Ranking in YouTube search is often the key to massive views and a recent update to how it works may give you the edge in 2022 to ranking YouTube videos.


0:00 — Is YouTube Search Any Good?
2:01 — Are YouTube Categories Useful?
3:59 — New Education Category Data
6:24 — YouTube’s problem with curation

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— So I’m sure you’ve heard
this one before, right?

YouTube is the second largest
search engine in the world,

(fabric scratching and
objects clattering) allegedly.

But what if I told you this.

At least in my opinion
and as chaotic as it is,

YouTube is the largest education

and learning video platform
there is in existence.

We’ve just never thought of it that way.

(upbeat music)

YouTube can pretty much teach you anything

from how to code Python to
how to remortgage your house

to how to play Wordle.

For example, let me ask you this question.

What was the last thing
you learned how to do

or problem you solved,
exclusively thanks to YouTube?

For me, yeah, it was how to use software

to change my voice on this microphone.

So that now, when you listen
to me, I can sound like this,

which is a relatively
normal neutral voice,

or I can have a deep,
richer bassier voice.

And this is all thanks
to YouTube. (bell dings)

Now, of course, there are
always going to be questions

over the quality of such content

since anyone can profess to
be an expert of something

and upload a video to YouTube.

And since YouTube did away
with public dislike counts,

well, you get the idea.

Fun fact actually,

this video with over six
and a half million views

has over 29,000 dislikes.

Yeah, there’s a story behind that.

I’ll link in the description.

So what you’re generally hoping for

is that YouTube is gonna serve you up

with the right content
and the best content

for your educational search requirements.

However, while YouTube
does know a lot about each

and every user on the platform,
it doesn’t know everything.

And one of those things
can be topic competence.

For example, let’s search
for how to sell NFTs,

a topic I know literally nothing about.

Now the complete guide looks
as if it might be useful

but as for these other two,
well, I’m not an artist

and I don’t know what minting means.

So what if I change the search

to how to start selling NFTs beginner?

Okay, so two of these videos
now look like my speed,

but I still don’t know what
this bottom video is all about.

Is it going to help me?
And therein lies a problem.

YouTube doesn’t know
exactly who the video is for

because it doesn’t contain
the metadata attributed

to education level and type until now.

Please subscribe.

(mysterious music)

Ah, yes, YouTube categories.

We don’t talk about them much these days

because the long-held thought
is they don’t do very much.

Yes, they may help
advertisers target audiences.

Yes, you can add a game
title to the game category

and yes, you should
probably match a category

to your content as accurately as possible.

But are they going to
suddenly shoot your video

to the top of the search rankings?

No, because viewers can’t
filter by these categories.

However, having said all of this,

one of those categories has
just undergone a major upgrade.

At least when you think
about its potential.

(helmet whirring)

Oh yeah.

(mysterious music)

The education category
now has four extra fields

to complete, which, to be
honest, is very alarming.

That’s because for the past
1,000 videos here at vidIQ,

I’ve always set our
category to Howto & Style.

I’ve always set it to
this category because,

well, I literally show people
how to grow their channels.

What I like to do it with
a little bit of style,

a little bit of panache,

a little bit of how do
they say, je ne sais quoi?

Can anybody hear a word
I’m saying in this thing?

So, uh, yeah, I’ll be
switching our video category

to education from now on

and if views suddenly go through the roof

and we’ve been missing out for years,

it’s been nice knowing you all.

There’s a new vacancy at vidIQ
for a YouTuber in residence

who knows how to use video categories.

As for this upgraded education category,

let’s take a look at this in more detail.

(gear clattering) What?

(helmet whirring)

I didn’t think this through.

So, of course, all of these
dropdowns are optional,

but as per the norm, the more
detail you provide to YouTube,

the better it will be able
to categorize your content.

And the type dropdown is divided up

into the following options.

So I think obviously, for this
video you’re watching now,

I’m gonna be filing it
under, yeah, Edutainment.

But these categories

do start to raise some
interesting questions.

Who is this information for;

the creator, the viewer, or
YouTube’s recommendation system?

Now, where this not YouTube,

I would assume extra
filters would be added

to YouTube search passing
control directly from the creator

to the viewer to find
stuff they want to watch.

