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.
One thing I’ve been curious about from a video SEO standpoint is captions. Logic tells me that if you upload your own caption file to the video, YouTube would use that to discern what your video is about and use that info in how it ranks your video in the results. I’m running an experiment on one of my YouTube channels right now to see if they have any effect on views over time. We’ll see!

Great article. These are guidelines I usually follow and this helps explain it a bit better for me. I do have a question about the description. When you say “Put your link at the very top of the video”, are you talking about the link to the youtube video or link or your website? My co-worker likes to put in the youtube link that goes to the same video in the description. Does that help?
Anyway… I’ve been pulling out all the stop to get my Youtube videos ranked, but NOTHING is working. I have just realised though that all of my purchased, drip-fed, high-retention views are from mobile devices. Is this why I’m nowhere to be seen on Google’s SERPs? Also, do you have an e-mail address I could contact you at? I don’t want to take over your comments section single-handedly lol.

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

It good to see someone out there is genuinely trying to help out others to achieve their dreams and goal. Me and my husband have recently started a youtube channel by the name of “foodeasywithsana”. It is a channel about cooking. It has been so hard to get subscribers and views. We are trying to engage audience on many different social networking platforms but the response is very slow. Please can you help us out here. We are lost rightnow.
Youtube videos seem top of the search for almost everything now.I get Youtube is a massive cash cow for Google, but a lot of these videos that outrank traditional web pages are rubbish. It’s getting to the point where Google are compromising their own search engine. By the time you’ve scrolled past the ads and the videos, you may as well start on page two.
Brian, When a person subscribes to your YT channel as a result of watching a video, does it matter if they subscribe while Watching the video, or after the video is finished? What about subscribing after only 1 minute of the video or half way through? Does the timing matter? (You had mentioned if they subscribe after watching one of our videos it helps the video rank. I have known that but always wondered if it helps if the video is finished or not?)
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.
Great post thank you for putting this all together, great info.! I have been experimenting around with these tactics for about last 3 months and have found comparable results. Actually, it’s funny, you can use similar backlinking strategies for ranking a Facebook page, that’s is what I have found. So now I know I can rank a FB page or a YT video pretty quickly, like you say, like back in ’09, haha, when life was grand! I have used some other services for real, human, YT views, some even offer ‘full views’ or percentage of ‘full views’. Great post just wanted to thank you! Keep up the good work!
One thing I’ve been curious about from a video SEO standpoint is captions. Logic tells me that if you upload your own caption file to the video, YouTube would use that to discern what your video is about and use that info in how it ranks your video in the results. I’m running an experiment on one of my YouTube channels right now to see if they have any effect on views over time. We’ll see!
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What about subtitles & closed captions? I see in one of your comment replies that you’ve uploaded transcripts of your videos but looks like Youtube has 1 spot for transcripts and another for subtitles/CC. Have you tested both transcripts and subtitles/CC? Also, I know the difference between subtitles and CC but there doesn’t appear to be anyone that’s tested once vs the other. Might be something to test.
This logic is excellent. I’m curious as to how well this would work for a film teaser as opposed to an ad or how-to video? Are there any steps one should alter a bit to provide SEO for the teaser? Luckily, I have several different directions I can go with keywords and for a film teaser, it can easily be linked to how-to video keywords. Even though it’s technically advertising for the film, the video is of a mock cooking show on how to bake old fashioned pies, as that’s what these characters do in my film…lots of SEO opportunities that most film teasers wouldn’t normally have! Any further insight would be MUCH appreciated!

Build generic anchor text like watch this video with low pr backlinks and use the high pr backlinks for your main keywords and lsi keywords. Related keywords does wonders for videos. Keep your anchor text ratio at 10 main keywords, 50% url and 20-30 generic, click here, watch this video and so on. Build backlinks with Generic and url first everyday for 2 weeks and keep it consistent, then once you can find your video with serpfox.com then you start with your exact anchor matches and you continue to do generic and url backlinking. Don’t buy views unless you know your video won’t get deleted. I never buy views. Just vseo. Hope this helps.
Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant result for any given query. Their entire business model relies on them being able to do this, consistently, across hundreds of billions of searches. For that reason, they’ve invested heavily into understanding the intent of queries, i.e., the reason a person typed a specific thing into Google in the first place.
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