YouTube ranking factors – from coloured eggs and SEO criteria

The success of a YouTube video depends on many factors. Some can be influenced, others not. In this Insight, we’ll look at the former so you can use them in your digital marketing efforts. We’ll also tell you what YouTube ranking factors have to do with colourful Easter eggs and children.

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That is why you should use YouTube as a marketing channel

With over 2 billion active users per month, YouTube is not only one of the most popular (social) media platforms, but also the second largest search engine in the world after Google. The American video factory is available to users of all ages in over 91 countries. Every minute 400 hours of video material are uploaded to the platform. On average, the users together generate a total playback time of 1 billion hours per day. Each individual user spends an average of 12 minutes a day on the platform.

The potential to be seen on YouTube is therefore very high. Companies can also use this for themselves and, thanks to the platform, achieve important goals in the areas of sales and brand awareness. In addition, Google’s subsidiary recorded advertising revenues of around USD 15 billion last year, making the video search engine one of the most relevant players for digital marketing in Germany as well. We have taken a closer look at the giant and provide helpful tips.

Admittedly, with some videos we also wonder why they are clicked so often. It’s only logical that international music hits like “Despacito” and their videos rank in the first places. But strange contents, where the message or intention is not obvious, are a big mystery even for SEO experts. But fortunately, these are only exceptions. Behind most successful videos are proven methods, which we will show you in the following article


Reach the right people, we will show you how. | © / DisobeyArt.

YouTube SEO: title, description, keywords & tags

Before we get to the modern YouTube algorithm, we will briefly explain the classic tools of search engine optimization. Because the common SEO factors also apply to YouTube videos. So, as soon as you upload a YouTube video, follow these rules:

Title of the video: It’s advisable to place the main keyword directly in the video title – preferably at the very front so that the searcher notices it as soon as possible. The title length can also be crucial – experts recommend about 50 characters or less. Better shorter than longer.

Video description: In the description of your YouTube video, mention in detail what your content is all about, and include your keywords in the right places. Descriptive texts with about 300 to 350 words and different variations of the keyword rank best.

Tags: Up to 500 characters in the form of tags are allowed when uploading videos to YouTube. Use them and use the most important keywords that describe your video. This is also useful to increase the total time the visitor stays on YouTube. There is more information about the length of stay in the text.

File name: Irrelevant for the visitor, but for YouTube SEO it makes sense. The keyword should also be included in the file name to let the video platform know what it’s all about.


With these tips you trade the YouTube algorithm. | © / bunditinay

User behaviour based on the YouTube algorithm

Besides the mentioned SEO measures, which are important, the decisive ranking factor is the YouTube algorithm. This consists of several criteria, which together determine the success of a video. It does not evaluate the video itself, but analyzes the behavior of the users who watch the video.

Length of the video

It is probably the most controversial topic. There are different opinions about the length of the video and of course it always depends on the format. Nevertheless, the YouTube algorithm evaluates user behavior and ranks all videos on this basis. Preferred by the algorithm are on average 10-16 minutes long videos. Videos under two minutes are rated poorly. Most views get videos with four to six minutes.

View duration

View Duration is the amount of time a viewer spends with your video. The longer a user actively watches your video, the better it is for the ranking. So it’s not only important to attract the attention of your target group, you should also create your videos in a dramaturgically intelligent way so that they stay tuned until the end.

YouTube Session

The YouTube session describes the entire time a user spends on YouTube during a session, i.e. without interruption. We have already talked about the length of stay under the point “Tags” (internal linking). You should achieve these three goals to make the YouTube session as long as possible:

  • Get your user on YouTube by promoting your video on all channels
  • Keep the viewer interested by offering good content
  • Encourage viewers to spend more time on YouTube, for example, by refining YouTube’s search algorithm with tags and encouraging users to find more similar content

If you pay attention to these points, the algorithm will thank you and rank your video higher. Because the calculation is simple: The more time visitors spend on YouTube, the more money the platform earns through advertising.

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, other important factors are upload frequency, number of subscribers and other channel-dependent factors. We are happy to support you in building your YouTube channel so that your business gets the highest attention in the video world. Recently, we worked together with Telekom to build up their own in-house channel Telekomnetz and further increase the reach of the group.


This ranking factor is similar to the assets of a millionaire: If you already have a lot of money, you can use it to increase your assets even faster and more effectively. So you should become active to generate as many views as possible. The principle is simple: If your video has already received many views, YouTube will classify it as relevant content and thus rank it higher.

In addition to the most successful music videos, among the most viewed YouTube videos there are also visual peculiarities that you would not have expected to find there. You might guess – we have arrived at the coloured eggs. Funfact: We found out that among the 100 YouTube videos with the most views at all, there are also two child-friendly contents with colourful Easter eggs. One of them even has a Russian title and description, is animated and lists well over three billion views. How to explain this enthusiasm for Easter eggs? Well, we don’t know exactly either.

Interactions with the video

The last ranking factor is no less important for the success of your YouTube video. Because YouTube also evaluates the interactions with your video. Especially the likes and dislikes have to be mentioned here. Don’t overdo it in video marketing with controversial content, which can cause as many dislikes as likes. Backlinks should also be used sensibly and only if your visitors get further information. Basically: If your video is likened, shared and commented on, a better ranking is guaranteed.

We are happy to support you in building your YouTube channel


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