Google updates its search algorithm frequently. For example, on February 23rd, 2016, Google made significant changes to AdWords, removing right-column ads entirely and rolling out 4-ad top blocks on many commercial searches. While this was a paid search update, it had significant implications for CTR for both paid and organic results, especially on competitive keywords.

Dear Brian, thank you for this clear and helpful tutorial. A question: if I want to rank a YouTube video specifically on Google… should I focus only on engagement (retention views, comments, social media shares, ecc.) or should I add also classic backlinks (anchor text to the video url, from other sites)? I still don’t understand If the last ones are almost useless or actually useful.


We’ve started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search to reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching. […] The experimental results of this change have proven positive — less clicking, more watching. […] As with previous optimizations to our discovery features, this should benefit your channel if your videos drive more viewing time across YouTube.
Well, I know you’re “walking the talk” because I found this on the first page of Google while I was looking for ways to promote my family’s new YouTube parody channel! I really appreciate your tips and your videos are really professional. My question is, how do the “rules” differ for promoting funny videos? Are there good places you know of to post those? I know you’re crazy busy but I’d love to hear your advice!
Hi Brian, Thanks for sharing your insights on youtube SEO. I recently had my video go viral (it has gotten almost 145,000 views on YouTube and Twitter within a week). The tipping point seemed to be that it was tweeted out by someone as “The Worst Ad on YouTube.” Strangely this person does not have that many followers but it seemed to pick up a tremendous amount of views very quickly. I was running Adwords and Facebook campaigns, but at a pretty low level. Any insights?
Ensure that the pictures on your website have file names which include the target keyword. Also, your target keyword should be part of your image’s Alt Text. This will improve optimization for your article and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your article/page. Images are an important component of any website as they make pages visually attractive as well as informative. Optimizing your images should naturally boost your ranking. Also, your image will get a high rank in Google image search.
Great post! You just gave me an idea for another passive income stream. I haven’t had any experience with building backlinks in to YouTube vids, but I think that the sheer authority of YT that the internal links alone makes it easier to rank for moderately competitive keywords compared to websites, the farthest I’d go is share it in social media. The key is getting it indexed.
There is much you can do right with YouTube but there is also a lot of things you can do wrong! For instance all of my affiliate videos are on the same channel, if Google decided i violated their tos I would have to start all over but Google see the value I bring. I would suggest using different channels for different niches rather than having 1 channel or 1,000 channels.
Thanks for the post. I found you through a G search for how to rank a YouTube video. I honestly think with the recent G update, they are trying to force their adwords and YT and everything else they own to the user. So I think that the new “niche site” is going to be YT videos. I lost a ton of rankings to my niche site over the weekend. My entire website went from average 800 UV a day to 10… Really made my heart sink. Just as I was starting to do well with SEO ha ha.
Just to be clear. 100-200 views just to give your video that presence, (nobody wants to be the first person to watch your video) 3-5 days after you upload it in the span of 25-50 views a day until you at 100-200 views. Then just keep building quality links then everything else should be natural especially the traffic. Or what’s the point? Have a video getting 100 views per month making me $500. Keyword research should be your main concern, then rankings come easy.

I am not even appearing in the SERP (Youtube) while searching for the title of the video. Another point is we have distributed the copyright of our video with other premium youtube channel and now they are appearing almost everywhere in the SERP (even when a user search for the title). They are also expending $90 on a daily basis to promote that video.

Great article about youtube videos, but I have a question. I see that you start link building within a few days. What types of links are you building to your site? I heard some people are even spamming links to youtube. I would think that even if google is ok with that now, in the future they might not like it at all and punish you badly. I know you aslo mentioned social signals, is that your only link building? Thanks


Google updates its search algorithm frequently. For example, on February 23rd, 2016, Google made significant changes to AdWords, removing right-column ads entirely and rolling out 4-ad top blocks on many commercial searches. While this was a paid search update, it had significant implications for CTR for both paid and organic results, especially on competitive keywords.
I have 1 little problem with your claim about longer videos being better. Personally when I’m looking for a how to solution to a problem I prefer shorter videos because then I won’t have to click through the video to get to my answer. I think eventually it will be about offering the best information in the shortest span of time. I think ultimately that the retention rate of a shorter video with the same quality will beat a longer video just because it has less retention.. because people prefer easy and fast solutions. What do you think?

Great content! I’m just wondering about the minimum length of 5 minutes. Do you have any numbers on how many people use the filter ‘short < 4 minutes' option when searching? I use it a lot myself. For me, that is a reason to keep my videos under 4 minutes where possible. Also, if you make your video longer than 5 minutes just for the sake of length, it can hurt the user experience. What are your thoughts on that?
Quick question: You say you don’t recommend payed views (i.e. fiverr) which is understandable for various reasons. However, would you say that if you start from scratch (no social network whatsoever and a brand-new video) it could be beneficial to buy maybe 2,000-5,000 views, a bunch of likes/subscribers/etc. just to get it started and then let it grow organically?
Great article Brian – thanks! Quick question – I had kind of noticed that some search terms Google seems to not want to return videos in the results at all. If we can rank it for a longer tail keyphrase will Google then be more likely to consider ranking it for the original phrase you can’t get ranked for? For example,if I wanted to rank for Holiday Cottages in The Loire (which I wasn’t able to get a video to show up in at ALL for about the first 10 pages) – If I ranked it for How to Book Holiday Cottages in The Loire – would that help get a ranking for that first phrase I wanted to target (Holiday Cottages in The Loire)? Thanks
Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure that you’ve entered all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Provide information like (but not limited to) your physical address, phone number, category, and attributes. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes. Learn how to edit your business information
7) Social Engagment - Likes, Comments, and social shares are the name of the SEO game. If you have a high likes to dislikes ratio then Youtube will favor your video so the goal is to get as many likes as possible and as many comments as possible. I'm not going to go into detail here as I cover this in this "Youtube VIDEO SEO" tutorial so pay close attention to the end of the video.
Ensure that the pictures on your website have file names which include the target keyword. Also, your target keyword should be part of your image’s Alt Text. This will improve optimization for your article and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your article/page. Images are an important component of any website as they make pages visually attractive as well as informative. Optimizing your images should naturally boost your ranking. Also, your image will get a high rank in Google image search.
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