Youtube ranking optimization or how to rank higher on youtube

Youtube Ranking Optimization (YRO) is definitely in its infancy and I have yet to see a comprehensive resource on the subject… so I’ve decided to coin the new phrase “Youtube Ranking Optimization (YRO)” and start the ball rolling 🙂

Please note: as of today a search for “youtube ranking optimization” (youtube seo) on both Yahoo and Google yields zero results; let’s see if we can work together and develop the science of ranking higher on youtube!

Up until now I’ve pretty much ignored youtube for many reasons, but mostly because I just never took the time out of my schedule to work with my staff on it.

But that’s about to change.

I hired 3 full time web 2.0 guys a few months ago and their only job all summer long was to simply surf hundreds of social networking/web 2.0 sites and compile a huge web 2.0 knowledge base for my own personal reference library.

They basically kept electronic journals documenting their explorations and discoveries and now I’m working through their notes.

They also built dozens of social networking profile pages for me at sites like myspace, facebook, squidoo, etc., but I haven’t had time to play around with all of them, just youtube and myspace.

Here’s my youtube profile page:
Jeff Johnson Videos

Here’s what I’ve learned about youtube ranking optimization (Youtube SEO)  or ranking higher on youtube itself:

The youtube search engine uses three basic items to initially rank your video:

• The title of your video
• The description of your video
• The tags that you assign to your video

It can’t actually “read” what’s in the video itself so it relies on you to give it clues as to what the video is about.

That means all you really have to do to get started with your Youtube Ranking Optimization is to include your primary keyword phrase in the title, description and tags of each video.

Be sure to create unique titles, descriptions and tag sets for each video, even if they are similar in nature; doing so will create “unique” content for the other engines to find, and help you create “long tail” phrases that occur naturally in your writing.

Pretty simple, huh?

There’s actually a lot more to it than that but this blog post is getting too long so I’ll stop here and try to remember to share more of my “rank higher on youtube” observations with you in a later post.

Just be sure to visit my youtube channel and poke around looking for clues in the meantime 😉

Here’s my youtube profile page again:
Jeff Johnson Videos


Jeff Johnson


Here’s a new youtube SEO video for you:

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38 Responses to “Youtube ranking optimization or how to rank higher on youtube”

  1. Oran says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Youtube Ranking Optimization (YRO) is a great concept. I have been experimenting with it and can offer 2 ideas:
    1. “A video is a video”: keep em short to minimize your production time, upload time, & download time.
    2.”Parts is Parts”: build modular videos, paticularly slide shows, so that you can just add in 1 or 2 new slides, and voila, you have a new video with a new theme.
    Best wishes, Oran

  2. Helen says:

    I make photo pet memorial jewelry. A YouTube marketing method I used was to make a video of the before pet picture, then the piece of jewelry made of that pet. I put in a tear jerker song. I introduced it with credits with my URL then ended it the same. I then emailed my customers and told them they could see a memorial of their dear pet, and that I hoped they would visit, rate it and comment on it. Don’t know if it will bring me customers but surely it will give me a good incoming link.

  3. Abdaleye says:

    I recently bought a software that has helped rank my videos very nicely. I can get about 200 visitors a day from every video I upload to youtube once I run the software on my video.

    Its called tube automator

    Jeff Johnson says: I’m not passing judgement… But be careful; that is most definitely a spam tool and could get you kicked off youtube for using it. Be sure to only use it on your “throw away” accounts.

  4. Rose says:

    youtube ranking optimization now brings up this blog.

    Jeff Johnson Says: Cool!

  5. Chris says:

    Hey Jeff thanks for the post.

    I just checked your profile on Youtube and saw your videos that reviewed the Casio Exilim under the search term ‘Casio Exilim ex-z1080’.

    I saw that you were kind of split testing the results.

    And the newer version of the same video put up 1 month ago is ranking higher than the one that was put up 6 months ago – YET the 6month old video is actually rated 3 stars compared to the 1 month old video.

