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.
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.
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?
Google is still nothing but a computer software and if you ranking high in Google make sure you’re ranking high in YouTube so you getting at least 30% suggested video traffic and 25% YouTube search traffic. Google will drop your video if it’s only ranking high because of backlinks. And it’s okay to get 100-200 fake views YouTube don’t care about that, but once it’s like 5,000 views in 2hours for a topic that gets 100 searches a month all from Russia, you going down!
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.

Hey Brian and Alex, the backlinks doesn’t necessarily help your YouTube rankings, but backlinks from other videos and channels are a big part of the YouTube algorithm and Google rankings is a part of YouTube algorithm as well. What really helps is higher PR backlinks and front page Google rankings, that will naturally help your video rank better on YouTube. If you have good rankings on Google, your YouTube rankings also get better. Then the obvious, high retention views is what dominates YouTube search results. Ex. Google search “draas” without quotes, my client video is number 5 on Google and number 1 on YouTube. How? Everybody has more views, likes, favorites and comments. But my video is properly optimized, and my Google presents is evident.
This content will help you boost your rankings in two primary ways. First, more content means more keywords, and therefore more opportunities for Google to return your site in the search results. Second, the more content you have, the more links you generally accumulate. Plus, having lots of content is great for getting visitors to stay on your site longer. Win-win!
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