Making sure your YouTube videos rank

The Underground Confessions blog recently covered the thorny subject of driving more traffic to your YouTube video content. They suggest the term YouTube Ranking Optimization (YRO) as a description for this field, which I’m sure is set to grow – especially as more and more companies now take the plunge into using YouTube as a way of distributing video content (it’s something like the 5th most visited site on the planet).

So, how do you ensure that your video ranks highly? It’s pretty close to what you do to optimize web content (or a blog for that matter). Basic items they use:

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

By offering this basic advice, the post has attracted a great deal of comments by those asking questions or offering their own experience of YouTube optimization.

One particular comment stands out, together with Jeff’s response:

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.

I was interested to hear that the quantity and quality of external sites hosting the video plays a part in the ranking algorithm.

I don’t have any concrete evidence for this, but one thing that does appear to happen is that channels with a lot of content tend to outrank lesser channels (much like the way, as a vast generalization, Google favors sites with more content rather than less).

If anyone does have more definitive answers, please let me know.

Read the post from Underground Confessions

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