content through the import you have the option to add a block of contextual links to subordinate pages using a Silo Shortcode that is included in the Content Body.

There are three parts to the contextual link block made by Shortcode:

  1. The header at the top
  2. The number of links it will show,
  3. Whether to include thumbnails, excerpts and breadcrumbs

The header at the top can be set on the settings tab in the Menu Heading field

The full shortcode, with all the options is:

[wpu_silo links='10' show_thumbnails='true' excerpt='true' breadcrumbs='true']

You don't need to include all options to display the contextual link block. The minimum shortcode is:

[wpu_silo links='10']

where 10 is the maximum number of pages that will be displayed in the silo content block. This will show a maximum of 10 links with their thumbnails.

The defaults for the other parts of the shortcode are:

  • show_thumbnails='true'
  • excerpt='false'
  • breadcrumbs='false'

Changing the defaults is as simple as changing 'true' to 'false' and vice versa.

Video Settings

There are five settings which determine the specifics of the videos that are included on the blog pages and posts when they are created.

1. Specify YouTube Channel

Specify a YouTube channel from which to pull videos. Just add the youtube profile name into the youtube channel field in the plugin. For example, Theme Zoom has a youtube channel located at In this case enter "themezoom" (without quotes) into the plugin field. Caution: The Video Silo plugin will ONLY pull videos from that channel "when and IF" the channel selected has a video with your chosen keyword for a given WP page that matches it. So, if you attempt to import a page and video for the keyword "dog training" - a video will only appear if there is a corresponding video with that keyword in the title or description on your selected video channel. So, the ThemeZoom youtube channel does not contain any "dog training" videos therefore no video will be added to the page as it is created. Keep this limitation in mind when using this feature.

2. Specify video upload date

You can specify how old the video is by selecting one of the upload date parameters. The upload date can be the last hour, today, this week, this month or this year.

3. Specify video duration

You can specify the duration of the videos that are selected. The duration can be short, up to 4 minutes; medium length 4-20 minutes; or longer than 20 minutes.

4. Add YouTube Comments as Blog Comments

This option allows you to add Youtube Comments as comments to the post; if this selection is checked, the YouTube comments will be added to the page or post as comments to that blog article.

5. YouTube Post Formatting

When adding new pages and posts you can specify if you want to include videos or not. Including videos will cause this Content Box to be used to create the content of the post

You have the flexibility to specify the content of each post added using variables like the YouTube video title and description; you can also specify static content and use this box to include calls to action such as banners or affiliate links in each post. When the post is created, whatever is in the content box is used to create the content. Changing this box after a post is created will NOT change the existing post.

Shortcode Areas

There are two shortcode areas where you can specify banners or calls to action - these can be used in the content section for more flexibility - changing these shortcode areas changes all posts and pages where the short-codes are embedded

Schema Markup for Local Business

Automatically add schema markup to your business information to your blog without coding!  Simply fill in your business information into the appropriate fields in the settings area and the put the short code [ne_bizshortcode] into your page whereever you want your business information to appear and the content of the fields, complete with schema markup will be inserted into the page.

Best Practices

On the Settings tab there is an option for Blogroll on Front Page. If you check this, it will let you have anything for your homepage, including a list of recent posts or a widgetized homepage. Unchecking it will cause a static page called "Home" to become the homepage, or any other page you set as the static front page. Once you have the blog set up the way you want it, you should check this box to override having the plugin readjust your settings should it be deactivated and reactivated. If you end up with two home pages because you upgraded from a previous edition just delete the new page that's empty.

Installing Plugin on a Preexisting Site

At this time it's not recommended that you upgrade a pre-existing site to a silo structure for two reasons:

1) The plugin needs a specific permalink structure and if your site already has pages ranked, this can disrupt those rankings. If your permalink structure is already set to
/%category%/%postname%/ then there won't be any problems. If it's not set to that, then you will want to add a 301 redirect from the old url to the new ones.