    The only other difference is that the newer video has more comments than the older.

    It’d be interesting in the test results.

    1. Do newer videos get more preference than older?
    2. Are videos ranked according to the number of comments?
    3. Do the contents of the other videos in your profile (tags, titles and descriptions) as well as your profile name, play a role in the ranking of your video amongst others for the same/similar keyword?

    It’d be interesting to find the test results. It could possibly be a combination of all of the above.

    Maybe finding that out will help you put out your ooined term ‘YRO’ in the internet marketing realm. Anyway, thanks for the heads up.

    Jeff Johnson says: Here are the answers to your questions:
    1. No, newer videos do not necessarily rank higher than old ones. It has to do with many, many factors including incoming links, comments, tags, the number of sites that host it outside of youtube, the quality of those sites, etc.
    2. Yes, commenting helps but is not the only thing that matters.
    3. Yes, the only way the engines know what is in the video is by what you tell them is in it by use of your incoming link text, the title tags, your description, and any of the words found on the pages surrounding it.

    That pretty much means you should optimize the pages that your videos on in the same way you would for a regular page.

  6. David Birley says:

    Apart from the tags etc, wouldn’t having a lot of either “subscribers” or comments on the video help with the rank of that video? (especially if it was competing for highly searched keywords).

    Youtube certainly indexes high in Google – I came across a cool service the other day called “Tube Mogul” ( that allows you to upload your videos to the ONE site, and it will distribute it to about 12 different video sites at the same time for you.

    The cool thing with this is that you can track the views of ALL of the videos on different sites, on the SAME PAGE.


    Any thoughts?

    Jeff Johnson says: tube mogul is great and offers analytics so you can track your video stats.

    ANd yes, comments and subsribers to your videos is definitely a plus for ranking higher on youtube

  7. David Birley says:

    In terms of ranking high in youtube, i read somewhere that it helps getting a lot of views and comments.

    In terms of getting more views, by embedding the video in your blog or site, and people clicking on that video, your views of that video will increase simultaneously over at youtube.

    This technically can increase your ranking as well…

    Those are not my words – I haven’t done it yet.


  8. Chris W. says:

    I have 2 videos that got over 10000 views in a week and several in the thousands. Here are some VERY important strategies I have found for getting high ratings.

    1. Find a “Hot” video that is complimentary to yours. (I.E., Search for what you would search for to find your video and find the hottest videos that match the same search pattern.)

    2. Set your video as a video response to the hottest you can. If they do not accept yours as a response, move down the list until someone does.

    3. Find complimentary web forums and IRC channels and post the video links there with the description. Make Sure You Do Not Do This As Spam or you will be booted and shunned. Make sure you pick a few forums that are interesting to you and become known and respected in your own right, and then people will not begrudge you for showing them your work.


  9. John says:

    That is really great, but the problem is how can we know what people are searching for in youtube search bar.

    Can someone tell us is there a statistic for top youtube searches, or/and tool like like overture for gooole.

    Please if someone know something,let us know.

    Jeff Johnson says: You just assume they are looking for the keyword phrases that they look for on the web.

    Or you could use the technorati “popular videos” feature

    I use Wordtracker Free Trail for my keyword research

  10. John says:

    Hi again

    First for all thanks Jeff for your answer, but how technorati will help me to know which are the most popular keywords?

    Does youtube show their top searched keywords, or is there a place we can see them?

    Jeff Jonnson says: Technorati shows you which videos are the most popular based on their blog buzz.. that helps you come up with keywords that would be associated with them.

    youtube itself has “top favorites” section that will tell you which videos are the most popular for the week/ month, all time… and you can guess which keywords are associated with those videos; they simply look in the title, tags, and description

  11. John says:

    Does someone know software that is similat to Tube Automator?