But this is YouTube, and they
may argue quite convincingly

that their recommendation system is better

at finding content than
the viewer themselves.

What this potentially means
is that a viewer unknowingly

may watch content labeled as Edutainment

by the creator, which YouTube then uses

to personalize future education content

for this viewer within
the Edutainment type.

Now, if all of this sounds
a little too sinister

and somewhat Big Brother-like,

well, I hate to break the news to you,

but if you’ve been logged

into your account watching YouTube videos,

this is what they do.

They collect data, and
they feed it back to you.

It works, and they’ve been
doing it for many years,

but I also agree I could be
overthinking this way too much.

Now the next three fields

are where you could get
really bogged down in details.

First of all, you can
set an academic system.

And if you do that,

you can select an
appropriate learning level

as defined by that
country’s education system.

Now that is pretty remarkable,

but I would argue that for
the average YouTube creator

and YouTube viewer, this
makes it all too systematic

and tied to traditional forms of learning.

I would assume that for
most search-based content,

no academic system will be required.

Just a simple learning level of beginner,

intermediate, or advanced.

(wind whooshing)

Yeah, I don’t think this multiverse

is gonna be much use to us.


Now, if you do decide to go all-in

on the academic side of things,

then you can even add the exam course

or certification level.

Now, surely, that sort of
detail can only benefit a viewer

if they are able to filter by it.

Because if I simply search by
one of these certifications,

YouTube can’t tell if I’m
wanting to find out more

about a mobility product
or a state entrance exam.

Ultimately, what YouTube
has here is a problem.

A problem with curation.

When it comes to single videos,

either for education
or for problem-solving,

YouTube is absolutely perfect.

But the moment you want to take something

into a series, a beginning,
a middle, an end,

a multi-part collection of videos,

playlists simply don’t cut the mustard

for educational pieces of content.

Unless you’re watching a
video within a playlist

and when was the last time
you’re watching a video

in a playlist?

I certainly can’t remember.

YouTube will likely recommend

something completely different,

albeit connected but not the
next video in the playlist

which is how you try to
organize your content.

In a nutshell, education content

doesn’t really have a
landing page on YouTube.

And that’s where all of these
online learning platforms

such as Skillshare, Udemy, and Thinkific

have a distinct advantage over YouTube.

They are designed from the ground up

to identify your exact
learning needs and level

and guide you through dedicated courses

in a very focused and singular fashion.

Now you may disagree with
what I’m about to say next,

but since I think YouTube

is the greatest invention of all time,

I reckon 95 to 99% of the
things you pay hundreds

of dollars for on these learning sites,

you can get from YouTube for free.

The problem is it’s difficult to find

and not organized very well.

It could be that I need
to find five videos

out of a hundred spread across
two years worth of content

from a creator to get what I need

or it may be that I need
to jump from this creator

to this creator to this creator

to learn everything I need to know.

Creators tend to think in
terms of a single snippet

of education or a quick
solution to one problem

because that’s what’s
going to send their video

to the top of the search ranking.

But what if in the future,

there is something beyond
simply YouTube search

and what if the first step to that

looks a little bit like this?

(buttons snicking)

Whatever its long term future,

the best advice I can offer you now

is always the same advice.

Now that you know about
it, start using it,

start testing it, and
start experimenting with it

so that you are best
equipped to leverage it

when YouTube reveals more about it.

Currently, I put this segmentation

of the education category
on the same pedestal

as YouTube hashtags and
timestamps or video chapters.

You don’t currently know where YouTube

is going with this little feature,

you don’t know if it’s gonna help creators

or hinder viewers, and there
are far more important things

such as titles and thumbnails.

But since it now does exist,

we have to ask ourselves two questions;

why is it there, and how does it help us?

And that’s all I’m trying to do here,

figure YouTube things out so
I can explain them to you.

And if you wanna watch more
of me figuring out stuff

for your benefit,

I highly recommend you
watch this video next,

all about the YouTube algorithm

and some exclusive secrets YouTube

have recently released about it.

Oh, and I wouldn’t usually ask for this

but give this video a like
because those wardrobe changes

and continuity headaches
took forever to figure out.

(fingers snapping)



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