5 YouTube SEO Myths That Need to be Exposed

Quiet as it’s kept, I reached another milestone on my YouTube channel last month. Since I uploaded my first YouTube video 4 years ago, I’ve been able to rack up over 250,000 views on my channel.

When you consider the fact that all of my videos are geeky tutorials and most of them appeal to a tiny segment of the huge demographic of the typical YouTube audience, I’m quite pleased with that achievement.

As I’ve mentioned here before many times, it also makes my heart glad to know that I have encouraged some of my blogging friends to take content creation to the next level and start their own YouTube channels.YouTube Video SEO Myths Exposed

But I won’t stop until YOU (that’s right, I’m talking to YOU) record and upload your first YouTube video too. I think every blogger should be using video to boost their online rankings, build authority and make a deeper connection with their audience of fans and followers.

Here are a few YouTube SEO myths that are proliferating the internet, and since they might be holding you back, let put them to rest right here and now.

Myth #1 Don’t waste your time uploading videos anywhere besides YouTube

You can find an audience for your videos on a lot of different platforms besides YouTube. Not taking advantage of other video platforms is the first one I want to address on this list of SEO myths and mistakes.

You can try DailyMotion, Viddler, PhotoBucket, Flickr and even Facebook too. Don’t worry if you think that its going to take you a whole lot more time to upload your videos to all of those channels. You can use OneLoad to upload to all those destinations at the same time!

YouTube SEO Myths

In this image, you can see some of my stats from OneLoad. Notice that YouTube makes up 89.7% of the total views of my videos. But if you turn that around, what it really means is that I got 11% more views just by uploading to those other sites. Not to mention that the views from Facebook, Flickr and PhotoBucket aren’t even included in this. Here’s a link to the video that shows you how simple it is to upload your video to all of these sites at once using OneLoad. Did I mention it’s totally free?

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Myth #2 You Can Get Google Authorship for  a Youtube Video

Well the truth is that we used to get Authorship for our individual YouTube videos, but for some reason, Google decided to take away our profile images from the search listings.

Don’t believe me? Here’s what YouTube Authorship looked like before (notice my picture appears):The old look of Google Authorship for YouTube Videos

For the full explanation, watch the video. Google Authorship on YouTube has Vanished.


This change makes it more important than ever before that we use attractive custom thumbnail images on our video. I’m using TubeSlicer for this and you can find out more about it from Joey Kissimmee (this is an aff. link).

Myth #3 Make your YouTube video short because people have short attention spans

Well part of that statement is true. People do have short attention spans and everyone is always just plain old busy. That’s why what you really need to do is make more engaging videos not shorter videos. Keep people interested by providing useful information that helps them solve a problem, or educates them, or entertains them. And if you find that your topic is really short, use annotations and playlists to send people to other videos.

I know we always want people to leave YouTube and come over to our blogs. But since we are talking about YouTube SEO myths, keep in mind that YouTube wants to keep people on their platform and the longer your video keeps them them, the more kred you get with YouTube.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you have a one minute video. People love the video and they watch it all the way to the end. That gets you excited because you figure YouTube is looking at your retention time and everyone is watching 100% of your video.

WRONG! Here’s the real deal.

I made this mistake too. But but I learned is to forget about percentages and all of that math.

Let’s try another example, this time I’ll use one of my long videos. I created a tutorial for the SEOPressor Plugin. This is a 30 minute video – and you know what? YouTube loves to show this video in search results and so does Google, because the average watch time is over 7 minutes. Which means I did 7 times better than your 1 minute video, even though people didn’t watch to the end.

YouTube Analytics for SEOPressor Tutorial

YouTube Analytics for SEOPressor Tutorial

I put a lot of work into making the SEOPressor video because I knew that anyone who purchased the plugin would need a full tutorial on how to set it up. [Here’s my affiliate link if you want to get it too]. I added time stamps in the description box, to make it easy for people to jump to the part of the video were I cover the specific module they need help with. That encourages people to watch the video longer. If I didn’t have the time stamps, they might skip around for a second or two and miss they part they need. Then eventually they would get frustrated, leave my channel and go off in search of another shorter video.

Takeaway: Be sure to use time stamps to make those long YouTube videos more user friendly.

Myth #4 There’s a formula to get your YouTube videos ranked number one every time

I bet you knew this one was coming right? I mean if you are a YouTube video creator than you have seen countless blog posts, videos and even podcasts where someone promises that if you follow their advice you’ll get the secret of how to rank on YouTube in the first spot.

