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How YouTube Videos Rank in Google Resizeimage 2019 06 12t092714.511

Just how powerful is YouTube when it comes to ranking in Google search? That’s the question I’ll seek to address in today’s post. I’ll do that by looking at the frequency of placement in the Google search results for two different types of queries, and then comparing those rankings against how other videos rank.
The TL;DR is that YouTube videos rank far more frequently in the top 10 than videos that are either self-hosted, or hosted on other video platforms. Also of interest is that YouTube videos usually don’t rank out of the top 30, suggesting that some other type of ranking algorithms is in play for ranking them.
Related resources:

The Basic Data

We looked at 6,145 queries that were somewhat likely to generate a video result. Four hundred of these queries literally had the word “videos” or “clips” as part of the query. One example is “willie wonka clips”. The remaining 5,745 queries were “how to” type queries, or queries that might imply a “how to”. An example of this is “how to make apple pie”.
We then looked to see where the YouTube videos rank, as well as embedded YouTube videos and native videos. Here is a look at the resulting data:
Table Shows Number of Videos Per Ranking Range

Eighty-eight percent of the videos in the top 10 are from YouTube. It’s also interesting to see that YouTube videos clearly tend to be highly biased toward ranking in the top 30, and far fewer rank lower in the results. Here is a view of the data that will help illustrate that:<
Table Shows Percentage of Videos Per Ranking Range

Of the ranking YouTube videos, 89.6 percent rank in the top 30. In contrast, embedded YouTube videos or native videos are pretty evenly spread through the top 100.

Nearly 90% of YouTube videos in Google Search rank in top 30. Other formats more spread.

A Focus on Videos and Clips

It was also interesting to see what happened when we looked just at the queries that included either the word “videos” or “clips” as part of the queries. Here is what we saw for those 400 queries:
Table shows number of videos per ranking range

Notice how 78.9 percent of the videos ranking in the top 10 are from YouTube. Further, there were ZERO YouTube videos ranking out of the top 30.

When searchers ask for video or clip in query, 79% of top 10 results are from YouTube.

As we did before, let’s also take a look at the breakout of the various video scenarios, and how they spread out across the top 100 by percentage in each ranking group:
Table Shows Percentage of Videos Per Ranking Range
As before, the embedded YouTube videos and native videos are evenly spread across the rankings.


It’s clear that video ranking opportunities are heavily weighted toward YouTube. Find out how to get your videos ranking in Google search.
In addition, I asked Gary Illyes at Pubcon about YouTube ranking in Google search. Here is what he said:

Gary: YouTube is like a different company. The fact that you see YouTube results in video search is because they do good SEO, or their pages are structured in such a way that it’s easy for us to understand them and to rank. With that train of thought, if you wanted to create something that can compete with YouTube, then you probably want to do something like…
Eric: Invest $100 million, or…
Gary: It’s actually $104 but, yeah.

You can see a video of the full conversation on this topic with Gary over here.

Thoughts on “How YouTube Videos Rank in Google”

  1. It’s really quite clear and has been for some time. Video content and mixed media on your website increase your rankings and overall UX.
    “Nearly 90% of YouTube videos in Google Search rank in top 30. Other formats more spread.”
    Great article.

  2. Eric, thanks! It’s a great article and metrics! I have always used YouTube videos for better ranking and also better UX (like also pointed on his comment). I just couldn’t imagine how big the dominance was. Really amazing!

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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