A lot of people ask me what the SEO value is of YouTube videos. Some people think that because any links you put in the video description are nofollow, there really isn’t that much value to get a link from YouTube. My experience has been that I’ve seen a lot of value coming from getting YouTube links. They have the potential to pass massive domain and page authority to your site, and if your videos are popular, getting a link from them really boosts the trust to your site.
There is a huge difference, however, between just getting a YouTube link and getting a YouTube link that will actually pass that power and trust to your site. If you were Google (which owns YouTube), and you saw a link from a video that got zero views, zero comments, zero social signals, etc., would you want to pass any value from that link to the site it’s linking to? Compare that scenario to a video that has thousands of views, upvotes, comments, social signals, etc. Google understands when a video is popular and when it is not. I truly believe that the engagement metrics of each video make a huge difference as to whether the links in the description will pass much juice or not. If Google has all the data to understand the popularity of the videos, why wouldn’t account for that information? Based on my experience, the engagement metrics of videos really matter.
Hopefully I have made a convincing argument, but what can you do to boost the SEO value of your YouTube videos? I’ll run through some ideas that I have used successfully in the past.
Do whatever you can to promote your videos on social media. Google loves when videos get shared and liked across Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s a massive sign of trust that the video is popular and good content. It will boost the page authority of the video and make the link that much stronger.
Do what you can to get your video seen by as many people as possible. The video needs to be good content, however, because Google can tell when the majority of people only watch the first 10 seconds of a video. If you have a good video that people will want to watch, and then you get a lot of views, you have a great combination. Don’t pay for views, unless you are confident that the people watching your video are legit and will watch the full video.
Comments / Upvotes
Getting more comments and upvotes is certainly a sign to Google that the video is high quality. I think you’re getting the point now that the video has to be good. Otherwise, Google will catch on and you won’t get a ton of power from the links in the description.
Make Use Of The Description
I would write at least a couple hundred words in the description. This will let you get a couple of relevant keywords in close to the link and let Google understand better the relevance of the link. Definitely don’t do keyword stuffing. That’s a bad idea.
Assuming you have multiple videos, make use of inner-linking. You can link back up to the Channel URL or create a playlist and link up to the playlist URL. Link from one video to the next. There is a lot of extra juice that you can get by inner-linking your videos. It can potentially help you get more traffic to each of the videos as well.
You can get all of these things to happen if you make your videos great quality. Google absolutely understands when a video is good or bad. You can’t do a great job of tricking Google into thinking a bad video is good. It’s a better strategy to just make your videos as good as possible.
If you can create a lot of great videos and follow this advice, you will find that you can get a strong push upwards in the search engine results. This is a very white-hat strategy that will only be more effective as time moves on.
“Don’t pay for views, unless you are confident that the people watching your video are legit and will watch the full video.” I’d still say no to that.
It’s surprising how people don’t take advantage of the description, I think it’ll allow up to 5,000 characters or something like that. I also found (unless it has changed as of lately) when you add a link, it has to be the full url including the http.
One other thing I would mention, is the importance of having videos, I don’t know if quantity over quality is necessarily the emphasis, but I feel that if someone watches and likes your videos, they’re more likely to watch additional videos on your channel. I would even think a crappy phone video is better than none. What are your thoughts on that?