There’s only one problem.

When you take a look at all the videos the person has uploaded to YouTube only one or two of them has a decent amount of views. There’s no magic formula that works for every video. Even celebrities can’t duplicate YouTube success from one video to the next. Gangham Style has well over 1 billion views, but Psy’s other video view counts can’t compare.

Side note: I just noticed that Psy is also using Daily Motion to get more views on Gangham Style. If you add the 400,000 views on Daily Motion to the 1.7 billion YouTube views and that brings his total view count to well over 2 billion. Now do you believe me about using Daily Motion?

Psy doesn't depend on YouTube alone he uses DailyMotion

Myth #5 We can’t find the meta tags of popular videos because YouTube hides them

It’s true that they did make the decision over a year ago to hide the list of tags for YouTube videos so they aren’t visibly displayed on the video watch page. This is another one of those decisions that left YouTube video creators scratching their heads. But I will admit that a lot of us were “stealing” the tags from poplular videos in our niche and recycling them on our own videos. It saves people like me who don’t like doing keyword research, a ton of time. I’m not exactly sure why they took those tags away from pubic view, but it’s simple as pie to bring them back into view again.

You can use any browser extension for SEO to see the meta tags for other people’s videos. In the past I recommened using SEO Site Tools or PageRank Status extensions for this. But now we have something even better.

VidIq Vision not only lets us see all the hidden YouTube tags, but we can even see social stats like Facebook shares and Tweets. I mentioned this extension previously, but since then they added even more features including counts for shares on LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Reddit.

Tweets, Stats and YouTube Video Tags for Ryan Hanley

In the top portion of the screenshot I demonstrate how VidIq displays stats and YouTube tags in the default view, and in the bottom portion you can see that if you click on “Tweets” you’ll see a list of recent tweets for the video. This is a great way to discover new people to connect with on Twitter.

What’s really important on YouTube

I’m not really an expert when it comes to SEO but I do have some pretty good resources for you to check out. The first one I recommend is ReelSEO and a panel Mark Robertson moderated called  The Video Metrics That Matter. Hint It’s Not Views. When I saw that title my first thought was Oh great, now they tell me! lol

Be sure to follow all three of the Rob’s who made up this panel for more insights to what really matters for YouTube SEO and engagement.

If you want to get serious about having a successful YouTube channel you need to go beyond just using good titles, tags, descriptions, captions, thumbnails and annotations. Of course all of those things are important. I encourage you to go a little deeper and you’ll see that it will pay off in the long run.

What are your thoughts about video SEO? Please share your YouTube tips and tricks in the comments below.


Welcome! I'm Ileane and this blog was created to help you learn about WordPress blogging, Social Media Optimization, YouTube Tutorials and more. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and be the first to know when I upload a new tutorial.
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  1. Hi Ileane,

    Super post here breaking down a few major league Youtube myths!

    #3, all the day. I offered this advice for a long time until I saw how quickly my longer videos and more in depth blog posts ranked higher on google. We forget at times that people want a resource, not a bite-sized tidbit. People want their search appetites satiated.

    Think of the average consumer. People want to search and find something which COMPLETELY answers their question. A 30 minute, in depth video does this, like yours, and a 2500 word, in depth post does this too, which is why both become popular on both google and social networking sites.

    As an aside (shame on me 😉 I never paid much attention to metrics on my WP blog. My fault. After uploading a stat plug in this morning I saw 400 plus views in a few hours. Yikes! We will see how many views I get in a typical 24 hour period tomorrow but suffice to say, it should be handsome…..and it is because since I started creating longer videos and publishing longer posts, the interest increased.

    Guys, create resources! Listen to Ileane.

    Thanks for the share! Keep up the great work!


    • Thanks Ryan. You make an excellent point about blog posts too. These days Google is not interested in short and sweet. This is what people mean when they say “write valuable content”. I noticed you are doing just that on your blog too. It’s really fun “growing” up in the world of blogging together isn’t it? Look at all those guys that dropped out and didn’t make it this far. :)

  2. hi Ileane,
    I have many doubts regarding video upload, which were clarified after reading your post..I thought you tube as the ultimate platform also shorter the better was my thinking about video uploading which were rectified with proper logic after going through your post.A very informative post which really solve common held rumors about video uploading… ..Nice job.

    • Hi Pawan,

      What type of videos do you plan to record? Did you get all of the equipment you need yet? Let me know if you need some suggestions.

