Any online marketing or SEO professional that dabbles in search work spends most of their time trying to help websites and other content claim a good ranking in the search results. We spend most of our time talking about that side of search as well. But if you're anything like me, you spend a lot of your day on the other side of the search equation, performing actual searches on Google or YouTube. So I thought it might be good to share a few tips and shortcuts to help you find what you're looking for more quickly and efficiently.
YouTube Search Tips
Most people type a few keywords in the YouTube search box and start scrolling through the results. There are also filter options just above the results so you can filter by view count or date-added. But there are even shortcuts to those filters, and they're right inside your YouTube search box. Here are some of the YouTube search modifiers I use on a regular basis to help me find what I'm looking for in no time flat:
Search for Movies
Do you like movies? Do you want to rent one for a small fee or find a free one on YouTube? You can do so straight from the search box, simply by putting a comma after your query and typing "movies," like this:
Search for HD Videos
Maybe you're a snob for HD video, and prefer to only watch the highest quality videos YouTube has to offer. If so, you're in luck... you're search modifier is "hd," like this:
Notice how all the results have the little HD icon indicating their quality.
Search by Date
Perhaps you know the video you're looking for is recent. It could be helpful to search by date, with the most recent clips matching your query listed first. It's not technically by date, I guess. You have three options to choose from: today, this week, and this month. While I wish there were more options, it's definitely still quite useful to modify searches this way.
Say you love football, and you want to catch up on the most amazing plays of the past week. You might alter your query like this:
Search for Partners
Want to search just for the more "professional" content on YouTube, and filter out some of the amateur-made noise? You can search just by YouTube Partners, which might yield results like this (you'll notice the results include The Associated Press and TMZ:
Search by Channel
A lot of times I'm not looking for a specific video as much as I'm looking for a particular channel--maybe to see what new video ads Google or Apple have put out, for instance. You can search for channels just by modifying the search with the word "channel":
Notice how the first result is Apple's YouTube channel... then Fiona Apple's channel. The modifier gets me straight to the thing I want, where a simple search for "apple" would have returned a ton of noise.
You can even combine these modifiers to narrow your results even further. Say you want content about professional football, but only from professional partner channels, and only recent videos. You might do this search, and end up with content from CBSSports and Machinima Sports:
YouTube Comment Search
Did you know you could search just the comments on YouTube? You can, at the aptly named YouTube Comment Search:
Now you can find out what people are saying about your brand or your videos in the comments on YouTube. Gee... wouldn't it be great if you could get an RSS feed of those results? I could think of a few fun things to do with something like that.
Obviously, you might be asking for it when you go searching through YouTube comments--it's not exactly known as a pool of insight and intellect. However, with the right queries, I could see really useful feedback from something like this, which would not only help you spread the word about how awesome you are, but also aid in the fostering of better relationships with your viewers.
There are more search modifiers than what I've included here, like searching for just 3D videos or using quotation marks for exact-word searches. Using these advanced operators to modify and filter your queries straight from the search box is a time saver that adds up over time if you do anything more than the average amount of searching on YouTube.
If you know any modifiers or YouTube search tips, tricks, or shortcuts that we haven't mentioned, please feel free to let us all know about them in the comments below.