    Jeff Johnson says: We use a paid service I like to call Automatic Video Sharing

  12. John says:

    Does someone know software that is similar to Tube Automator?

    My guys use a video submission service I call Automatic Video Sharing

  13. John says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Is there a course that will explain how can we increase conversion rate of videos.

    Or site site free tips?

    Jeff Johnson says: I assume you mean “conversons rate” to sales. If so, you have to include a great offer just like you would for a sales letter or a PPC ad. And writing a script before shooting helps you design it more like a verbal sales letter… and helps you avoid rambling on and saying “mmmm” and “uhh” a million times.

    Copywriting is the key to any good offer.

    Here’s one of the best:

  14. John says:

    Hi Jeff,

    How actually Traffic Geyser works?

    Their offer is great, but how do they achieve that?

    And what do I need to do?

    Do I need to create title, description, and tags, or they will do this?

    Jeff Johnson Says: TG works by helping you automate the video submission process. You load your video up to TG and then they help you post it to dozens of video search engines; one upload versuses doezens.

    How does it work? Well, they use a combination of perl and curl programming/scripts to get the job done… most of the search sites don’t have API’s to allow for automation.

    Other than that it relies on the fact that the search engines are crawling these “web 2.0” sites every few seconds, and that google actually updates their database continuously; if they find a blog post or video they like they can post it to their SERPS in minutes.

    Once you load up your video you need to give it title, description, etc.

    You can do all the submissions without TG by hand, but TG makes life much easier.

    Here’s my link for the service we are currently using for video submissions:

  15. david says:

    is there a way to get paid for your videos? … i know youtube has some adense for videos, but i’m looking for more …

    Jeff Johnson says: Use your videos to sell products and build your list. In fact, sell your videos as products themselves. I know that sounds obvious.. but you asked and it’s something we do all the time.

    We use them quite successfully to sell earn thousands in affiliate commissions selling someone else’s products.

    It can be for electronic gadgets, “guru” courses, you name it.

    We also use crappy videos to build lead lists… there’s money in a list that is marketed to correctly.

  16. John says:

    Don’t forget to leave advertisements in the beginning and end of your videos

  17. Rameeka kumari says:

    Hi friends,

    A great ideas and comment i have found over this article and this is quite pretty to initialiste tags and keep more descriptive.

    But can any one tell me the question is different little ——–

    Does the use of You tube hearts our site ranking and PR , If i am uploading some videos with site links and comments on others videos.

    Please tell me i am waiting a faithful reply


    Jeff says: If all you are worried about is preserving pr, then yes, outgoing links will reduce that… but outgoing links doesn’t necessarily hurt your traffic… the outgoing links can be a reason people visit your site and link to it in the first place.

  18. Great article! It’s really helpful. Thanks.

  19. Tom says:

    Hi Jeff,

    lots of thoughts in here, im also starting to optimize you tube promotions. Can you tell we what are the pre planing we should do before launching our videos on you tube.

    Jeff says: You need to plan your offer that will drive them from the video to your website, your keywords for the tags, and the title of your video.

    You also need to decide on the frequency you’ll be releasing the videos… don’t just dump them all in at once… spread them out if you can.

  20. One thing I do know is this: you need to be patient. I beleive that you guys are right when you say that your videos likely get ranked higher if you have a good amount of subscribers. I know that cheating doesn’t work. Jeff, I use the same service you use ( and I love it! I recommend it to everyone, but I have a warning. My friend Dan Dimit and I used the new feature where you create “different versions” of your videos by uploading them in different formats. We were impatient and uploaded too many videos too fast to YouTube and we had a combined 12 channels removed by YouTube! So, my new suggestion is that you be patient with any new channels and don’t try to cheat, this can get you a whole lot more traffic to your sites in the long haul.

    Daniel Pereira

  21. Enthusiast says:

    Nice ideas!! Good blog.