      • hi Ileane
        nice article that are many important things that are never know about youtube seo. very helpful article with me thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Well, upon reading this, I realized that I’m doing some mistakes. Thanks for sharing this myths. Next time I’ll use this article as my guide. I like uploading videos in youtube but views are too few, let’s see what will happen after this.

  4. Hi Ileane
    Very useful tips.
    i have a lot of problem when i upload video on Youtube with tags. Your post solved my questions directly.
    Thanks for your valuable information.

    Stephan Wu

    • Stephan, I have one question for you. No offense but are you a man or a woman? I’m just confused about that so I thought I would ask.

      Glad to help you with YouTube tags.

    • Sabra, I asked about this over in the Google Authorship & Author Rank Community over on Google + and Mark Traphagen’s response was this:

      This changed some time ago. Google is constantly testing to see what rich snippets seem most helpful to users. Some time ago they seemed to have decided that a video thumbnail was more useful than an author photo.

  5. Hi Ileana,

    I didn’t know that there is a way to get the meta tages of other popular videos, that is a great tip. I have a Youtube channel for my technical blog but wasn’t sure about having one for my internet blog maybe this is something that I should go ahead and do. Thanks for sharing your tips and this encouraging article.

    • Hi Qasim,
      I have another tip for you about your YouTube tags. On each one of your videos be sure to include your channel name as one of the tags. Don’t use it as the first or second tag, use keywords for the first two or three tags, then your channel name. The reason for doing this is to help your videos appear as “related videos” on the watch page.

      Hope that tip helps.

  6. It is strange how one uploaded video will do well with a decent number of views while another doesn’t even compare. I don’t upload a lot, but I have a few. I have tried different optimizations and it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s like it’s just the luck of the draw. Still I can’t complain. When I do add a video to YouTube I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for decent numbers.

    • Ray, at times it truly is the luck of the draw, I agree with that. One thing I learned is that the videos we think will be a big hit get nothing more than a yawn, while those we put together in haste get tons of comments, likes and shares. :)
      That’s why it’s important to keep uploading, change things up, and track your progress.
      One video I did that gets the most views is a tutorial for using Diigo that I posted years ago. I haven’t logged on to my account in years (I use Scoop.it now instead) but the video remains popular – go figure!

      Thanks for your feedback Ray, its always appreciated.

  7. Jeevan Jacob John

    Hey Ileane,

    These are some awesome tips 😀 I do plan to use videos for my upcoming blog and these tips will certainly help.

    Also thanks for sharing the plugins. I have bookmarked all of them for future use. Seopressor and Youtube? I was confused about which SEO plugin to buy, but I think I will go with Seopressor (I will buy it through your link since I came upon the tool through guest posting at your blog :D).

    VidIq looks awesome, I have installed it.

    I have always thought that I should try and make videos as short as possible (partially due to my own reluctance to watch longer videos, but like you mentioned, people will watch it if they find it useful). The time stamp tip is new, I have got to try that 😀

    Anyways, thank you for the tips, Ileane :)

    • Hi Jeevan!
      I’d love to hear more about your upcoming blog. When do you plan to launch?

      The time stamps were introduced a while back but most people don’t use them. The cool thing is that they also work on Google+.
      For example, you might want to share someone’s video but you just want people to go to a specific point – just use the time stamp and it works great.

      Thanks for your comment and best wishes with your new blog.

      • Jeevan Jacob John

        I haven’t decided on a deadline yet; I have to do it fast. Still in the planning process. I am almost done with everything, except for one crucial part – The domain name. I am confused on what to go for 😀

        That’s great. I have used time stamps in embedding videos (Especially with songs and stuff).

        No problem, Ileane :) Thanks!

  8. Glad you mentioned point number 3 – they key is not always to produce longer videos, but to make them more interesting.

    People’s attention spans are shorter than ever, so it’s important to engage them right from the get go – based on personal testing, introductions should be no longer than 5 seconds before you get into the content.

    Another good way to get people to continue watching your video is to promise something later on the video – whether it be a secret, tip, coupon, or anything with value. Using something vague such as ‘later on’ will prevent people from simply skipping through the video until they find it.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing Ileane! YouTube is something more people should be getting into for business – it’s definitely a good source of income and traffic.

