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?
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.
I followed your recommendations but faced some strangeness in video rankings. I have launched a channel on youtube a week ago. I have already uploaded and optimized 3 videos for “video keywords”. And so far i have a situation: two of my videos are ranking high in Youtube (1st and 5th position) but non of them are being shown in Google search results. But at the same time google shows up to 10 video results for those keywords. Do you have any ideas why? Really appreciate your help.
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 😛
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!
Hey Brian. From my experience embeds are just as important because in a way it’s a more powerful link. Most importantly home page contextual embeds on high pr related topics are key but extremely hard to get. I would say 1 of those embeds are worth 2 high pr links. Other than that Brian you’re right. Embeds are powerful because the user have to take time embed and share the video. Like for example Google search passive print system. My video is on the front page 0 backlinks. 10 pdf embeds that don’t show up in Ahrefs. Pretty stealth. But the Youtube button on each embed is a backlink that takes you back to YouTube. So if the site is relevant you technically don’t need backlinks for low competition keywordsuse my vvideo as a staple.
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.

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.
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.
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 😛
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.
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!
I even found a terms that return ‘not enough data’ in YouTube but gets 350 searches in Google monthly and the two of the top 3 results are Youtube Videos. While I am now the top video in YT for the term, the #2 Video is the one used in the Google SERPs. Any thoughts on why the Google SERPs choose lower ranking YT videos to show? I am leaning towards the lack of social signals but would love your input.
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

But sometimes there are site-wide technical issues that get in your way of ranking on Google. Luckily, fixing technical issues is not a required step for every single piece of content you create. However, as you create more and more content you should be aware of duplicate content, broken links, or problems with crawling and indexing. These issues can set you back in search results.
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