In this week's Creator's Tip, we want to show you how you can find the meta tags that a creator is using on any of their YouTube videos. Why is this information important? Well, there may be some specific search terms that you want your video to rank for but you are consistently being outranked by other content. A crucial component of video optimization involves research; discovering and confirming the tactics that others have used to optimize their content. Learning from others can really help in your own efforts especially for the more obvious features like titles and descriptions. Tags are also a ranking factor, but because they are now hidden, you'll need to do a little extra detective work to uncover them:
Are YouTube Meta Tags Still Important?
Back in August of 2012, YouTube decide to remove the tags section from the video watch page.
Keane from YouTube announced in a YouTube Help thread that they decided to remove the tags from showing up on the video watch page because some are abusing it.
Tags no longer appear on this page - this isn't a bug, but a change that went out this week. Having them on the watch page, in some cases, gave users an opportunity to abuse tags by copying them from other videos. We also didn't see much usage of tags by the average viewer.
But that doesn't mean that you should not tag your videos. YouTube will continue to use it for discovery and search purposes. Keane explained:
Though tags don't appear on the video page, anyone who uploads should keep adding them to your videos. Tags are still used to aid the discoverability of your videos like they have before, the only difference now is that they don't appear on the video page.
Finding The Hidden Tags For Any YouTube Video
There are two ways to discover the tags now hidden by YouTube for any video on the site (provided the creator/uploader used any tags in the first place of course. One is very simple and one is slightly more technical, but they both give you the same results:
The Technical Way
- Using your Chrome browser, just visit any watch page on YouTube, and right click to find the drop down menu.
- Click on 'View Page Source'
- Then, use your browser's 'Find Feature' - https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95635?hl=en - and type in the word "keywords". This will bring up two instances on the page, the truncated and the longer version. Select the second, longer version.
- This will give you access to the tags used on that particular video.
The Simple Version
Go to vidiq.com/vision/ and install their free Chrome extension if you haven't already downloaded it. This extension will show up on any YouTube video watch page after you've installed it and will give you a lot of data about the video so it's worth installing for this kind of info at your fingertips
The tags for the video (if there are any) are listed at the bottom of the pop-up menu.
Meta Tags Are A Ranking Factor - But Not The Only One
Do not just copy and paste the tags from another video - you wouldn't do it with the title or the description and it's the same with this feature. There are a huge amount of ranking factors that YouTube take into consideration before returning your video for particular search result. Just using the tags that another creator has uploaded isn't going to make a great deal of difference if you haven't optimized elsewhere, and of course, if your video is boring, irrelevant or of poor quality and so attracts a consistently poor watch time metric, no amount of video seo is going to make you rank #1 in a highly competitive field. However, the use of tags is important so use the knowledge gleaned from other videos as part of your optimization strategy.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!