    • Hey James!
      Thanks so much for your feedback.
      I’ve done so much testing that I even started another blog to keep track of my case studies http://glipho.com/ileane

      Most of the time I don’t even use any intro these days. Not because they don’t help with branding and so forth but because as a YouTube consumer, I think they are a waste of time. Sometimes I don’t even want to say “Hi this is Ileane from Basic Blog Tips” and I tested skipping that too. The video is doing surprisingly well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoCeTc-46l0

  9. Myth 3 needs attention of all; quantity has nothing to do with the quality; it depends upon the power of the subject of your video that attract views and not its length. So one must focus quality and make a video regardless of worrying about its length

  10. Hi Ileane
    Nice post..really got a lot to learn and take care of…and yes I am agreed with your statement that on comparison to quantity, quality always makes difference as this is the quality only for which your video will be considered..so the length does not make out any difference if it is delivering the quality content and the content for which the user is looking for….so all points are pretty much valuable…

    Thanks for sharing

    Keep Posting


  11. I didn’t know about the Google Youtube authorship but now my doubt is fully clear. Again a great post Ma’am thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Great Stuff – love how you debunked these YouTube myths.. never knew about Google authorship for YouTube. It is true that people do have short attention spans so keeping it short is key. Thanks for sharing other video sharing sites other than youtube !

  13. It is also noted that in many countries YouTube does not work properly while in a few countries it is also banned because of political reasons. Readers of such countries could not watch the video if someone tag in their post. So one should check the origin of the traffic of his blog and then upload video on another platform in addition to YouTube. For this purpose DailyMotion and Vemo are best option.

    • Edson, you always offer such insightful comments!

      You pointed out another clear benefit of uploading to different videos sites other than YouTube. There have been times when people would tell me they can’t watch my video because it is banned in their country. It’s pretty cool when I can just give them the link to that some video on Vimeo or Daily Motion and they are very grateful to have it.

      Thanks so much!

  14. After reading this post, I realized some of the deadly mistakes I have been doing in my SEO process out of lack of knowledge. This post was an eye opener for me. I am more than glad to read this post. Thanks for the share.

  15. These are really some good point to consider. alas , i am not able to produce some quality videos right now. Hope in near future will be able to do that. Thanks for posting this wonderful article for us.

  16. Hi Ileane,

    First of all I congrats on your YouTube success. You definitely know what you’re doing. And I had never heard of Google Authorship for YouTube. I know about it for websites.

    So much to learn when it comes to creating videos. Thanks for taking the time to share…especially since I have just gotten into creating some videos for my blog.

    Have a great day.

  17. Hello Ileane,

    YouTube is certainly a great place to get traffic. But the sad thing I never get proper traffic from it as I don’t know the actual way. You are already an expert in YouTube video & you already got lots of success. But now I am trying to learn something new from your article.

    Happy blogging

    • Ahsan, hang in there and don’t give up. Just keep posting your videos and each time they will get better and better! All the best.

  18. One of the most informative posts about YouTube I have read. I was enlightened to learn about authorship change and Daily Motion, which I knew nothing about. I need to get going on my YouTube plan.

  19. Paul Strcahan

    Hey there, WOW, what a massive and insighful piece of content you have put together here. One thing I have to admit is that I tend to make very short videos and I will be taking your advice on making them more engaing. Thanks a lot for this article, some great tips I will be taking advantage of in future. Bless you!

  20. First congrats to reaching milestone.
    Most of bloggers are using youtube videos to get rank in top of Search. I am also going to start a youtube videos but confused about youtube SEO and some other doubts.

    Today I read this post, I impressed and starting my youtube channel. Thank you for sharing most beautiful and valuable post.

  21. Hi Ileane,
    Firstly warmly congrats for reaching over 150,000 views mile stone!
    Bydway great youtube seo myths indeed.Really i was not much aware about youtube seo before this post.Now am stared to using your youtube seo myths,lets see how it work for me,and thank you for this great tips and always keep sharing!!

  22. ketty johnson

    Thanks Ileane for nailing those Youtube SEO myths perfectly. So far I have not read something about this a well written and informative piece of work

  23. Hey Ileane,

    thx for this really good article. I also noticed that all my longer Videos were shown more often than the short teaser ones 😉
    Greetings Gregory

  24. Hi, I have been searching for an answer to my you tube queries and i stopped at your article. You have clearly explained the basic myths which i too had. Thank you soo much. It helped me lot. I mean it. ..

  25. I never thought about using time stamps but it makes alot of sense as the few videos I do have are a bit long. Also I never considered borrowing somenone elses meta tags because to be honest I too do not like keyword research so that would be a work around.

