YouTube Search & Discovery - Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2

In the latest in a line of resources aimed at arming video creators and marketers with the right tools to promote their video content, YouTube has released the Creator Discovery Handbook. We've already covered the first part of the Discovery Handbook, specifically Watch Time, and the YouTube Homepage. In this post, we'll be taking a look at what YouTube recommends about video search, and discovery.

YouTube Search: Getting Found

YouTube calls itself the second biggest search engine in the world, and with so many competitors, creators and marketers need to ensure that they follow certain best practices in order for their content to be found by viewers. In the new Creator Discovery Handbook, there are a number of things that publishers should do to help their videos appear in the search results such as using the right titles, description, tags etc. However, if the video is boring, or irrelevant to the YouTube audience, no amount of video optimization is going to help.

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2

Text-based metadata (titles etc) does help YouTube to get some context about your video, but as those features can be gamed, the site also takes a more holistic approach to ranking content, and a huge part of that is how the viewer engages with it. Watch Time, as we have already written about, is a major ranking factor and tells YouTube whether the video is resonating with its users.

Key Takeaways and Best Practices:

  • Increase your video Watch Times
  • YouTube will adjust its results for very topical content so take advantage of that by producing tent pole content - but don't try to fool the viewer, the more that bail, the worse your video will do
  • YouTube will filter out obvious duplicated content. Try and ensure that your video is as unique as possible
  • Optimize your video for the right content

YouTube Video Discovery

Your video content has the potential to show up in various places on YouTube, including:

  • What to Watch Next
  • Subscribers Homepage
  • Logged out Homepage
  • The Guide
  • Playlists
  • House Channels
  • Social Channels

What to Watch Next Feature

First, let's take a look at the suggested videos on the 'What to Watch Next' section. Based just to right of the video player, this feature offers a selection of video content based on your search history (if you are logged in), and the content you are currently watching.

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2

There are three different categories of 'Suggested' video:

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2Related Videos: YouTube will suggest other video content for you if it relates to the topic you have currently chosen to watch. The site's algorithm takes into account whether those videos have been watched together by other viewers in a bid to foil spammers who use misleading metadata to place themselves next to popular content

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2Recommended Videos: This type of content is returned based on videos you have watched in the past. YouTube has built up its knowledge of you as a user so wants to offer you more to watch based on your previous actions.

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2More From Uploader: YouTube has confirmed that partners are currently allowed "the top 4 videos in the Suggested videos list on the right side of the 'Watch' page for other videos from their channel". Yay! Please note that the magical 4 videos may take some time to appear, and some partners get way more than 4. C'est la Vie.

Subscriber Homepage

The YouTube Creator Discovery Handbook confirms that your video can also appear on the Subscriber's Homepage so encouraging viewers to subscribe to your channel should be a priority in your video marketing check list.

Logged Out Homepage & The Guide

YouTube has a channel called "Popular on YouTube" where the very best videos live, based on location. There's no way to optimize your content to feature here, great videos will rise to the top based on a number of factors such as views, engagement, shares etc. Relevant videos will also appear in The Guide, which again, cannot be gamed.

YouTube Playlists

We have touched on the importance of Playlists many times. YouTube Playlists are particularly awesome as they mean that your videos have the potential to be indexed twice. Any user can add a video to a Playlist, which means that they can add your if they feel they are worthy. Playlists get indexed, and they not only appear in the search results, but also can appear in 'Related Video' results. Need more info? here's an excellent article that goes into details about the benefit of YouTube Playlists.

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2YouTube House and Social Channels

YouTube has confirmed that they will also push content towards you that has been liked, shared etc by your circle of YouTube/G+ friends.

Key Takeaways and Best Practices:

  • To increase your chances of appearing in the 'Related Videos' section, follow the best practices from the Creator Playbook re engagement, participation, using annotation, and Playlists, and making fantastic videos.
  • Encourage viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel so that your content shows up on their Homepages
  • Bottom line: If your video is good and viewers are engaging with it, the site will eventually pick up on that and you'll find it appearing in all kinds of interesting places.

YouTube Channel Discovery

Of course, it's not only individual videos that have a chance of appearing all over YouTube, channels do too.  It can appear in a number of places, including:

  • Browse Channels Page: This can be found at the bottom of the YouTube Guide, and features channels that "fall into interesting categories". Various other factors are involved including how well the channel, and the videos inside, have been optimized for search.

YouTube Search & Discovery   Creator Discovery Handbook Part 2

  • Related Channels: These appear on the right hand side of the Watch page, and are very closely linked to the current content you are watching.
  • Recommended Channels: These results are personalized for the user and appear in several places on the site.
  • Featured Channels: The roll-out of the 'OneChannel' design means creators can feature and promote other channels. This is an excellent cross-promotional tool for all concerned.
  • YouTube Search Results: Your channel may appear in the YouTube search results if YouTube is happy that its appearance would be of value to the searcher.

Key Takeaways and Best Practices:

  • Optimize your YouTube channel
  • Collaborate with other creators and set up 'Featured Channels' for each other
  • Link your official website, or verify with Google+, so YouTube understands more about your channel.


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Posted in YouTube Marketing
About the Author -
Carla Marshall is the Managing Editor of ReelSEO, and the Community Manager for the ReelSEO YouTube Channel. She is YouTube Certified, and specializes in video optimization and organic marketing. View All Posts By -

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