Great Stuff Brian!! I have read carfeully throughout your guide and noted down a customized plan for myself to follow everytime I post youtube videos. By the end of the blog post, I saw that you had a checklist already provided haha. It is great however as I’ve written a more customizable one. You information is truly helpful and so valuable. Thanks so much for this blog post.
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.
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?
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.
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.

Google PageRank (Google PR) is one of the methods Google uses to determine a page's relevance or importance. Important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results. Google PageRank (PR) is a measure from 0 - 10. Google Pagerank is based on backlinks. The more quality backlinks the higher Google Pagerank. Improving your Google page rank (building QUALITY backlinks ) is very important if you want to improve your search engine rankings.


Brian it seems to me that one of the biggest downsides of videos on your site is the load time. So I was checking into lazy load. But then I read that Google doesn’t crawl videos if they are lazy loaded. Do you think lazy loading is a good idea? Basically what’s more important for SEO: speed, or having Google see the extra video content? Or is there another way to make videos faster?
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.

This is another excellent piece of content Brian. I now find myself asking, “What would Brian do?” while creating content/outreach. In this piece though, I cannot wrap my head around your video production only costing $90. Every time I have looked into video production/editing locally, the price has always been $1000+. Perhaps because I live so close to Hollywood LOL.
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.
Awesome post! It turns out that one of my videos ranked just by following your instructions on video and description optimization. I didn’t even get around to Vagex! I’m sure that if I can rack up more likes and blast a few links(I don’t need to ATM, it’s pretty high in G anyway), I could do even better. I may just set up a few affiliate link videos(out of my niche) as a side income. Plain awesome, man.
Just for the record I offer a video ranking service both for YouTube and Google. So I know a little about vseo. If you have a brand new product you can throw tons of backlinks to it as long as it looks natural. Google has no idea how this search term will perform so it would be unfair to penalize you. Hopeton you gotta remember Youtube is not just a video site it’s also the 2nd largest search engine and a pretty huge social site. When was the last time you watched just 1 video on YouTube?
I have to say, i had no idea it really made a difference to change the title of the video to a kw before uploading to YT I saw almost immediate results. Thanks for the reminder about PAD links to add to diversity… however with that said, after the nightmare that Hummingbird has turned into – do you think that these guidelines still hold up in todays serp??? Really looking forward to your response – I am in a battle with Youtube at the moment and have been experimenting with different strategies for 2 years now 😛
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.

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.
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?
Well you always write about the keyword “SEO” while giving YouTube examples. How can it help to YouTubers who don’t have any blogs or website (in step 3 – description part)? You could have given examples of YouTubers who are in entertainment industry as well because the people who visit your site are not necessarily webmasters. They could be anyone.
Hey Brian That was a great article ! I was always curious about Youtube SEO and its quite detailed I’ll try to write the main points in my notepad so I can remember this checklist when doing Youtube Seo 🙂 The tutorial is also quite helpful ! I agree with you on the queries google uses for showing video results, that makes sense now why google shows videos on “How to” queries.
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Longer content not only helps in adding more keywords to it, but there is also a natural emphasis on information. The authenticity of a post increases with longer text, which means that Google would recognize it as something more relevant than a shorter and concise text. As search patterns are synonymous with long tail keywords nowadays, a longer text also improves the chances of your article/website to be on a higher ranking than others.
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