We know there are thousands of online videos viewed daily, and we know there are millions of users on Facebook. As a small business owner, it's clear that both YouTube and Facebook are valuable marketing tools to build and grow a business through sharing content, providing valuable information, boosting SEO and search engine ranking, and networking, to name a few of the benefits.

Facebook Vs YouTube For SEO

However, a good question to ask is which of the two—Facebook or YouTube—have the best chance of boosting SEO? We know it makes sense to share any relevant business YouTube link on a Facebook business page, but is it because you're simply spreading the word, or does Facebook have a stronger SEO impact than YouTube to better ensure the video will be found in search engine rankings vs. posting to YouTube alone? Also, how does Facebook videos compare to YouTube videos for SEO?

One way to approach this subject is by comparing elements of each as it pertains to video for SEO.

Benefits of YouTube Videos for SEO

  • People looking for videos are more likely to go to YouTube and do a search vs. Facebook.
  • YouTube videos get a lot more views than those on Facebook.
  • It's easy to share YouTube videos across several popular social media sites, such as Facebook, which creates a lot more links driving people to your videos. You can only share Facebook videos on Facebook, vs. across other social media sites.
  • Facebook has an app that allows a business' followers to watch YouTube videos directly from the Facebook page.
  • When new videos are uploaded, YouTube shares the information with your subscribers.
  • It's easy to add external links to YouTube that drive people to your various 'homes' online, such as social media pages, your business website, etc.
  • You can add GEO modifiers and keywords to your YouTube video links for better search engine rankings.
ALSO ►  How-to Add Tags to Multiple YouTube Videos at Once [Tutorial]

Also, from personal experience, YouTube videos when implemented correctly for low volume keywords and terms—350K or less competing for the keyword—seems to be easier to get videos ranking than on Facebook, though it's rare people compete in low volume keywords.

Benefits of Facebook Video for SEO

  • Videos in Facebook can be tagged so they show up on your friend's Facebook pages (this can also occur with YouTube video links shared on Facebook).
  • Videos on Facebook can go viral a bit easier than on YouTube with the built in capability of allowing the videos to be shared with the 'like' feature, creating more links on 'friends' and 'fans' pages.
  • Facebook videos can be embedded on websites and blogs.

These lists support the stories of business owners on the web who appear to have better SEO results from YouTube hosted videos compared to Facebook hosted videos. But for this particular comparison it's important to clarify that, at least in part, an assumption's being made that individuals are looking for information supported by video or with video as part of the search term, and not just general keyword search terms.

If using video as one element of a social media strategy, then YouTube does seem to be the best choice over Facebook for SEO. However, most marketing and social media strategies will have many components in addition to video, so a comprehensive strategy with the potential for high impact will incorporate both Facebook and YouTube and create synergies between the two.

  • Ray

    A couple of things to note. 1. I don't think I have EVER seen a Facebook video show up in Google search. 2. One of your Facebook benefits is "Facebook videos can be embedded on websites and blogs." YouTube videos can be as well, so why is that a FB benefit?

  • http://www.facebook.com/glenngioe Glenn Gioe

    I was posting on youtube and linking. I didn't even think to post my videos to both separately which I could've easily done. Does it matter? Any advice would help.

    • Ray

      Here is my perspective. You can post both, but if you want to get video onto page 1 of Google, that video may need support to do so. Having the YouTube video on Facebook getting the backlink, shares, likes, etc. can be a big benefit. I have never seen a Facebook video rank in Google.

  • Jake

    DAMN. These "Facebook wins" people are dumb as f**k. Youtube is COMPLETELY meant for videos, and Facebook is really just to endorse it. Facebook, being the most visited website on the internet as we know it, SHARES the youtube videos but eventually it all comes back to youtube. so YOUTUBE WINS HUGELY MOFOS

  • lostbraincells

    Youtube--for usability and the analytics.  Basically FB has no analytics to speak of and certainly nothing that tells you where your viewer came from (geographically) or how they found your content.  I attended a session at MIP TV this spring and attended a session with Carla Geci of Facebook.  I asked if there was any intention to improve the analytics FB Videos and she said no.  In fact, she recommended using Youtube and said FB video was really intended for casual, personal use and not for content producers.   

  • lostbraincells

    Youtube--for usability and the analytics.  Basically FB has no analytics to speak of and certainly nothing that tells you where your viewer came from (geographically) or how they found your content.  I attended a session at MIP TV this spring and attended a session with Carla Geci of Facebook.  I asked if there was any intention to improve the analytics FB Videos and she said no.  In fact, she recommended using Youtube and said FB video was really intended for casual, personal use and not for content producers.   

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000668391192 David Logston

    is the KING.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000668391192 David Logston

    facebook is really good but it does not win YOUtube by far wins it WINS BIG.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1213981411 Roy Klittman

    facebook wins

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1213981411 Roy Klittman


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000592240931 Sachin Ssv


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001365361306 Azizwatadar Baghlan

    Facebook's Videos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001395825552 Helio Campos Ferreira

    you tube videos can also be embedded in websites, blogs and also twitter timelines
    of social media services for video marketing work.