2) It will cause issues if a category already exists that is exactly the same as a silo or category that you want to add. When you create a silo or category in the silo plugin, it will automatically create a wordpress blog category with the same name. If you have an existing wordpress blog category that you want to also add into your silo structure, you need to delete or rename those pre-existing categories before you add the item in the silo plugin.

Features and Benefits

Site Structure

1. Silo Structure consisting of the home page, two levels of static blog pages for the silo and category levels, with posts underneath as supporting articles. The supporting article posts are optional.


2. A new static page called Home will be created if a static page is not set as the front page.

3. The blog landing page will be converted from the existing setup to the new static 'Home' page

4. Permalink structure is automatically set to /%category%/%postname%/

Site Creation

Sites can be created through

  1. importing a blueprint from Krakken and NE Silo Builder
  2. via the Manual Silo Builder Tab in the plugin
  3. one page and post at a time using the normal wordpress methods and adding them to the silo structure.

1. Creating a Site Via Blueprint Import Function

  • This plugin accepts one or more website blueprints generated by Krakken and NE Silo Builder to create a properly Silo Structured site
  • Advanced Import settings allow you to choose titles and slugs to be keywords, titles or headlines to better protect from panda penalties (available when importing from NE Silo Builder only)
  • The same blueprint can be imported multiple times and each time only new items will be added; older imported pages and posts are not updated
  • Multiple different blueprints can be imported to make a large site
  • You can add additional pages and posts to an imported blueprint via the Manual Silo Builder Tab or by creating a page or post normally through the wordpress functionality and using the Silo Structure box to position it where you want it in the silo structure.

2. Creating a Site Via the Manual Silo Builder Tab

  • To manually create a silo structure, in the Manual Silo Builder Tab select the page under which you are going to add new pages.  If the site is new, only the Home page may be selected.
  • Select if you want draft or immediate publish mode
  • Adding keywords to the box at the bottom of the screen, one keyword per line.  These keywords will become the URL slug for the page as well as the title.
  • A Drag and Drop functionality is available for moving silos or supporting pages around, after they have been created either manually or imported, to adjust the site the way you want it.

3. Creating a Site Using the Silo Structure Box

  • Add a wordpress page (for Silo and Category level) or a wordpress post (for Supporting Article level)
  • Add a title and some content
  • Select the appropriate level as shown in the images below
  • Click Publish

Adding a Silo level page:

Adding a Category level page:

Adding a Supporting Article level post:

Note: The system will not allow you to add posts under the Silo level if you use the Silo Structure dropdown. If you use Wordpress's category feature instead of the Silo Structure dropdown, you could put a post in a wordpress category below a Silo, which would put it outside the silo structure and cause that post to not appear in the Silo Widget or in the content links. This is why we recommend not touching the categories.

Page and Post Edit Screen Enhancements

  1. You can add existing pages or posts to the silo structure on the edit page or edit post screen using the same method as above
  2. You can update the meta title, meta description, meta keywords and snippet fields for posts or pages on the edit post/page screen
  3. You can see a preview what the meta title and meta description will look like in the SERPS screen:

Deleting items from the Silo Structure

To delete items from the silo structure use the Manual Silo Builder Tab.  Simply select the point of the Silo Structure you want to delete and then select "Delete" in the options box at the bottom, then click "Make It So" and that element and everything beneath it will be deleted. 

This means that if you select a silo page to be deleted, it will delete not only the silo landing page but also all of the category and supporting article pages underneath that silo.

Menus and On-Page Inserts

1. A special sidebar widget creates the Silo Linking Structure. Sidebar menu widget options set the title, number of links and optional thumbs. The pages (Silos and Categories) and posts (Supporting Articles) are counted separately, which is particularly useful if you have a lot of Supporting Articles.

2. On-page silo shortcodes include titles with links to the subordinate articles and can optionally include post article excerpts. The title of the insert is controlled on the settings tab.

3. Optionally, on-page silo short codes can be automatically included on pages and posts as they are created. See this explanation on how to use the shortcodes.

4. Style adjustments, available on the Silo Styles tab, are available to help the widgets fit seamlessly into theme. It allows you to adjust the link color, the size of the link and the line height:

Note: This only applies to the contextual link block, not to the widget display.

