20 Jun 2012

HOW TO: Increase Youtube Search Rankings (Weekly Q&A)

There’s an interesting question which is being discussed on SEOchat forums:

[What are] the factors looked at when Youtube ranks videos. I also can’t figure out what exactly they look for when ranking.

While Youtube search can be weird, by default, there are two basics you should take into account when optimizing your videos for it:

  • By default, search results are sorted by “Relevance” which is in most cases based on “exact match” (your search phrase appearing in the text surrounding your video: tags, title, description).
  • By default, search results include three types of content: actual videos, user channels and playlists.

Based on the above basics, the first things you should do to optimize for Youtube search are:

  • Provide a huge detailed description for your user channel. Make sure to do your keyword research before doing that.
  • Sort your videos into playlists to have a chance to take up one more position in Youtube search results. You can have many playlists covering multiple topics of your videos;
  • Do the most of your tags (include many various tags for each of your videos to “catch” any long tail combinations;
  • Think hard of your video title (It must be short but it must contain your main keywords);
  • Provide detailed description for your videos. Don’t be lazy.

Here’s a proof of why both the channel and video description can be very important. The following channel ranks #13 for [become a guest blogger] search on Youtube simply thanks to a few phrases that happen to be on the page:

Youtube channel


Further Reading and the Tool Box:

checkDominating Youtube Search and “Related Videos” Results (Case Study): Our own case study on optimizing your videos to rank well for many related search phrases on Youtube.

checkThe Ultimate Guide to Proper Youtube Video Tagging: Various useful tools and tricks to brainstorm relevant tags to use for your videos;

checkYoutube SEO Experiment & Useful Tips: The huge case study on how to rank your video on Youtube. Must-read from Distilled!

Please share your thoughts by commenting in the initial thread or comment below!