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YouTube Video Ranking - Factors that will Affect Your Rank

Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox
Originally published Dec 06, 21, updated Jun 12, 24
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Few social media mediums have grown more vital than YouTube. In certain instances, a good YouTube presence could make or break a business or budding entertainment sensation.

Those with high YouTube rankings typically yield more returns from the said venue. Luckily, users might increase these vital statistics by paying close attention to several factors that affect YouTube video ranking.

In this article

Factors that Affect YouTube Video Ranking

If you are a YouTuber, you have to understand how videos rank higher. In turn, this will allow you to ensure your content appears in top search results more often. With that in mind, here are some factors that affect your YouTube ranking.

Video Title

factors that affect youtube video ranking

YouTube videos number in the many millions. Therefore, users enjoy a significant deal of variety when choosing which ones to view. YouTubers may yield a more favorable ranking by creating a catchy title.

On-page YouTube ranking optimization is crucial if you want to get a higher video ranking. Metadata is one of the YouTube ranking factors; this includes your video title. Essentially, titles give the first impression of any video to end users, YouTube, and search engines.

A well-titled video attracts more traffic, which translates to more views. Experts recommend using short titles that immediately get to the meat and potatoes of what the video entails. Avoid long titles as some devices, browsers, and search engines can cut them off.

Video titles should have five words or less. Don't forget to place keywords at the beginning of the title. The keywords should also be relevant to your video.

Video Description

factors that affect youtube video ranking - video description

When many videos on the same or similar topics exist, content can seem repetitive to prospective viewers. Therefore, YouTubers should offer a short but detailed description of the information contained within. And above all, address how their video stands out from similar content.

Because Google and YouTube cannot extract information from videos, they use text descriptions to define the content on videos. Therefore, if you do not include a description, search engines won't know what your video is about: this might affect your ranking.

Make sure your video description is 250 words or more. Additionally, include relevant and suitable keywords.

When writing the description, you can place the main keyword in your first 25 words and then link to external URLs; for instance, you could link to related blog content or your social media channels.

Video Quality

Poor quality is an immediate buzz kill. Few people can bear to watch a video with poor sound or picture quality. In many instances, quality is one of the YouTube ranking factors. HD (high-definition) videos rank higher than lower-quality ones. YouTube often highlights HD videos in its top search results.

Filmora can help you improve the quality of your videos, which will make them rank higher. The software allows you to edit your video and change its hue, brightness, saturation, and contrast. You can also crop, cut, and trim your videos.

What's more? Filmora allows you to adjust output volume, pitch, fade-in, and fade-out to make your video clear. Once you have finished creating your HD video, you can head to the Export tab and select Upload to YouTube to publish your video on your channel.

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Watch Time

factors that affect youtube video ranking - watch time

Watch Time is also among the YouTube ranking factors. According to YouTube, Watch Time is the total length of time people spend watching your videos.

YouTube's algorithm prioritizes videos leading to longer viewing sessions over the ones with more views. You can use Audience Retention Report and YouTube Analytics Views Report to find out which videos have the worst and best view times. Doing this will allow you to plan for your future content accordingly

Using annotations and leaving links to other videos in your description box can help you increase the length of your viewing sessions.


factors that affect youtube video ranking -Thumbnails

Thumbnails have a positive effect on click-through rates when used the right way. You can use them to maximize your views and YouTube video ranking.

YouTube generates thumbnails by taking screenshots from videos. However, you might want to go for customized thumbnails, as this will allow you to stand out from your competitors and outperform their videos.

Make sure the image you use as your thumbnail is aesthetically pleasing and grabs the attention of viewers. Also, it should be relevant to the content in your video. Keep in mind that thumbnails with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1280-by-20-pixel resolution generally perform best.

Number of Views

factors that affect youtube video ranking -Number of Views

Views are a vital YouTube ranking factor, as people are more likely to watch videos with a high number of views. The more views your video has, the higher it will rank, especially for competitive keywords.

If you want to rank high for competitive keywords, ensure that your videos get loads of views. For this reason, you have to take steps and get your video content on other platforms. In turn, you will increase the visibility of your videos and view count.

You could embed your videos into your blog posts or share them on social media platforms to get more people to watch them.

Closed Captions and Subtitles

factors that affect youtube video ranking -Closed Captions and Subtitles

Adding captions to videos with spoken-word content can improve your YouTube video ranking. Essentially, it opens up your videos to a larger audience, including people who are deaf and anyone speaking a different language from the one in your videos. Search engines also crawl close captions, which can boost your rankings.

While YouTube offers automatic captioning, it is not perfect. So you may need to make some edits or upload the captions yourself.

How to Optimize Your YouTube Ranking

Focusing on User Engagement

One of the best YouTube ranking optimization practices that you can implement is asking users to leave comments, like your videos, and share them. YouTube analyzes these metrics to determine the quality of your content. Ergo, if YouTube sees your video is engaging users, it will rank higher than those with little or no engagement.

Using Video Hashtags

Hashtags help people to find content that provides answers to their questions across various platforms. Use related hashtags when creating your descriptions to ensure people find your videos when searching for specific hashtags.

Tags help drive search because they make main trends more visible. After adding a hashtag to the description, it will appear above the video title, and viewers will see it hyperlinked.

Categorizing Your Video

After uploading your video, you should categorize it by going to Advanced settings. By choosing a category, YouTube will group your videos with similar content. Viewers will find your quickly, as they will come in the right audience searches. In turn, this will help your videos to rank higher.


With 720,000 hours of video being uploaded every day to YouTube, getting your videos to rank high is challenging. But by paying attention to the above YouTube ranking factors, you can improve your video ranking.

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