Optional Video Schema Markup

By using the variable {semanticVideo} in the NE Video Silo Builder Settings, whenever you add a new page or post through the Manual Silo Builder or Import feature, it will create a shortcode in the Wordpress editor that looks like:

[ne_semantic_video video_id="uh4u7kbXunk" title="Video Silo Builder (Changing Default Video Size)" upload_time="2013-09-14T04:47:33.000Z" description=""]

Which will generate semantically marked up code that looks like:

<style>.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: auto; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }</style><div itemprop="video" itemscope="" class="embed-container" itemtype=""><meta itemprop="name" content="Video Silo Builder (Changing Default Video Size)"><meta itemprop="uploadDate" content="2013-09-14T04:47:33.000Z"><meta itemprop="description" content="Video Silo Builder (Changing Default Video Size)"><meta itemprop="thumbnailURL" content=""><meta itemprop="embedURL" content=""><iframe src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></div>

This creates a fully responsive, semantically marked up video embed, automatically, without you lifting a finger. By using the shortcode, if the semantic embed requirements change, we can alter the code on the backend, which will automatically fix every site that you used with this variable.

And all you need to do is write {semanticVideo} once!


  1. Export the Silo Blueprint for clients and personal records
  2. Indicates articles that are in draft mode

Behind the Scenes Features

Our plugin will detect if other SEO plugins exist and stop duplicate meta description and keywords from appearing in the head. If the other plugins already contain data for these fields, that data is copied into the fields our plugin uses in case those plugins are disabled - if you change the data in our field on a single page, it will update Yoast so that title is displayed.

Optionally, if you want the third party SEO plugin to handle all the SEO settings, you can disable the Video Silo Meta box as shown:

Third Party Plugins Detected

The other SEO plugins that Video SEO Silo Plugin currently detects are:

  1. Yoast SEO
  2. All in One SEO
  3. SEO Ultimate
  4. Platinum SEO
  5. HeadSpace
  6. SmartCrawl

Are Perpetual Plugin Upgrades Included?

Yes, you will always have access to updates of the current level of plugin development and all future point releases.

Are New Plugin Point Releases Automatically Updated in the WordPress Control Panel?

Yes. Our system automatically informs WordPress installation of a new release and encourages you to update to the next point release.



Planned Enhancements

Video Silo Builder Change Log

Version 4.5.6 (17 November 2016)

  • Fixed import error and several other notices
  • Stopped comments being added to pages

Version 4.5.5 (2 October 2016)

  • Fixed bug where pages wouldn't be created in Manual Silo Builder if "add videos" was deselected

Version 4.5.4 (30 September 2016)

  • Added ability to turn off responsive video options

Version 4.5.3 (10 September 2016)

  • Changed implementation of removing Yoast spam comments to be more discriminating. This will fix an issue with several front end editors like Themify.
  • Changed required capability from edit_themes to activate_plugins

Version 4.5.2 (24 August 2016)

  • Bugfix meta_input
  • Changed the legacy adding of DWS ID to avoid doubling up the work
  • Fixed cert ssl path error
  • Added duration to {semanticVideo}
  • Improved content filtering, removing urls and shortcodes from Youtube

Version 4.5.1 (17 August 2016)

  • Fixed issues with breadcrumbs not always displaying when it was supposed to
  • Fixed issue with excerpts causing much weirdness
  • Fixed strange character in breadcrumb separator
  • Removed link to Home from Silo & Category level menus
  • Removed "Home Title" field from widget
  • Corrected wording of breadcrumb warning on widget if checked
  • Changed Silo Title wrap (in shortcode) from <strong> to <h3>
  • Removed unused silo construction elements

Version 4.5.0 (27 July 2016)

