YouTube Trials Smarter Video Search with Topics

YouTube last night launched a new search feature on TestTube called Topics on Search. The new feature brings up related searches, which are retrieved via an algorithm that looks at video tags, comments, shares, viewing patters, and other signals.

Basically, you start with any generic search term, and Topics on Search aims to find you related videos on topics that you might be interested in seeing. This provides endless entertainment options.

Topics also can work in combination with your original search to help find the exact video you’re looking for, or didn’t even know you were looking for.

The goal is to keep people on the site longer — typical users spend 15 minutes a day watching YouTube content, according to BBC — watching more videos (and seeing more ads). But also, the site is seeing insane growth.

YouTube just announced that more than 35 hours of video is uploaded every minute on the video-sharing site. That’s 2,100 hours per hour, or 50,400 hours of new videos per day.

SEO Topics

Let’s look at an example search for [SEO]. Our search returns several related topics to the right of the Explore link: search engine optimization, matt cutts, backlinks, keyword research, market samurai, adsense, google, affiliate marketing, and website.


You can either click on one of the new topics, which will take you to a new search, or you can click the blue plus (+) symbol next to the topic, and that will add that new topic to your initial query. Let’s add the backlinks option.


This serves up 2,900 results, so I added “matt cutts” and my search became [seo, backlinks, matt cutts], which narrowed it down to 67 results, most of which were added anywhere between three months and two years ago.

If you hunt around, you can find a video of Matt Cutts explaining why SEO will still exist in five years.

Or, if you’re looking for some entertainment, you could just search for [evil hamster].

Video SEO

Overall, Topics in Search seems helpful for finding new content, plus it’s easy to figure out. Hard to tell if this feature will really bring any additional exposure to any hidden gems, but in theory it could.

What does Topics on Search mean for marketers (plus the fact YouTube is challenging users to get up to 48 hours of video uploads every minute)? Simply, if this becomes a regular feature, it will further raise the importance of optimizing titles, descriptions, and tags.

For some great tips on optimizing videos, check out “How to Optimize Your Videos for SEO,” and “Search Engine Success: Getting Video SEO Right.”

Have you tried out Topics on Search? What do you think of it?

Related reading

youtube and child safety: is the service doing enough?
mobile search and video in 2019: how visible are you?
youtube channel optimization