Why does Youtube uses meta keywords?

23 replies
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Hi, I was guessing why Youtube inserts meta keywords in individual video pages source code based on tags introduced by the user when uploading the video.

Any idea? It doesn't make a lot of sense since Google has stated a long ago that they ignore meta keywords tag. Why are they using it in their own platform?
#keywords #meta #youtube
  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    To help you rank for your term.

    If it's still there then it's still useful, don't listen to BS.
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    • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      To help you rank for your term.

      If it's still there then it's still useful, don't listen to BS.
      I´m not that sure. I have made an experiment placing a made up word in one of my sites meta keywords tag. A query for that word didn't show any result before the experiment. Three months later my site still doesn't appear for that keyword.

      Result of the experiment: meta keywords ignored by Google.

      Then why are they still using it? Does it have any other function?
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      • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
        Originally Posted by dsan View Post

        I´m not that sure. I have made an experiment placing a made up word in one of my sites meta keywords tag. A query for that word didn't show any result before the experiment. Three months later my site still doesn't appear for that keyword.

        Result of the experiment: meta keywords ignored by Google.

        Then why are they still using it? Does it have any other function?
        Depending on the keyword competition, it won't just appear without doing some offpage SEO (backlinks).
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        • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
          Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

          Depending on the keyword competition, it won't just appear without doing some offpage SEO (backlinks).
          It is an invented keyword so it has no competition. I chosed it because Google showed no results for it, just for the sake of the experiment.
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  • Profile picture of the author promo87
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    That's is simple in order to get your video ranked in youtube it uses meta keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
      Originally Posted by Surajrai View Post

      "Tags are descriptive keywords that help YouTube’s discovery systems surface your videos to new audiences. Create unique tags that distill the most important video topics, characters, talent names, etc (ex: Psy, Gangnam Style, Dancing, etc). Also, consider including a set of standard tags that can be applied across all of your videos to help explain what your channel is all about (ex: Music, Korean Pop, etc)."

      Source: Metadata - YouTube

      It will be helpful for you.
      That source speaks about the Youtube tags use. My question is about the meta keywords implemented in the video pages.

      Originally Posted by promo87 View Post

      That's is simple in order to get your video ranked in youtube it uses meta keywords.
      Interesting point. So they are not placed there for external search engines ranking purposes but for their own internal search engine ranking?

      Haven't been able to find any info about this. Do you have any link to some resource?
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  • Profile picture of the author Surajrai
    "Tags are descriptive keywords that help YouTube's discovery systems surface your videos to new audiences. Create unique tags that distill the most important video topics, characters, talent names, etc (ex: Psy, Gangnam Style, Dancing, etc). Also, consider including a set of standard tags that can be applied across all of your videos to help explain what your channel is all about (ex: Music, Korean Pop, etc)."

    Source: Metadata - YouTube

    It will be helpful for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author zenichanin
    Could be left over from the original YouTube website. Google's Search Spam and Webmaster team doesn't really have anything to do with the YouTube team. So if Google Search Spam team says meta keywords are useless now, that doesn't mean some developer on the YouTube team isn't going to add meta keywords tag to the source code.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      The answer is probably quite simple. They need something, and there is
      not anywhere else to get it in most cases.

      If you upload a video without keywords or description, what will google
      show in search results? Nothing. They can't watch your video and
      extrapolate anything.

      So those things may not be used in ranking, but they need "some" text
      to display.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
        Originally Posted by zenichanin View Post

        Could be left over from the original YouTube website. Google's Search Spam and Webmaster team doesn't really have anything to do with the YouTube team. So if Google Search Spam team says meta keywords are useless now, that doesn't mean some developer on the YouTube team isn't going to add meta keywords tag to the source code.
        That make sense but why would they use an element that goes against their own official messages?

        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        If you upload a video without keywords or description, what will google
        show in search results? Nothing. They can't watch your video and
        extrapolate anything.
        Paul
        The video title is always there for the search enginges to show in the search results isn't it? Even if the user uploads the video without any other information.

