Ok, I'm glad to hear that I'm on the right track. Thanks for taking the time to follow up with such a detailed reply. I did learn a trick to 'remove' competing ads at the end of a video using the 'pause' annotation. If you don't already know about this one, it's kind of a nice work around. I have tried it and it works well enough. It's demonstrated in the following video:
Dear Brian, thank you for this clear and helpful tutorial. A question: if I want to rank a YouTube video specifically on Google… should I focus only on engagement (retention views, comments, social media shares, ecc.) or should I add also classic backlinks (anchor text to the video url, from other sites)? I still don’t understand If the last ones are almost useless or actually useful.

Hey Eddy, my name is Stanford Pelage I am a YouTube and Google seo expert. I’ve made several comments on this thread and I would suggest that you went through the entire comments and look click ctrl f and type mrpelge and read all of my comments, that would drastically help you. The thing about YouTube Google rankings since April 2014 Google had a major update, many vseo have been crying but the solution is pretty simple. Treat your important videos like a website, don’t over optimize and don’t keyword stuff. Everyone says to do long articles, I would recommend a 1,000-1,500 word unique article for YouTube videos with a lot of competition. Don’t spam your video filename, don’t spam the tags. Just 3-5 tags would be sufficient. Main keyword,main keyword with an s and an lsi keyword and what your product does would be perfect, don’t want to confuse Google, that represents spam.
You have created and edited your video and it is ready to upload on youtube, but you rendered your video file as mov001.avi or random_name.mp4, make sure you rename your video as your_keyword.mp4, naming your video file as your focused keyword actually tells the search engine that what can be inside your video, Search engines cannot look inside video content this is the file name which tells search algorithm that what your video is about to.

careful tho, once you have uploaded a video, youtube creates the URL and video ID, so you will be unable to change the filename of the video that you have already uploaded and you cannot swap it out with a fresh copy with your KW in the filename, you will have to start over to achieve that particular SEO enhancement, but just about everything else is doable and can be tweaked…. sorry just thought I would share my 2 cents and previous frustrations . . . .i will leave it to the expert ! ! !LOL
Our short videos rank really well, many on page one on Google SERPS. My clients who are mostly in the real estate space- their videos always rank high for very short videos. It does depend on the niche you are in. It makes sense that “how to” videos are expected to be instructional and therefore 14 minutes is perfect. However, no one is going to get great audience retention on a tour of a house for sale that goes on and on for 14 minutes. Buyers want to see the photos of the house, inside of the house, they are not there to learn how to buy a house, they are there to buy a house, totally different niche. I think that Google knows the difference because we have a lot of videos on page one and page 2 that are less than 2 minutes in length. The other thing we do for retention is to link videos from one video right into a specific point in another video. This helps the buyers stay on the video longer because of curiosity.
Great content! I’m just wondering about the minimum length of 5 minutes. Do you have any numbers on how many people use the filter ‘short < 4 minutes' option when searching? I use it a lot myself. For me, that is a reason to keep my videos under 4 minutes where possible. Also, if you make your video longer than 5 minutes just for the sake of length, it can hurt the user experience. What are your thoughts on that?
If you are trying to outrank a video that has been around for a long time it is a lot more work than trying beat out a new video.  That being said with the amount of new content that Youtube recieves it is my feeling that Youtube wants to be careful not to punish new content that is potentially appealing to its audience and thus it places more emphasis on interaction and engagement than age.
The third is social shares. You have the ability on YouTube to easily and quickly share stuff on social media sites - Twitter, Facebook. It's simple to quickly share on your own, and it's simple for your users to share as well. Make sure you share it on your own, and hopefully you're going to have people reshare that. Google is tracking that. They're looking for it. They're looking for social signals for these videos. As more people share it, it's going to raise you up in the rankings. Again, it's just one factor in the basket of factors in terms of engagement.
All of you zionist goons can talk your idiotic keyword trash all day long.  We all know why You Tube disabled keywords.  They are running scared because everyday people who don't care about "monetizing" their videos are outing them and their ages old evil.  Everyone jumped on the latest hoax, the Colorado shooting scam and YT shut it down.  Good!  Another sign the end is near.  You soul-less goons will have to suck someone else's blood soon.  You Tube is going to screw itself out of existence when only the evil Zionist is allowed freedom to post its propaganda.
A video keyword research, more precisely, is what you need to do first. List down your keyword ideas as your potential keywords. Narrowing down your target keywords is like narrowing the pool of competition. Also, the proper use of the right keywords contributes to the popularity–measured in views, shares and other engagement metrics–of a particular video.
One strategy that I use is to try and rank the videos on the different platforms for different purposes.  Many of my videos are product demonstrations.  For YouTube I try to directly rank for terms like "Machine Name Demonstration" or "How to Use Machine Name".  My site usually already ranks for the the machine name.  That means that I want to try and get a video thumbnail for that listing in addition to the Youtube video.  It is difficult but it can be done and when it happens the results are awesome.  You just have to remind yourself that if you are competing directly with Google/Youtube you will probably lose :)
It depends on the type of content that you create but I don't usually see Youtube results kick my regular pages out of the SERPs.  Instead I see them inserted beside the normal results.  Some of the users that might normally click on my page probably get distracted by the video but it is better that it is my video than one that my competitors make.

