YouTube Ranking Factors

We are always talking about Google when we are talking about search engines right?

But do you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine?

And do you know which ranking factors YouTube is using?


YouTube Statistic 2012

This statistic is from the official YouTube statistic:

  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 43 countries and across 60 languages
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth

Amazing right?




YouTube Ranking Factors 

Here are some of the ranking factors. Sometimes a picture is better than many words.



Action from users

  • The number of views is of course important
  • Audience retention but the absolute (which depend on the length of your video) and the relative (compared to other videos with the same length as yours).
  • The reactions from your user – do you get any comments on your video and how many? What are the reactions (good or bad), how many numbers of thumbs up or down do you get? How many favorites and video responses do you get? And how many people are adding your video to a playlist? This is all telling YouTube about reactions from your users.
  • Social Sharing – social sharing is also an important factor – how many shares do you get from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others.
  • How many people will embed your video – both the number and PageRanks of the sites that embed your video.
  • You can also have a website that links to your video without the embed codes.


YouTube Channel

  • Authority – you can build authority with the channel title, the channel keywords and description. Also link to your homepage, channels that are related to yours and make a playlist including title, keywords and description.
  • Trust – Make your visitors trust your channel. The age of your channel is important, the number of subscribers, the number of channel views and the views of all your uploaded video. You can also connect your YouTube channel to your Google+ profile (YouTube is owned by Google)
  • Frequency – this is about activity. How active are you? How often do you log into your account? Do some ratings and comments on other videos than just your own, answer questions and comments, how often do you upload a new video? Remember to be active on your YouTube channel.


On the video upload

  • Keywords – remember to tag your video with your main keywords and description, don’t be afraid to use outgoing links to relevant sites too, use the annotation and video transcript.
  • Quality and Freshness – keep your video fresh. Well you could upload your video again after 1 year to keep it fresh and if it’s still relevant to your viewers. Quality is a key factor for your audience and maybe not for the ranking – but we all love quality right?
  • Thumbnail – this is more important than you might think because it will influence your click rates in YouTube search results (the results to the right of a YouTube video page). Usually you really can’t influence that but be sure to choose the best version)

Read much more about How to Use YouTube for SEO here and get more SEO advices for YouTube

All the best to you,













Henrik Sandberg

I am the founder of SeoCustomer and I love everything about SEO, SEM, Social Media Traffic and Link Building. Join our email club here at SeoCustomer and get blog updates and access to whitepapers about SEO.

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