  • Rewrote import mechanism from importing into wp-cron and processing from there to importing into database and using a 10 minute wp-cron to process. This is important for cheap hosting which times out on larger imports.
  • Added dws id to the import instead of adding it after post creation. This will make the import more robust in case of time outs. This option became available with Wordpress 4.4.0.
  • Fixed an issue with the way import array was created. Previous version had a lot of malformed duplicates causing unnecessary memory usage.
  • Streamlined searching for current DWS IDs. Will cut down calls to the database dramatically in importing.
  • Improved import logic.
  • Fixed bug where enabling excerpt caused current page to change to home, resulting in a double entry for home.
  • Removed schema from a number of areas in the widget and body.
  • Corrected links to Network Empire products
  • Fixed breadcrumb separator character
  • Changed widget from "NE Video Silo Menu" to "NE Video Silo Widget" and improved the description
  • Set breadcrumbs and excerpts to false by default.
  • Changed breadcrumb warning to conditional.
  • Fixed warning notice for sidebar widget on 404 pages.
  • Removed cron re-ordering code that was added in version 4.4. Because of the sitemap improvements in 4.4.2, it was no longer needed. Due to some changes in wordpress, the code was now causing the issue it was introduced to solve in some installations.

Version 4.4.2 (14 June 2016)

  • XML Sitemap wasn't being accepted by Google Webmaster Tools. Fixed that.
  • Fixed synopsis, which wasn't updating properly
  • Randomized comment number between 5 and 40, instead of a fixed number
  • Improved the way the SEO options are updated
  • Fixed the way the sitemaps are pinged to Google & Bing.
  • Improved synopsis & meta description filtering
  • Turned off API key entry on dashboard

Version 4.4.1 (5 November 2015)

  • Fixed a couple of php notices that were popping up.

Version 4.4 (4 November 2015)

  • Changed comments code to pull from youtube's v3 api.
  • Fixed a bug where some users couldn't add new plugins after activating the silo plugin.
  • Fixed a bug Kevin Polley had, which was caused by improperly setup arrays.
  • Fixed issues with wordpress user capabilities. The previous will be deprecated next month, so got ahead of that.
  • Fixed a bug where on new posts it would sometimes pull data from an old post and put it into the description & synopsis.
  • Cleared a bug with the duration of the video on the Meta display.
  • Fixed blogroll frontpage options setup.
  • Added ability for users to use another SEO plugin instead of ours.
  • Created a dismissable prompt for people upgrading to visit Manual Silo Builder to make sure they get all the connection codes in place.
  • Added premium plugin SmartCrawl to the list of SEO plugins detected.
  • Fixed the way the excerpt is created from the content.

Version 4.3 (7 October 2015)

  • Youtube comments & duration now v3 transition API compliant. Ratings in video sitemap disabled because deprecated in API.
  • Form for semantic business markup and shortcode created.
  • Video semantic markup created, inserted as a shortcode and set as default.
  • Banners switched to vsilo.
  • Various bug fixes to reduce php notices & warnings.

Version 4.1.1 (11 August 2015)

  • Add note to Category level (not possible on Silo level) when page is in trash.
  • Added redundancies if there are multiple pages connected to a particular category. Can happen if user duplicates/clones page. Checks by slug match which is the correct page & category connection, then resets the rest to what they should be.
  • Checks if a page has been permanently deleted, but not the matching category. If so, will delete the category. Won't touch the category if the page is merely in the trash.
  • Housekeeping check. Cycles through all the wordpress categories, checks for the silo code to see if they are supposed to be matched to a page and if that page doesn't exist, deletes the category.

Version 4.1 (4 August 2015)

  • Added ability to delete whole Silos or Categories to trash from the Manual Silo Builder. Also deletes the related categories and sends any child posts to trash. Alert in place upon selecting "Delete" option.
    • Sends to trash instead of permanently deleting, just in case user mistakenly deletes the wrong Silo/Category.
  • Added term meta so category connects to related page for a two-way connection. Previous version only connected page to category.
  • In the sidebar widget, number of posts now controlled separately from number of pages.
  • A few minor formatting changes to match up closer with deep silo, making future comparisons easier.

