Stone Temple Consulting, a digital marketing company based in Framingham, MA, completed a study looking into how both Google and YouTube rank videos. This study may seem strange to some, as YouTube is owned by Google so presumably, they would be ranked the same way. Stone Temple Consulting confirmed that this was not the case, in fact, rankings between the two platforms differ 56.8% of the time.
If you’ve used both of these platforms and paid close attention, you will have noticed that searches on YouTube and Google will sometimes yield different results for the same exact search, proving businesses should optimize for YouTube differently. Eric Enge from Stone Temple Consulting dove into this further to see why exactly this is, proposing a hypothesis stating the goals of each platform are different, therefore each is trying to give the user the most relevant information that is tailored both to the search and the platform from which the user is searching from. Considering user intent is crucial in such a case, as user intent is the base of both Google and YouTube’s algorithms. Enge performed several searches to test his hypotheses. He performed 234 searches between Google and YouTube and found that 55.2% of all queries in the test set were the first video in Google but not the first in the same YouTube search.
This study is crucial for businesses who use videos to improve their SEO performance. If you are currently optimizing your YouTube videos using the same methods you optimize for Google, it may be time to change your strategy based on where you want people to find you. As a first step, search for your videos on Google and YouTube and see what you find.