Top 10 YouTube SEO Myths [Creators Tip #129]

Top 10 YouTube SEO Myths [Creators Tip #129]

Not every YouTube SEO tip and strategy you read out there is valid. In fact, there’s some very prevalent video SEO tactics that are actually false. Following…

23 thoughts on “Top 10 YouTube SEO Myths [Creators Tip #129]

  1. My question: Is it about the actual watch time or the percentage watched? Like… Example 1: Video length: 10 minutes, average watch time 2 Minutes. 20% average. Example 2: Video length 2 minutes, averange watch time: 1:30 75% average What is better for the Ranking?

  2. I highly encourage +YouTube to put more SEO weight on “Average View Duration %” than “Total Watch Time”. Doing so will: 1) Promote engaging content (long & short) over simply long content. As a viewer, I’d rather be given an amazing 2 minute video that holds my attention the entire 2 minutes THAN be given a 10 minute video that is boring enough to make me leave at the 3 minute mark. 2) Promote quality over popularity. Example: Imagine PewDiePie releases a video called “Top 10 YouTube SEO Myths” that is so bad every viewer leaves at 30 seconds. The video will still easily receive 500,000 minutes of watch time due to his popularity. Now imagine RealSEO’s video of the same name is the greatest video ever made on the topic and receives 100% retention. It will likely receive less than 50,000 minutes of watch time. YouTube should not consider PewDiePie’s video to be 10 times better than RealSEO’s video. 3) Promote accurate thumbnails. A misleading thumbnail can increase a videos “Total Watch Time” but it will hinder it’s “Average View Duration %”. Don’t reward misleading thumbnails that increase total watch time. 4) Promote longer viewing sessions across all of YouTube. If I watch 5 videos (say each 2-minutes in length) which retain my attention the entire length of each video (10 minutes of watch time), I’m going to say “wow, every video I watch is really good! I want to watch more YouTube videos!” Instead, if I watch 5 videos (say each 6-minutes in length) but I leave halfway through each video, even though I’ve generated a 50% higher total watch time (15 minutes), I’m going to say “I’m getting bored halfway through every video I watch” and will leave YouTube. 5)…I can keep going but I suspect my “Average View Duration %” on this comment is getting pretty low at this point…. ;)

  3. Like it, this boils down to what you hinted at in this video: create good content. Good content will rank well in search because good content garners viewership, longer view times and a chance that those viewers will continue exploring the channel (leading to longer lifetime on Youtube). Engaging with users means you’ll get more people liking, adding to their playlists, sharing, commenting and everything else that is either SEO related or a side-effect of theoretical SEO “tips” (henceforth called, “myths”.)

  4. This was so helpful! Thank you. Question, Are there resources for finding out more about watch time other than the basic stats on our channel analytics? I would love to find a list showing which creators and videos are getting a lot of watch time. I looked to see if social blade had anything for watch time but could not find anything.

  5. Thanks Tim! I’m still confused by what is called “watch time”. I for instance create weekly 2 to 3 minute a cappella videos. Am I competing with people who release 10 minute videos for example and do I need people to watch my videos 5 times to be on equal grounds as someone who watches a 10 minute video once? Does YouTube / Google put me in competition with content of similar duration, with content of the same category (music)? Does YouTube / Google look at the percentage of the video that was watched?

  6. To some I was like “yeaaah I knew it”, then I made fun of myself for doing this. Thanks for setting the record straight. This and +Video Creators are my most trusted sources of information :)

  7. So as a creator, if you’re really good at answering people’s questions with your videos, people will not have a need to watch more YouTube videos. The result will be that your videos will get shuffled to the bottom of the search results because your videos are good at answering other people’s questions. Got it. So, If you want the views that come with high search rankings, you have to make really short videos that don’t answer the viewers question, which leaves them needing to watch additional videos to get the understanding that they’re looking for. Makes perfect sense now.

  8. Whoa Tim, we both released a top 10 video on the same day at the same time! It’s totally a different type of video, but still… it feels good to know that I set my videos to release at the same time as the gurus! Once again, fantastic video. I always wondered how likes, in particular, affected views. It looks like it’s ALL about watch time. If it helps with watch time, then it will help… however it gets there is irrelevant. Awesome once again, master! Also subbed to +Derral Eves from your video creators vid… man this is GOOD stuff! I’m sharing a lot of the videos and info with my community so we can grow the genre and get better content. Thanks again boss!

  9. A lot of people mistake networking and keyword discovery with YouTube ranking. Watch time is something that I have been monitoring closely for my videos. I completely agree that it is all about what is best for people. Know what your people want and focus on that, then everyone wins.

Leave a Reply