Guest blog by Alan Lastufka (FallofAutumnDistro), video creator, emo, blogger and author of the forthcoming “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts.”
When uploading a new video to YouTube, or any other video-sharing site, you need to give a few pieces of information to the site because encoding software can’t actually watch your videos. Your title is important for tricking viewers into watching (they’ll think your video will be more interesting than it probably really is). Your description is important for whoring out links and shout-outs to other channels.
But your tags… your tags are where the real magic happens. Your tags are keywords used to place and rank your video within YouTube’s search results.
Even better, just like your video’s title, thumbnail and description, your tags — or keywords associated with your video — can be easily manipulated or gamed! Adding popular search words like “porn,” “sex,” “naked” and “guitar hero” to your video’s tags will give you a bump in views over the long run. In addition to appealing to the fourteen-year-old perverts, you could also include tags from recent popular news stories. Favorites this past week would have been “Bernie”, “Mac” and “RIP.” Users searching for news clips about an actor’s recent death would hopefully find your video waiting for them at the top of the search results.
Most users only tag their own channel name, or repeat the video’s title in their tags section. Get out of this habit now! You could be luring in a much larger audience if you only knew what they were searching for, and including those words in your tags.
For a list of the daily most popular search terms click here: http://google.com/trends
Also, if you’re lucky enough for your video to be monetized, your tags not only help pop your video into popular search results, but may determine which ads are placed beside and within your videos.
If you notice a cell phone company *cough*SamSung Instinct*cough* is spending a lot of money on a site-wide ad campaign, tagging the video with phone, electronics, or the product itself could help pull in some of that sweet Google ad revenue (assuming you’re a YouTube partner).
Okay…I’ve been taking an overly-sarcastic tone throughout this article. All of the above taken into account, it is a good idea for most content creators to make better use of their tags.
But for the love of koolsurfer24, please keep them relevant and appropriate for your video’s content. If your latest video documents your weekend fishing trip, don’t just leave “fishing” as your lone tag, include “boat”, “bait”, “catch”, “release”, “lake”, “fish”, “sport”, “tackle” and everything else related that you can think dream up.
Don’t try to cheat the rankings. Don’t game the system. Gamed views will only leave you feeling empty at the end of the day, can get you kicked off some sites, and at best, will get you a bad rep.
Alan Lastufka is on YouTube, BlogTV and occasionally writes for
his own blog, ViralVideoWannabe. Alan is currently writing a book entitled
“YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts” for O’Reilly Media, Inc.