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?

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?


Great post thank you for putting this all together, great info.! I have been experimenting around with these tactics for about last 3 months and have found comparable results. Actually, it’s funny, you can use similar backlinking strategies for ranking a Facebook page, that’s is what I have found. So now I know I can rank a FB page or a YT video pretty quickly, like you say, like back in ’09, haha, when life was grand! I have used some other services for real, human, YT views, some even offer ‘full views’ or percentage of ‘full views’. Great post just wanted to thank you! Keep up the good work!
One thing I’ve been curious about from a video SEO standpoint is captions. Logic tells me that if you upload your own caption file to the video, YouTube would use that to discern what your video is about and use that info in how it ranks your video in the results. I’m running an experiment on one of my YouTube channels right now to see if they have any effect on views over time. We’ll see!
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 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.
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.
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 😛
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?
Great post, Brian! I put up a bunch of videos on Youtube that were actually music tracks I produced.. come to find out Youtube banned by account. Why? Probably because I bought views from a website called vingler.com. All the views are from real people, but they are not high retention. I suppose that tripped some kind of red flag and Yotube shut my account down. I still have a personal account, though. I going to try this again!
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 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!
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.
Youtube videos seem top of the search for almost everything now.I get Youtube is a massive cash cow for Google, but a lot of these videos that outrank traditional web pages are rubbish. It’s getting to the point where Google are compromising their own search engine. By the time you’ve scrolled past the ads and the videos, you may as well start on page two.
These are all great. I am working on implementing most of these. My biggest issue is my site is brand new (2 months). I am ranking for a lot but seem to be limited because, I am assuming, google will not give enough trust to a new site. What should I be doing to overcome the newness of my site? I buy houses in the Dallas Fort Worth area and if you are not number 1 on google then you might as well be on page 10! Any advise would be well received and please keep up the great work!
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?
Youtube videos seem top of the search for almost everything now.I get Youtube is a massive cash cow for Google, but a lot of these videos that outrank traditional web pages are rubbish. It’s getting to the point where Google are compromising their own search engine. By the time you’ve scrolled past the ads and the videos, you may as well start on page two.
Brian, When a person subscribes to your YT channel as a result of watching a video, does it matter if they subscribe while Watching the video, or after the video is finished? What about subscribing after only 1 minute of the video or half way through? Does the timing matter? (You had mentioned if they subscribe after watching one of our videos it helps the video rank. I have known that but always wondered if it helps if the video is finished or not?)
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.
It appears that the reason this page from a little-known website is able to rank amongst the bigger players is that the content itself is more focussed. It talks about how to name images for SEO, whereas most of the other pages are more general guides to image SEO—which all presumably mention the importance of naming images correctly, amongst other things.
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