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To be competitive as a content creator in the digital marketplace and become successful, video SEO must be of the utmost importance.

The search engines utilize algorithms to determine the hierarchy of these video rankings. Knowing what motivates a search engine and what factors they use for ranking videos is the first step to success.

This video ranking guide will explain these algorithms’ nuances and most essential aspects in a high-level overview, as an expansive and in-depth analysis of the algorithms would be much too time-consuming.

You will learn several essential video SEO ranking factors, which you can use for YouTube SEO, TikTok SEO, and any video-related platform.

The Two Most Important Video Ranking Factors

Two major video ranking factors come into play for search engine consideration — the audience for the video and its relevance to the search query.

Regardless of the change of algorithms, and they can change pretty often and consistently, search audience and content relevance remain constant video ranking factors.

Audience Interest

Audience interest cannot be directly impacted or manipulated. The best way to approach mastering this component would be to understand it and tailor your content to cater to the subscriber’s interest at the time and foster more of it.

Today, it’s not about ‘get the traffic – it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.’ – Adam Audette.

So, creating relevant content and targeting the appropriate audience is one of the most important things to consider.

Engagement Signals

YouTube and other video platforms measure the audience’s interest, thus establishing relevance by using a list of many different video ranking factors.

Remembering never to target just one or two factors is essential.

This mistake can cause YouTube, TikTok, and Vimeo to omit a huge segment of potential audience members. These are called “engagement signals” that mirror the interest of an audience in a video.

Taking engagement signals such as the number of views, view velocity, view quality, and likes into high consideration with regard to SERP optimization.

1. Vide Count

In video SEO, the number of views is commonly regarded as a high-priority video ranking factor so long as one does not try to “cheat” the system.

While the more unique your viewership might be and a high quantity of viewership can increase your rankings, manipulating these viewers using methods such as buying views results in penalties.

2. View velocity

View velocity is the number of views received over a period of time. The growth rate or decline of those views can directly affect rankings.

3. View Quality

View quality can also influence your rankings. The length of time determines the view quality viewers are watching your content.

If viewers are watching the videos in their entirety, then that would positively affect the rankings. If viewers only watch 10 seconds of a 20-minute, that would negatively impact the rankings.

Search engines are wise to know the difference.

4. Likes, Shares

Likes and Shares are the most apparent displays of user interest in a particular video.

Video Ranking Factors

Other Video SEO Ranking Factors

Comments, video quality, channel subscriptions, and subscription velocity are additional but lesser impactful video ranking factors that search engines use for their ranking algorithm.


Comments left by viewers are more precise and descriptive indicators that search engines use to determine rankings.

6. Video quality

The video quality influences video rankings as well. A video with a higher contrast and better sound will rank higher than those without one or both.

A possible explanation for the importance of video quality is that many search engine bots may attempt to watch the videos themselves and decide how to rank your content based on video quality.

High-quality content is more likely to be viewed and shared more often.

7. Subscription Velocity

Channel subscriptions and the velocity at which the subscriptions take place display the growth and popularity of that channel and are a testimony to its content.


Video relevance has changed over time, but compared to other Video SEO Ranking Factors, you have more influence on the relevance factor.
Keywords, titles, descriptions, location diversity, and transcriptions comprise video relevance components.

8. Keywords and Titles

Keywords and titles of the videos are effective in rankings, but only a little. The more relevant the title and attention-grabbing it is, the better the content draws viewers in.

9. Descriptions

Keywords in the description have little correlation with video SEO.

However, an excellent description can bring in more views, thus equating to higher search placement.

Providing potential viewers with a thorough explanation of what they can expect once they click the play button can positively affect their interpretation and experience once they watch the content.

10. Location Diversity

Location diversity means the more websites you link your video to, the more viewers you will attract.

Making these locations as diverse as possible will widen the audience to which your content reaches.

11. Transcripts

Transcripts attached to the site help bridge the gap between the relevance of the video and a conventional search.