        If I remember well, Youtube picks the file name as title if you don't specify one.
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          Originally Posted by dsan View Post

          The video title is always there for the search enginges to show in the search results isn't it? Even if the user uploads the video without any other information.
          If I remember well, Youtube picks the file name as title if you don't specify one.
          Yeah, but what would be the point of showing a video with no title, no
          description, nothing?

          It does not go against their algo at all.

          Unlike webpages, they have nothing to go on for any snippets.

          You could upload a blank webpage. No title, text, nothing.

          Now, what would google use, if by chance, the page appeared in SERPs?

          I also think you are mixing up youtube with search. They are not
          one and the same animal. The algo is different.

          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
            Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

            Yeah, but what would be the point of showing a video with no title, no
            description, nothing?

            It does not go against their algo at all.

            Unlike webpages, they have nothing to go on for any snippets.

            You could upload a blank webpage. No title, text, nothing.

            Now, what would google use, if by chance, the page appeared in SERPs?

            I also think you are mixing up youtube with search. They are not
            one and the same animal. The algo is different.

            Paul
            Sorry I think I didn't explain myself very well. I was just trying to say that I don't agree with this:

            Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

            "If you upload a video without keywords or description, what will google
            show in search results? Nothing.
            Because if you upload a video without keywords (tags) or description, Youtube will still show the video title as page title and search engines will have content to pick up. So the use of meta keywords is not justified.
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            • Profile picture of the author paulgl
              Originally Posted by dsan View Post

              Because if you upload a video without keywords (tags) or description, Youtube will still show the video title as page title and search engines will have content to pick up. So the use of meta keywords is not justified.
              Youtube needs a description for your video. Where are they going to get it?
              Makes no sense to have a description-less video.

              The tags get converted to meta keywords, because google needs a starting
              point. A reference point as to where your video fits, what searches, and
              what are potential similar videos.

              Without any of those, YT would be quite useless.

              Now, onces again, where on earth are they going to get those, other
              than the uploader?

              If you choose the wrong tags, your video will sink. People will not watch it
              all the way through, share it, etc.

              Google does not need those things for regular content search.

              How lame is it to try and watch a video, and get
              No description available ?

              Paul
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              If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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        • Profile picture of the author zenichanin
          Originally Posted by dsan View Post

          That make sense but why would they use an element that goes against their own official messages?
          They do that plenty of times, every big company does it. They have thousands of developers on many different teams. A developer on Google + team probably doesn't care about Web Spam team or the YouTube team or AdSense team, and so on. There's just too many people working on different things and it's impossible for everyone to know what everyone else's standards are.

          Same thing happens with Microsoft and Apple.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebert
    I think it's pretty safe to say that you're made-up word experiment is not definitive. There's no reason in the world why you should rank for a made-up word. In Einstein-esque fashion, let's conduct a thought experiment. Using your analogy, I should be able to rank for this:
    feskepooprtoply DWI Lawyer Los Angeles
    because feskepooprtoply is a made up word and doesn't appear anywhere else except on my pages.

    Google pays no attention to scammy or BS meta tags, title tags, description tags, etc. Same for Youtube. Google will use, perhaps only in a limited ways, properly formatted and intelligently written head tags. Same for Youtube. You can easily test this yourself by digging into any Google SERP.

    Interesting discussion, though! How often do you get to write Einstein-esque!

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
      Originally Posted by thebert View Post

      I think it's pretty safe to say that you're made-up word experiment is not definitive. There's no reason in the world why you should rank for a made-up word. In Einstein-esque fashion, let's conduct a thought experiment. Using your analogy, I should be able to rank for this:
      feskepooprtoply DWI Lawyer Los Angeles
      because feskepooprtoply is a made up word and doesn't appear anywhere else except on my pages.
      Good luck!
      Interesting... I will try an experiment on this and get back to the thread with results.
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      • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
        UPDATE!

        I concluded the experiment referred to the hypothesis quoted in my above post.

        EXPERIMENT:
        I created an experiment page in one of my sites (infographicdatabase.com/experiment/) and set it's title to the made-up phrase "feskepooprtoply DWI Lawyer Los Angeles".