  22. Captain Jack says:

    I see YT has once again changed the way it ranks videos with its newest change in “Most Popular” tab. Anyone have any ideas what is a factor in this new ranking?

  23. KC says:

    Nice post! One important thing to realize is that Youtube videos are also showing up in regular Google searches now.

    I find that getting links to your Youtube videos using keyword anchor text is one way to get them to rank higher in Google results. This will also increase views of your video and thus higher rankings within Youtube.

    I’ve also setup a page on my site which shows my last 10 Youtube videos (see my website link for an example).

    Hope this helps.


  24. Alfie says:

    Maybe the appropriate term is Youtube Search Engine Optimization (YSEO). 🙂

  25. johnyy says:

    anyone knows how long youtube needs to update the ranking?
    my video has 50000 views aand 60 five stars but is not on the top , anyone know why?
    the keyword is also in the title and in the tags

  26. Rouad says:

    Hi Jeff,

    You seen to have a great deal of knowledge in internet Marketing which I greatly respect.

    Thanks for your insight into Youtube Ranking Optimization.



  27. YouTube Ranking Optimization…

    Ever wondered why some video on YouTube rank better than others? You can certainly start with basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Put you preferred keyword in the title, description and tags early and often.

  28. Sean Mize says:

    Thanks for the info…

    By the way, do you have the formula youtube uses to rank the videos? If there were 3 things you would do to increase your youtube rankings, what would they be? And can I assume that higher rankings in youtube = higher rankings in google for that particular video?



  29. Davi says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Excuse me English badly writing, is that am in Brazil and I don’t have great intimacy with your language.

    Very good this article that you wrote. Youtube is a great marketing tool and he/she needs to be taken advantage of for all that want win money.

    Jeff Johnson: Sorry, but I don’t have webhosting specific video.. but you can use my techniques to sell webhosting… or just about anything else for that matter… just adapt the info to your market.

    But do you believe that a video can help to sell webhostings?

    Thank you,

  30. Ian says:

    I’ve heard that Google organic web search seems to “sandbox” new sites, pulling down their ranking until it’s clear they’re not spam- Has anyone noticed a similar effect with new YouTube accounts?

  31. Google Cash says:

    Nice information Website Thanks for you help.

  32. Chuck says:

    I know this article contains very useful information but I recently made a video exposing broadcasters who use Traffic Geyser and similar programs to cheat YouTube with fake comments, ratings and favorites.

    I noticed a few videos suddenly appear on p1 of YouTube and Google. Closer inspection revealed:
    …One video had 1500 views BUT over 1000 comments!
    …Another had over 50 fake 5 star ratings!
    …Still another had been favorited over 50 times!

    These are unheard of statistics in this particular video niche.

    This was all done to game YouTube and Google. So Traffic Geyser et al are not only submission services; they cheat YouTube and Google with phony comments, ratings and favoriting features.

    Jeff Johnson: Actually, Traffic Geyser has nothing to do with the cheating… it can be done by anyone… you don’t need TG to do it.

  33. Thanks for the advice…sounds alot like regular seo. I wonder how much it helps to have incoming links because I’ve noticed some videos have a PR3 ranking and they do really well on youtube.

  34. Paula McMath says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My head is spinning… I’m looking for a good first step. I read and re-read this stream and would like to do the following – but I could not see how to do it.

    “Set your video as a video response to the hottest you can. If they do not accept yours as a response, move down the list until someone does.”

    Please advise. Or point me in the direction of a another good first step.
    Thanks, 🙂 paula

  35. So first website I came on to see how to rank videos. Thanks for all the info above.

    This is what I have noticed from doing a quick couple searches.

    1. High View Count
    2. Many Likes

    This seems to be the trend of the top videos.

    No clue is people having your youtube embed on their website helps or links to it. I am sure it is all in part somewhere. More links mean more views and comments. So.,….

  36. This is really interesting as i’m trying to rank my videos now, thank’s for sharing 🙂

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