How to rate a video on YouTube and Google

By 2022, online video will account for more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

People watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week.

And 85% of companies use video as a marketing tool.

So it should come as no surprise to hear that video is fast becoming a must-have channel.

Most skilled marketers today know that we must all post videos as part of our marketing effort.

This means we need to overcome our fears that it will suck because it probably will first.

And it will take some time and practice before we are good at it.

This is just a natural part of the process.

But I won’t go into that today.

Instead, I’ll explain how to rank the videos you post on both YouTube and in search results.

This is important because even if you post the most amazing videos in the world, they will be of no use if no one sees them.


Read on below

Since YouTube is the basis for this, let’s start with YouTube, regardless of whether it is a ranking on YouTube or in Google’s search results.

How to rate a video on YouTube

Produce quality content

There are many factors that go into ranking a video on YouTube, but one of the most important is quality.

Quality is not a direct ranking factor as there is no way to measure it objectively.

But it does play a significant role in user interaction – which one is a direct ranking factor.

In general, the more people watch, like, and comment on a video, the higher it ranks on YouTube.

So make sure that you create your videos to solve a specific problem for your viewers.

  • Share useful knowledge.
  • Teach them how to do something.
  • Or analyze what is happening in your industry.

The key is to make your video both useful and engaging.


Read on below

And it always helps to encourage them to subscribe to your channel as well as comment, like, and share the video.

Before we can produce a video, however, we first need to know what information people are looking for.

Keyword research

In contrast to conventional SEO, keyword research for YouTube is quite simple and rudimentary.

There are no tools like SEMrush that can display search volume, difficulty, or competing videos for YouTube.

All we really have are the interfaces from YouTube and Google.

Fortunately, these pretty easily give us a decent amount of data.

An effective way to create topics is to use YouTube’s search suggestion feature.

This is a powerful tool as it is populated based on user activity.

So you don’t have to guess whether people search for these terms.

YouTube search

Another approach to finding video topics is to browse some of the most popular channels in your niche and identify the most watched videos.

To do this, first switch to the VIDEOS tab and sort the videos by popularity.

It’s important to keep in mind that having a high number of views doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth making a video for a topic.

The number of views can be increased through other advertising channels such as paid search, social networks, email, etc.

Or it could just be the result of being online for a long time.

Sort YouTube videos by the most popular

It’s worth noting that you can also use all of the tools and tactics here that you would normally use for traditional keyword research.


Read on below

However, you should know that search volume between organic search and YouTube may not be directly correlated.

You can also get an idea of ​​what kind of competition you are facing by using the relevant search operators in Google to search for videos on a specific topic on the YouTube domain.

YouTube competition

Video optimization

When we talk about optimizing your video we are actually talking about two things – the video itself and the page on YouTube that the video is on.


Read on below

Length of the video

Regardless of what some people might have told you, size does matter.

But let your thoughts out of the gutter because I’m talking about the length of your videos.

I want to emphasize that this is more a matter of correlation than of direct causation.

I think that’s because longer videos tend to be more comprehensive, so they answer viewers’ questions more fully.

This results in viewers being happier and more likely to like, comment, share and watch the video for longer.

Quality of the video

In this case, when I talk about quality, I am talking about the quality of the actual video file.

This is important because 68.2% of the videos on the first page of YouTube are in HD.

Again, this is more a question of correlation than direct causation.

In this case, the higher quality video results in happier viewers and higher engagement.

Additionally, the type of people who invest in higher quality devices are also the types of people who generally invest more energy in creating higher quality content.


Read on below

Using Keywords in Video

You may be thinking that Google cannot tell what is in the video itself.

I personally do not share this opinion.

Google has implemented machine learning quickly in many different ways, which I covered in detail in an article here a few years ago.

We already know that they will extract the audio from the videos we uploaded and automatically create a text log.

Because of their different uses of AI, I don’t think it is too far to believe they are using this in their ranking algorithm.

And maybe even that they can analyze the context from a contextual perspective.

But even if this does not have any direct positive effects on the ranking, it can still be an advantage, as the transcripts from YouTube can be used as text on the page on which a video is embedded.

We’ll discuss more about this later.

YouTube keywords



Read on below

While tags don’t directly affect how well a video ranks on YouTube, they do help in getting your videos to appear as a suggested video.

This can have a huge impact on your engagement rate by getting your videos in front of more people.

You can use the same keywords in your tags, but you can also analyze the tags of other popular videos to see if you are possibly missing some.

Although they are not shown publicly, there is a cool browser extension for Chrome called VidIQ Chrome that shows you the tags of a video right on the page.

How to rate a video on Google

The optimization that we have already covered for the search on YouTube forms the basis for the classification of our videos in the Google search.

But in general, it is not enough on its own.

Think of this part as the on-site SEO you would do for a website.

We also need to implement external factors.


Read on below

Embedded links

In order to rank even in poorly competitive conditions, we usually still need inbound links from several authoritative websites.

I’ve covered link building in several previous articles, so there’s no need to recreate it here.

However, I would like to point out that it is important that your anchor text matches or is very similar to the video title.

In general, you don’t have to worry about over-optimizing here as you are linking directly to a Google property.

For context – I’ve personally thrown millions of perfectly matched anchor text links on YouTube videos and never seen a single negative result.

In these cases, we stepped on the gas from the start and kept it on the ground, often making more than 30,000 connections a day for months.

I’m not necessarily saying that this particular tactic is the best approach, but it was one of many that we tested and found effective.


Read on below

Often times, a few relevant links from high quality, authoritative websites are enough to get the needle here.

User activity

We all know that user activity plays a role in how well a video ranks within YouTube, but most people don’t realize that how well it ranks on google searches also matters.

But it’s a little more nuanced here.

The engagement a video receives in search results will affect how well it ranks in search results.

This is because Google wants to give users what they are looking for and higher engagement rates indicate that users will find it in your video.

Of course, to a certain extent, you will get an engagement with no extra work.

But since your competitors will do whatever it takes to outperform you, it would be stupid to stop here.

There are many ways to manipulate your engagement rate, from flawless with an angelic glow, down to blacker than Lucifer’s hooves.


Read on below

This is a judgment-free zone where you do what your tolerance for risk and the activities of your competitors allow you to do.

However, you need to be aware of the risks.

While you are unlikely to receive a penalty, some of the gray to black hat tactics commonly used to manipulate engagement will create a bad impression on your brand.

One of these tactics is to use micro-workers or virtual assistants, usually from overseas, to watch your videos and post a series of comments.

There are two problems here.

  • Microworkers and virtual assistants generally do not have as good a command of the English language as a native speaker, so their comments are spammy.
  • You are training the algorithm to show your videos to more people in these areas instead of showing them to the people in your target market.

A better approach is to use paid social, PPC, and email marketing to get the right result real People about your videos who are authentically engaged.

More resources:


Read on below

Photo credit

Selected image and screenshots by the author, November 2020