Version 4.0 (28 July 2015)

  • Major fix of many systems. The main ones:
    • fixed menu ordering
    • will create SEO Silo Menu, but won't replace already set menus or automatically set to Primary
    • added unique code to connect pages with their categories, with legacy and disconnection fallback
    • connection between page & category is now through unique id (with slug fallback) rather than through page title
    • all silo levels update/correct (legacy ids replaced and deleted) on opening Manual Silo Builder page
    • allows updating of Silo level pages
    • changing the title or slug of a Silo or Category level page won't send all the posts into Uncategorized
    • generate and apply unique slug for Category level pages if they are not unique across different Silos
    • "cannot remove" text now on Category level pages if they have subordinate posts
    • better handling of saving posts to reduce chance of infinite loop
    • updates matching category order if page order changes
    • removed feature that increased excerpt length beyond standard wordpress behaviour.
    • spelling, spacing & formatting fixes
    • cleaned up date parsing
    • if comment contains blacklisted (according to Wordpress comment rules) content, moves to next comment without inserting it.

Version 3.0.4 (24 June 2015)

  • A problem with the tests in this plugin stopped the comments from being posted. From GMT offset seconds down, it's the same as before - just changed indentation. Rewrote the initial part to match vkrakken.
  • Fixed widget problem where <div> tags were not being properly closed.

Version 3.0.3 (9 March 2015)

  • When importing from DWS, if xml contained invalid characters (usually from copy/pasting from MS Word), import failed. This version removes the invalid characters and allows importing.
  • Changed shortcode wrapper markup to styled <span> instead of <code>, which caused issues if copy/pasted to visual editor
  • Changed widget to only display <span> and <div> if called for. Eg not in sidebar. In article, only if excerpt/thumbnail called
  • Changed widget <h3> to <span> for links
  • Added class to excerpt. 'silo-text-sidebar' for sidebar widget, 'silo-text-body' for article widget.
  • Removed stray pipe from <title>

Version 1.6.3

  • Site Name on Sidebar Widget became a user entered variable with "Home" as the default. This option is available in on the widget.
  • Imports or manual updates to the structure will automatically change the title capitalization to upper case the first character of each word, unless the word is all capitals, in which case it remains unchanged.
  • Give the silo structure (currently on the settings page) its own tab called "Silo Map".
  • Drag and Drop on Manual Silo Builder page - you can change the order of silos, move categories between different silos, and pages between different categories.
  • Two shortcode area options for adsense and banner ads
  • Issue with occasional duplicate videos resolved

Version 1.5

  • Added optional thumbnail image and in the video version creates and uses a video thumb onto both
    • Sidebar Widget Menu
    • Contextual Menu Area
  • Posts can now be added to the silo structure from standard WP post editor with new Sidebar Widget in the post edit area
  • Plugin performs check to insure a file was specified for upload
  • Modified to add pages to the background so there would be no timeout during large file uploads
  • Cannot import more than 30 Silos without crashing to 504 error.
  • if a fresh blog is created, user must first "save" video options or videos will not load
  • the plugin ignores draft and publishes posts
  • In tab loses focus from going from Description to keywords in Post Meta Data box
  • when importing multiple files, in subsequent files the pages are imported improperly in a number of ways, breaking the silo structure
  • Adding a second import file causes all new pages to load as silo landing pages
  • Adding a second import file causes supporting pages to be created as pages, categories and posts

Version 1.1.1

  • Bug Fix: Fixed update to Menu, checks if menu item exists. Allows for handling multiple xmls.
  • Update: Meta Tag Handler. If SEO Ultimate is installed, this feature disables. Add Meta Title, Keywords, Desc to Pages/Posts
  • Menu Created based on silo, must enable under menu location.
  • New node management for imports (under Advance Settings).
  • Fix Home/Menu permalinks (Slug appears in anchor).
  • Sidebar fixed with proper sub links.

Related Products

Simple Silo Builder WP Plugin - a two tier silo plugin

Deep Silo Builder WP Plugin - a three tier silo plugin without the content options of Video SEO Silo Builder

Video Krakken WP Plugin - an auto-posting plugin that includes youtube videos and banner shortcodes

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