You can also upload the transcript to YouTube for closed captioning. It can diversify the audience as well as increase view time.

Youtube Ranking Factors For Video Seo

A Few Video SEO Tips to Consider

Most importantly, make sure you keep the guidelines of a search engine as your foremost thought. You can read YouTube’s guidelines here; for other platforms, you should be able to find them on their websites.

Search engines want to keep their viewers pleased while watching more and more ads. The search engines need good content to produce a solid platform for those ads. Your video rankings will be high if you can provide that stable platform.

Be aware of the tempting pitfalls that will hinder your success as a content provider. Steer clear of bribing for reviews, stuffing keywords, and buying views. YouTube can remove your content and suspend your account if they suspect you are guilty of these offenses.

You can, however, utilize paid ads to promote your content so long as you are not directly paying individuals or groups to do the promotion.

Ensure your content creation approach is wide-ranging and thought out from all angles. Stay focused on keeping users watching by creating a quality experience.

Doing this will mean a huge payoff for you and the search engine.

One more thing, let’s remember the money factor!

The primary motivating factor for search engines is, more or less, a no-brainer: money. The more views a search engine receives, the more ads will be displayed, which naturally equates to more capital.

If, as a content creator, you can help the search engines attain a high number of views by providing solid results, your video rankings will be substantially higher.

Video SEO Ranking Myths

Now that we have reviewed the official proven ways to achieve high rankings among video SEO, we will cover some floating myths. Although the myths may provide some success in the short term, the result may damage your optimization campaign.

Buying views, embeds, links, and comments are permissible to achieve higher rankings.

While this may be true, this practice is known as “click farming.” Search engines anticipate this and are watchful for click farming, such as generating many views quickly and when the views come from a known proxy service or a single location.

Other indicators of click farming include the generation of incomplete views with little to no participation from the viewers. The search engines are brilliant and are apt to recognize these signals.

If you receive an excessive amount of views in a short time, say five thousand views in 3 hours, but then over the next three days, you only receive 20, then search engines will begin taking a close look at your tactics.

If you employ these tactics, YouTube and other video platforms may ban your account.

It is not worth the risk, as the rewards of a high view count using click farming will be fleeting. Once the initial view count rise ends and the velocity slows down, your rankings will undoubtedly drop because the search engine will note the lowered interest in your content.

For those concerned that a sharp rise in view count due to great content may be mistaken for maleficence, do not worry; incidences of this are low. Search engines are intelligent and can differentiate the authentic profiles from the faux ones.

YouTube can index voice tracks

It isn’t a cut-and-dry myth in that YouTube can index a voice track of a video, just not well enough to be effective.

The ability of YouTube to transform your voice into an accurate transcript needs to be proven enough to risk your rankings.

Repeating keywords

Many believe repeating specific keywords in the description list will help their rankings. It’s not true, and it can lead to keyword stuffing.

Engagement by the viewership is needed for a search engine to be satisfied and for that satisfaction to translate into higher rankings.

Metrics such as views, likes, and comments speak to this engagement.

YouTube prioritizes big brands

This is false. YouTube provides a platform for the little guy to surpass big brand names.

Again, engagement is the main objective in this process, and YouTube’s desire for that is no different.

If your content shows that it can engage an audience, then it can exceed the range of a more prominent brand, making the two brands’ size disparity irrelevant.

Links in the comments and description section will boost my SERP

Search engines deciphered this tactic long ago, so, to put it bluntly…do not even try it.

Did You Know?

According to Statista, YouTube is the second largest social network.

Most Popular Social Networks (Infographic)

Shortcuts are in and of themselves a myth when doing video SEO and achieving high SERP rankings. If creating content is done correctly and efficiently, you will make it easy for the search engines to classify your content, which is the best route.

Work to build an organic and natural audience interest in your content from the ground up. Make sure to take note of and perfect your best practices that prove successful, and video SEO can be a formidable traffic driver.

Be skeptical of shortcut methods to get high SERP rankings! They are mythical!

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