Hey Brian! As you know I like to perfect my video rankings in Google. So I would like to share what’s been simply amazing for me. Case study Google search tube sniper pro or any version of that keyword, review, 2, 2 review. And I’m number 1. Won’t share all my secrets but I’m more than generous. I’ve managed to rank well by doing 3 simple things. 1. Using Soovle.com to get lsi keywords. 2. Commenting on the top 3 videos on YouTube for my topic. 3. Adding the top 3 ranking videos on Google YouTube username to my tags and the end of my description. What really helps my rankings is the suggested video views I get from adding the top video tags. Google loves that. Picture this… if the top rated video is being watched and the link is being clicked then the user is finding what they were looking for in Google’s eyes. Genius really.
Again, internal page rank, what I say that is that they're shuffling it, but they're trying to determine how well does your channel and your video really fit into the YouTube community? Ultimately, if you create awesome content and get great engagement, then you're not going to have any problems at all ranking for the keywords that you really need to rank.
Keyword research is the next most important thing I would say – like any blog post you should research the competition in YouTube and Google’s search results. Adding a good amount of content in the video description helps, but the video creation + keyword research (and writing a nice keyword-rich title + designing a nice custom thumbnail) are probably most important.

The logic that I use about video responses is that they take more time and more effort to produce than regular comments.  Also, they are difficult to get approved because they come from competitors and not from real users.  The fact that they are more difficult to get and are a higher level of engagement makes them more valuable.  I don't have absolute proof but I have seen a pattern of videos with video responses as part of their engagement outrank similarly engaged videos.
I read this post months ago. Now that I’ve got around 80 videos and 90 subs, I read it again with a different eye. Trying to really understand ‘keyword’. If I understand you, the keyword isn’t the ENTIRE title. It’s 2 or 3 words that you’re trying to make a video on, the rest is ‘filler’ so that the title makes sense. Is that correct? If so, I’ve been doing this all wrong. And should probably go thru and change all of my video titles. Oh, and I thought we were supposed to fill in all 500 characters of video tags. I’ve been trying to do that. Have I been stuffing without realizing it? Thanks for the great post!

Dear Brian, thank you for this clear and helpful tutorial. A question: if I want to rank a YouTube video specifically on Google… should I focus only on engagement (retention views, comments, social media shares, ecc.) or should I add also classic backlinks (anchor text to the video url, from other sites)? I still don’t understand If the last ones are almost useless or actually useful.
1) Getting a 'thumbs down' rating can also help you in the rankings oddly enough. You can especially find this on video game related videos people will post videos titled something like 'Exclusive clip of (unreleased video game title).' Which will of course get thousands of views immediately followed by thousands of thumbs down ratings and negative comments because the game hasn't been released yet.  So it's a clip of an old game or their dog or whatever but the video will still rank number one because of the extreme amount of engagement.  Definitely not what we should aim for but worth taking note of!

Awesome tips, thanks Jeff. We've got a YouTube channel with 25 videos that we haven't touched for years. Some have really crappy descriptions, incorrect tags, transcripts that are wayyyyy off etc. I'll be cleaning these up over the coming days. I'm keeping a log of the existing vs new rankings, so should be interesting to see the results. Many thanks!


Honestly the biggest thing that helped me was breaking my video down into small sections (topics) and organizing it so it flowed well. Then doing retakes and editing out pauses when necessary. Not sure what keywords You’re targeting but I’ve been targeting more “date keywords” (e.g. Yoast Settings 2018) which has helped me get a lot more traffic and higher click-through rates. It’s been working very well!


I have created a YouTube channel for my brand MrMikeSellsCars. I am looking to get traffic to my website and of course buyers making appointments with me. Since most videos will be reviewing cars my keywords will be limited to things like 2018 Chevrolet Impala Premiere Review. Should I include the city+ state in the keyword and add a location to dominate in my local market?
On the other hand, they're also looking for video responses, which is a lot harder to get. So, how do you get somebody to make a video in response to your video? That's a pretty tall tale, but it also is a huge ranking factor. Because if someone's willing to do that, then, often, that says to Google, wow, this video really made sense to them or was really important to them. So one of the things that you can do is you can make your video a video response to other videos that might be out there. Now that's not quite as powerful as somebody making a video for you as a video response. You can also add your video as a video response to your other videos that you have on your channel. Again, not as powerful as somebody making a video for you as a video response.

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!
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