Video Details

In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Jeff McRitchie joins us to explain some of YouTube’s ranking factors.


  • Title – You want something to make people want to watch your video. Also, make sure it reflects exactly what the video is about. Don’t forget to include a call to action.

  • Description – Talk about what it’s about, put in some keywords and a link, and describe it fully.

  • Tags – Have at least 10 tags, and use your keywords. Use both plural and singular nouns (eg. cat and cats), as Google/YouTube can’t match them yet.

  • Transcription – YouTube uses transcriptions to index. However, do it yourself and do not use YouTube’s service for this.

  • Channel Authority – Google looks for channels that have authority and will use it as a basis for your ranking. Look at your channel as a whole, and not just individual videos, when you’re trying to rank.

  • Delivery – if you make a crappy video, you will not rank well.


  • Views/Attention – This is a chicken and egg scenario. You need views to rank, but you need to rank to get views. Use social media, blogs and websites to get your video out there. YouTube also looks at the quality of views – they can see what point people watch it to, and then switch off. A video that is watched the entire way through will rank better than one that most people stop half way through.

  • Inbound links – YouTube uses inbound links as a ranking factor. Share it where ever you can, including on your blog and website. If it’s an awesome video, it will build links naturally.

  • Social shares – From YouTube, it’s easy to quickly share your video social networks, and hopefully people in your network will then re-share it.

  • Embeds – The more people who embed it, the better it will rank.

  • Comments/video responses – Don’t game the system with spammy content, but respond to comments in a human way. Video responses are awesome, but it is difficult to get someone to respond with a video.

  • Likes/Favourites – Obviously, you want more thumbs up than thumbs down. If there are lots of thumbs down, make a better video! Also, you want people to favourite your video.