    • Hi Caleb,

      When I check my YouTube Analytics I can tell that people are watching specific parts of the video because I’ll see a spike on the charts.

      I never understood why YouTube decided to hide the video tags, but now I don’t need to worry because VidIq displays them very nicely right next to the video. The other advantage of VidIq is that you can sign up for a free account and get some really detailed stats on your own vids. It’s a great tool.

      Take care and I hope you get more views on your channel.

  26. Thank you for those illustrations. I’m planning to try video marketing but only thinking of sharing them on YouTube. Now, I realize that there are still many popular video sharing websites where I can share my videos, and they all significantly count too.

    • Johnny, If you ever take the time to make an engaging YouTube video, then you’ll know that it’s not a game. Unless the video is about gaming of course. :)

  27. Hi Ileane,
    your post really gives me a lot of things which i never knew, myth 4 is really motivating how you can get your youtube videos ranked one all the time. Thankyou again your post is excellent, i’ll be following your tips and tricks now onwards.

  28. Great stuff here Ileane (yeah, I know I’m late to the party lol). I’m closing in on video #100 but I’ll admit that initially I had no real idea what I was going to do with the channel. I can’t come close to saying I’ve got as many views as you, but I can say that just having any views is pretty cool, and getting a comment here and there… I’ll take that also.

    I’m really glad you posted #3 because I think there’s a lot of wasted space with all those very short videos that don’t really say anything, just entice us to want more, not less. I do know that some of mine go long, just like my blog content here and there, but I get in, say what I have to say, and get out, and if it runs long… well, so be it. :-)

    • Hi Mitch! It’s amazing how quickly 100 videos can go by isn’t it? I’m close to 150 now but there are a few of them that I need to take down because they’re no longer valid. Some of the more popular ones are the ones where I talk about using AdSense and people are so appreciative of them but ironically I really don’t use AdSense anymore. Most of the comments are from people who want help with getting into the AdSense program, which means the video doesn’t even apply to them.

      Thanks for stopping by Mitch and have a great week ahead.

  29. waao ileane i am amazed really i think it is the juice of your experience. I never tried youtube videos for SEO i just used blog commenting. After reading this post i am thinking to adopt this method. I will be seeing for updates thanx

  30. Mia

    I agree with this because youtube changes so much that things that used to work when I started using it don’t work so well anymore.

    It is very hard to keep up with Youtube at least google is little bit more straight forward

  31. Solid content Ileane! Time stamps make a lot of sense to me. Not everybody wants to go through a video from beginning to end so using time stamps makes for a better user experience a lot of the time.

    I’m definitely going to check out Tube Slicer. The price is a steal! Have a good one.

    • Hi Tyronne!
      Joey Kissimmee has done an excellent job with all the slicers he created. There is one for Facebook Timelines and Podcast cover art too. They pay you back in spades, trust me! Be sure to get your hands on it. I have watched my video view counts and my AdSense earning rise.
      Thanks for stopping by Tyronne, great to see you as always.

    • Joanne, be sure to apply as a “content creator” and you’ll get the free account. I just tested it with a different email address and got accepted. Let me know how you make out.

  32. Hi Ileane,
    I love your posts, especially on YouTube. Thank you for your dedication and knowledge. I have already learned so much from you about YT videos. I didn’t know about Daily Motion, but am going to take advantage of it.

    Bye the way, my latest post is on podcasts and I mentioned one of your podcasts because I think people should hear what a good one sounds like.
    Thanks again,
    Geri Richmond

  33. Excellent article, Ileane! I especially like when you talk about length and that it is not length, but engagement. So true! And, it is actually a fun goal to achieve, to see how engaging you can make each video. I don’t think of it as a place to “arrive,” but a continual journey and we add new things as we learn them and as tools are developed. I still love your video on “what to wear” on a hangout 😉

    • Hi Deborah!

      I know you have more experience with YouTube than most of my readers so I enjoy getting your “first-hand” feedback. Since I wrote this article I continue to find blog post after blog post about video optimization that mention short videos are better. If that were the case than I guess everyone is wasting there time doing HOA’s right? It’s just not true but what is really important is that you need to keep putting out content so you can see what really resonates with your audience.
      I posted one video about my using the Otterbox case for my Samsung SmartPhone and it has more views than any of the tutorials I posted after that but it has absolutely zero comments, and very little engagement. Go figure!

  34. Is that true ? Long time videos get more views that shorter videos ? But most of the viewers would like to see shorter video then how it lose its traffic ?