This is fantastic information and really useful for starting a new YouTube channel. I have a question regarding the length of the videos: I have heard that YouTube does not promote videos that are less than 5 mins in length as “Suggested Videos”, is that true? Some of the YouTubers I have interacted with suggest me to go for videos longer than 5 mins and I was wondering if that would have any impact.
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.
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.

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!

Hey Eddy, my name is Stanford Pelage I am a YouTube and Google seo expert. I’ve made several comments on this thread and I would suggest that you went through the entire comments and look click ctrl f and type mrpelge and read all of my comments, that would drastically help you. The thing about YouTube Google rankings since April 2014 Google had a major update, many vseo have been crying but the solution is pretty simple. Treat your important videos like a website, don’t over optimize and don’t keyword stuff. Everyone says to do long articles, I would recommend a 1,000-1,500 word unique article for YouTube videos with a lot of competition. Don’t spam your video filename, don’t spam the tags. Just 3-5 tags would be sufficient. Main keyword,main keyword with an s and an lsi keyword and what your product does would be perfect, don’t want to confuse Google, that represents spam.


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.

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!


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!

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.

Ok I had a recent video that literally a week later was on page one for keyword which was competitive and now it’s fallen way off serps. I’ve dug around and heard that GGle/YT in Feb did an algo change. All I know is I was so happy and then depressed as nothing in the video had changed…Any comments. And I haven’t read the comments yet perhaps some info…
Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that's farther away from your location is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.
Thanks for sharing and explaining the Ultimate Youtube SEO guide, very helpfull! I have a question, is it better to rank hosted videos (for example Wistia) which don’t show up in Youtube or to rank Youtube videos? Hosted videos show up in google video and take the visitor directly to your page while youtube does not (only in description). Which video platform would you advise?
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!
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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