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.
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
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.
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.
Just for the record I make a substantial living from YouTube marketing and I also run my own SEO firm with over 250 clients with Google Front Page Rankings. Now I use Fiverr for my YouTube rankings and I agree with Brian but would also like to add a little more value. After you do what Brian suggest visit Fiver and find someone that dripfeeds views for 20 days. 100 views a day for 20 consecutive days works wonders with the right backlink profiles. I’ve ranked for several medium competition keywords without any backlinks. Google will rank your video with social signals from just YouTube. Here is my formula 100 likes, 50 comments, 10% dislikes, 100 subscribers driven from the video, 50 video embeds and about 250 Facebook shares and likes, then build backlinks. There is a link to my Youtube channel feel free to Google search any of my keywords.
Some great stuff here. Especially your 17 powerful back-links post which I learned a couple of new things which is awesome. Thanks! My question is Bluehost allows you to have your (Hxxp://backlinko.c0m/bluehostdiscount) redirect to your Bluehost affiliate lander? Or is it you just can’t have your PPC URL as a redirect? I am not sure that I totally understand Bluehost terms. Thanks Brian.
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?
It’s a simple Google Chrome extension. First, you have to install the extension in your Google Chrome browser. Once installed, it will appear as a little checkmark icon beside your address bar. When you click on it, it will immediately start scanning all the links on a particular web page. If a link is broken or dead, it will be highlighted in red, and the error will be shown right beside the text (e.g., “404”).
Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more
3) Youtube Description - When typing up your description for all of your Youtube videos you have a maximum of 5,000 words so use them effectively and pepper in your keyword in the description along with other related keywords to your Youtube video. For example read this entire description and you will see the "video optimization" strategy that I use to rank this video on the first page of Youtube.
I was wondering if you are still following the replies here..and if you are..my question: I used to be able to land a video on page one of GOOGLE for just about anything as long as the search count was typically under 500,000. It seems now, it is more difficult even to land on the first page for something like this..(and please go look at the examples and provide your input if you are still monitoring this page)

Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more
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.
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.

Just to be clear. 100-200 views just to give your video that presence, (nobody wants to be the first person to watch your video) 3-5 days after you upload it in the span of 25-50 views a day until you at 100-200 views. Then just keep building quality links then everything else should be natural especially the traffic. Or what’s the point? Have a video getting 100 views per month making me $500. Keyword research should be your main concern, then rankings come easy.


Great content! I’m just wondering about the minimum length of 5 minutes. Do you have any numbers on how many people use the filter ‘short < 4 minutes' option when searching? I use it a lot myself. For me, that is a reason to keep my videos under 4 minutes where possible. Also, if you make your video longer than 5 minutes just for the sake of length, it can hurt the user experience. What are your thoughts on that?


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.
Hello. I just want to say thanks for this tutorial, it is SUPER HELPFUL! One question though; I can’t seem to find where on my channel or which page that shows me the “About Results” you know, for determining if a key word is too large to compete with. I see in your tutorials how it appears at the top of the page not too far from where it says “filter” after searching the word or phrase. Did YouTube get rid if this display? Please let me know brother when you can. Thanks!@
Hey Brian, thanks for the great information. Most S.E.O (Trainers) leave out a lot of useful information leaving me stuck but not you man. I already signed up for the checklist and ready to work hard. I’m starting a beauty channel and beauty blog and we both know I need all the S.E.O tips that are around lol. Thanks again and looking forward to read more of your great content!
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!
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.
I was wondering if you are still following the replies here..and if you are..my question: I used to be able to land a video on page one of GOOGLE for just about anything as long as the search count was typically under 500,000. It seems now, it is more difficult even to land on the first page for something like this..(and please go look at the examples and provide your input if you are still monitoring this page)
Thank you for your advice. A lot of the content (although really good) was pretty similar to other blogs on the topic. However there was one new point for me that I think is really going to help. I love the idea of adding a link to our latest piano video in the signature of all our teams emails. I can modify all of the signatures every two days when a new video is released and this will put them in front of so many more people. Great idea!!
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.

Link roundups are selected and organized updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given period. Roundups are mutually beneficial relationships. It’s really hard to curate content as it involves a lot of work. The bloggers creating these roundups are actively seeking content to link to. You can land links in bunches. Over time, you will gain roundup coverage naturally. After you pitch the blogger who curates the roundup, you should connect on social media. That way, they’ll discover your future updates naturally. I’ve gained some backlinks from link roundups.
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