  • Robert Corrotto

    I believe content is King as well. However, depending on the video's content, it should not be Queen. In fact if it is done correctly, it can be the one factor that pushes a business to the top.

  • Dave


    Anyone can get a link from a Youtube channel - it's probably the easiest link around. Have you actually ever done any analysis on how much traffic Youtube drives back to your site?

    Let me teach you a little bit about SEO and what you call video SEO. Google SERPs are a volatile landscape for video results, they can choose to show it, or neglect it. Either way, this is seriously easily manipulated.

    Also, rankings and video results between G SERPs and Youtube DO NOT CORRELATE. Ranking #1 in Youtube doesn't guarantee a listing in search results, and even if G is showing a video result, the metrics they use to rank during calculations are very different than Youtube.

    Instead of talking, how about we have a little challenge? You pick a keyword and we can see who ranks highest over 1 month?

    Oh, you can also ask the author of this blog post to help you as well. Just say yes and I'll contact you - if you win, it would make a killer blog post....

  • http://www.sandrock.in Penetration Testing

    Google appears to be focusing on segmentation by organizing around "circles," allowing an easy way to target particular posts to friends, family, colleagues, etc. In fact you can do this on Facebook as well, but Facebook lists are not as easy to find or edit; nor are they as easy to view as a separate stream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138435988 Art Morehead

    They both work hand in hand together for SEO its all in how you use it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002472218886 Ogunbadewa Kayode

    You tube sure OK 4 video more than facebook. Consider d Bright and dark setting botton when watching video on UTUBE.

  • Anonymous

    Great article. I've been contemplating the benefits of both platforms lately and my summation was this;.
    Your online video is - the body.
    Social networks are - the arms.
    Video hosting sites are - the legs.

    Only using a cohesive formula of both social networks and video hosting sites can your video feel the full effects that the internet has to offer.

    Personally I'd ensure your company uses YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Daily Motion, Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn thoroughly and in an integrated manner. Don't have an account for the sake of it, but learn what each platform does, feel out what audience it generates and what it can do for your company. All platforms are there for a reason and all bring something to the table and using them effectively will greatly benefit your SEO ranking, but don't have them for the sake of having them.

    The easy compatibility between social networks and video hosting platforms are there for a reason, use them effectively, gel them together to effectively benefit your business and gain as much online exposure as possible.

    The internet is your companys' oyster - use it well friends, use it well!

    Happy weekend.

    Skeleton Productions

  • Jonathan Bowker

    YouTube videos can also be embedded in websites, blogs and also Twitter timelines. Twitter /YouTube sharing is a very powerful collaboration of social media services for video marketing projects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1516148887 Natalie Critchley

    Content is King...Video is Queen! Pick one platform and just get started. As you learn more then you can spread your wings.

  • http://www.videoleadsonline.com VideoLeadsOnline

    @Dave, When you can add a link to your YouTube video that drives traffic to your website you have helped with SEO.

    Plus if you end up getting a YouTube listing (Thumbnail or not) to take up some valuable space in the SERP, then you will have hopefully pushed down some of your competition.

    So... if you rank well in the SERP with regular listings to your Website AND you add to that a YouTube Listing, you have helped your SEO efforts... (all without Hosting your video on your site). Hosting is very good, but YouTube lets you get to a larger crowd.

    So I, for one, think that calling work you do on YouTube can be called Video SEO (or SEO).

  • Ray McKenzie

    Interesting facts.

  • Andrew Gouty

    @Dan - He's not talking about search volume. The 350k figure refers to competing pages. There is some correlation there to search volume, but its certainly not 1 to 1.

  • Dave

    I'm curious as to how you came up with the title of the post as both Youtube and Facebook do not benefit your SEO. They can generate traffic to the videos hosted on their domains...not yours. The title of this post should be Youtube vs Facebook video marketing.

    The only way these videos hosted on FB or YT can benefit your SEO is by giving you a link to your site.

    Youtube offers a followed link which essentially is another link to your site, Facebook can give you a link if you know what you're doing otherwise you'll end up with a NOFOLLOW.

    Youtube videos appear in search results, but then again where do you go when you've clicked on that video? YOUTUBE! Optimise the keywords, build some links and even embedding the video is actually helping Youtube.com/yourvideo rank in search results.

    At least Youtube will give you more presence in search results and is better than nothing.

    I've never seen a Facebook video rank in any Google search result and even if it did, Facebook is notorious for blocking Google due to "privacy" concerns - OR, they're usually blocked by users:


    What's better for search engine optimization? A listing in search engine results pages that bring visitors to your video on your website. If you want to really win, you need to host the videos yourself and try to outrank anything equivalent on Youtube. Good luck.

  • Dan Safkow

    Chris, can you expand upon video SEO "low volume keywords and terms ... 350K or less competing for the keyword". Is that Google search phrase match, YouTube search, or other? Thanks

  • http://www.skeletonproductions.com Topher

    Hi Chris, good insight here. I think YouTube just seems to be more versatile for SEO (and distribution) purposes. A lot of our clients request we get their video on Youtube for them, but we haven't had one ask to put it on Facebook for them - although I'm sure that day will come soon ;)