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?

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.
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?
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!

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.
Your the first person that I have found that has mentioned a “video search” in Google. This is a GREAT point that I will continue to look for and title in the right way to acquire these searches. I do mostly local SEO, and many of the terms that I want to target are not viable as “video searches” per say. I have found that combining reviews with local search terms works well, and that videos can rank about 5x faster than traditional SEO when done correctly.
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.