Google results and YouTube video order
January 20, 2017 12:27 PM   Subscribe

When you search my name on google the whole first page is results surrounding my music. Google pops up its usual "musical artist" and listing all my songs that have been released etc. In the YouTube results section that's about a third of the way down the page, it displays relevant YouTube results - all of the first several are my YouTube videos. However, I need to change the seemingly random order of these videos.

I do not like the order they appear in. It has some kind of crappy iphone video of me before my actual music video for instance. How can I change the order they appear in, and will it be through google or YouTube? I've checked for some obvious correlation but the first video always displayed in the results is neither the most recent, nor the oldest, nor the most or least popular. What am I missing about how these videos are ordered? Thanks x10
posted by jitterbug perfume to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In short, you can't. Google will use its magical wisdom to decide how to order things.

If there's a video you don't think is good, take it down. If you can't take it down, work really hard to get lots of people to watch your favorite video. Things with more views float to the top. Also, be sure the title of the video you like is extremely relevant and has your name in it.

Good luck!
posted by nosila at 12:32 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Google is trying to guess what people are most interested in. You could try pretending to label or describe the videos to appeal more or less to an actual person, but you'll need to be clever about it. For example, I'd probably find the terrible iPhone video interesting. Maybe it has specific time/place details in the description that are good. Maybe people do actually like looking at earlier/less polished work.

Another option: remove stuff you don't like, or "hide" it some way under another account (and link), or make a page that does a great job of presenting your work and position _and describe_ that well.

I think you and millions of people may be trying to get too much mileage out of a free-to-you (in time, more than even money) resource.
posted by amtho at 12:39 PM on January 20, 2017

Here's some semi-real, semi-magic SEO dust: how to rank YouTube videos, which mixes promoting videos via Google and through YouTube. In short, the author thinks "In general, Google tends to use video results for these types of keywords:
How-to keywords (“how to shave a cat”)
Reviews (“Bluehost review”)
Tutorials (“Setting up WordPress”)
Anything fitness or sports related (“Cardio kickboxing”)
Funny videos (“Cute animals”)"
There's also talk of how you label the file that you upload ("This may not be a ranking factor. But it doesn’t hurt"), the video description, and the keywords. But because Google doesn't come out and say how those things impact ranking, everyone is guessing based upon what they can observe.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:39 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, as you're experimenting with this, be sure you're doing so from a private browser tab. Because if Google knows its you browsing and you've clicked on that video in the past as part of your investigation of it, they're more likely to show it to you again now. Other people may see something different.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:04 PM on January 20, 2017

If the crappy iPhone video is a copyright violation (eg someone just pointing the camera at a tv showing your video) you could do a DMCA takedown of the source.
posted by zippy at 4:12 PM on January 20, 2017

One way to increase SEO on YouTube videos is to add a caption track. Even if it's the automatically generated one, publishing captions will increase rankings. Just don't caption the old iPhone video.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:22 PM on January 21, 2017

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