        The made-up phrase doesn't appear in the body or anywhere else other than the page title.

        There is no internal/external links pointing to the experiment page, so the possibility that the results can be contaminated by exact/partial match anchors must be discarded.

        The page has been indexed via Webmaster Tools and sitemap.


        RESULTS:
        - Four days after sending the page to Google index via WMT, the page has been indexed.

        - The page is ranking 2nd position in Google for the query feskepooprtoply (right below the result of this thread).

        - The page is ranking 8th position in Google for the query feskepooprtoply DWI Lawyer Los Angeles.


        CONCLUSIONS:
        -
        A page can be ranked for a made-up word so my previous experiment of placing a made-up word in the meta keyword tag looks valid.
        (NOTE: the made-up word in the meta keywords tag experiment was set in the site elcencerrofestival.com more than two months ago, with no results).

        - A made-up word in the page title can get your site ranked for that word. A made-up word in the meta keywords tag doesn't get your site ranked for that word. I guess that this can be taken as a signal of meta-keywords tag being ignored by Google. What do you think?


        Any feedback is welcome!
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    I'm not sure about this but at some point meta keywords still has an importance. I believe that keywords are still relevant for people who are searching for certain keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebert
    Hey dsan!

    Nice job on the thought experiment. Good on ya. I should have been a little clearer in what the point I was trying to get across. Specifically, if you search DWI Lawyer Los Angeles, where does your page rank? It doesn't and that's my point. You can't use made-up words to rank for legitimate searches. The flip-side of this argument is who searches for your made up words? Likely, no one so that 'keyword/keyphrase' has virtually no commercial value.

    Your experiment raises a good point /SEO trick. I've used things similar to your experiment to rank Youtube videos very quickly, very highly for trendy/breaking news types of searches. It works like gang-busters because your titles, descriptions, etc are the SERPs equivalents to made-up words. As in those terms and phrases have not yet been searched (or have very light search volumes).

    With respect to this thread, we're talking specifically about Youtube stuff. Ranking pages and Youtube videos are not the same thing. Lastly, Google uses your meta tags for more than just your rankings. Consider your original test - Why would Google rank your page for your made up keyword when it has other means/ways to rank that site? Ways that would make more sense to potential visitors?

    But good stuff man!
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    • Profile picture of the author maninthemiddle
      Originally Posted by thebert View Post

      Hey dsan!

      Nice job on the thought experiment. Good on ya. I should have been a little clearer in what the point I was trying to get across. Specifically, if you search DWI Lawyer Los Angeles, where does your page rank? It doesn't and that's my point. You can't use made-up words to rank for legitimate searches. The flip-side of this argument is who searches for your made up words? Likely, no one so that 'keyword/keyphrase' has virtually no commercial value.

      Your experiment raises a good point /SEO trick. I've used things similar to your experiment to rank Youtube videos very quickly, very highly for trendy/breaking news types of searches. It works like gang-busters because your titles, descriptions, etc are the SERPs equivalents to made-up words. As in those terms and phrases have not yet been searched (or have very light search volumes).

      With respect to this thread, we're talking specifically about Youtube stuff. Ranking pages and Youtube videos are not the same thing. Lastly, Google uses your meta tags for more than just your rankings. Consider your original test - Why would Google rank your page for your made up keyword when it has other means/ways to rank that site? Ways that would make more sense to potential visitors?

      But good stuff man!
      Thanks for feedback thebert! I misunderstood your hypothesis, I thought you meant that that it was not going to be easy to rank for the whole phrase (" feskepooprtoply DWI Lawyer Los Angeles").

      No problem, interesting points of view have been left in the thread anyhow.
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  • Profile picture of the author hunteryz
    Youtube belong to Google,

    That could be means mega keyword works on Google ranking or Youtube search Ranking
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  • Profile picture of the author hostdare
    To rank in Google
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  • Profile picture of the author selvak
    meta keyword is important for people search to get their interest result.
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