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How to Fix Missing ThumbnailUrl Error in Schema Markup

If you publish content containing videos, you want to ensure the videos appear correctly in Google’s search results. Adding a thumbnail image to the videos is one way to achieve this. 

If your video lacks a thumbnail image, Google may autogenerate one, or Rank Math may add one automatically, depending on your settings. However, if none of these happens, Google Search Console (GSC) and the Rich Results Test tool will display a Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error message, as shown below.

Missing field thumbnailUrl error message

This knowledgebase article will show you how to fix the Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error in Google Search Console using Rank Math.

1 Enable the Schema Module

Navigate to WordPress Dashboard Rank Math SEO and enable the Schema module, as shown below.

Enable the Schema module in Rank Math

If you’ve enabled the Autodetect Video and Autogenerate Image options, Rank Math will automatically detect your videos and fetch their thumbnails. However, this option only works with videos hosted externally on supported platforms like YouTube. 

If you hosted the video on your WordPress site, Rank Math would use your featured image as the thumbnail image. You should follow the steps below to add a featured image to WordPress.

2.1 Click the Settings Icon

To set a featured image, navigate to the post or page. In the top taskbar, click the Settings/Sidebar icon, as shown below.

click the Settings icon

In the sidebar, scroll to the Featured Image section and click Set featured image to select a thumbnail image from your website’s media files or upload one from your computer.

Click Set featured image

After adding a featured image, the thumbnailUrl property will be automatically added to your Video Schema, thus fixing the Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error.

3 Add a Custom thumbnailUrl Property via Video Schema

If you don’t want to use your featured image as your video’s thumbnail, you can add a custom thumbnail using Rank Math’s Video Schema. Here’s how to do it:

3.1 Open the Rank Math Metabox 

The first step is to navigate to the top-right of the screen and click the Rank Math icon, as shown below. 

Open the Rank Math metabox

3.2 Open the Video Schema

In the Rank Math metabox, click the Schema icon. Then, navigate to the Video Schema and click the Edit icon. 

Click the Schema tab and the Edit icon

Note: You will be presented with multiple Video Schema Markups if the content contains multiple videos. You can copy and open the EMBED URL or CONTENT URL in a new tab to reveal the video connected to the Schema. 

3.3 Upload a Video Thumbnail URL

In the Schema Builder, locate the VIDEO THUMBNAIL section and paste your video’s custom thumbnail image URL. Once done, click Save for this Post

Paste your video thumbnail in the Schema

This will automatically fix the Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error for a single Video Schema. If the content contains multiple videos, you will insert the VIDEO THUMBNAIL URL one after another.

4 Validate Your Page Schema Markup

You can validate your Schema to confirm that you have fixed the Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error. Here’s how to go about it.

Return to the Schema in Use field and click the View icon, as shown below.

Click the view icon of the Video Schema

4.2 Test the Code

A popup box will appear showing the JSON-LD CODE of your page Schema. To validate the code, click Test with Google, as shown below. 

Click Test with Google

You’ll be redirected to the Rich Result Test tool. Click TEST CODE as shown below.


If you’ve correctly resolved the issue, the results will show that your video item is detected as valid.

Example of a valid thumbnailUrl property

The Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error occurs when Google cannot find a valid thumbnail image for your video content on your web page. By fixing the error as shown in this knowledgebase, you can ensure that Google can find and display your video thumbnails correctly and improve your site’s visibility in search results.

We hope you’re able to fix the Missing field “thumbnailUrl” error. If you have questions, you’re always more than welcome to contact our dedicated support team. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year…

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