Google Explains How YouTube Search Works – Search Engine Journal

Google Explains How YouTube Search Works – Search Engine Journal

As part of a larger effort to explain how YouTube works, Google published a new resource to answer commonly asked questions about YouTube search results.

Google created a whole new website, called How YouTube Works, which offers an in-depth look at all components of the YouTube platform.

Google Explains How YouTube Search Works

Here are some highlights from different sections related to search and discovery.

YouTube Search

YouTube’s search ranking system sorts through over 500 hours of content uploaded every minute to find the most relevant results for a query.

YouTube Search prioritizes these three main elements when ranking its search results:

  • Relevance
  • Engagement
  • Quality

Here’s more detail about each of these elements.


YouTube’s ranking algorithm looks at many factors when determining relevance.

Without getting too specific, YouTube points out factors such as the title, tags, description, and video content itself.


YouTube’s search algorithm incorporates aggregate engagement signals from users, such as the watch time of a particular video for a particular query.

The company notes that engagement signals are a valuable way to determine relevance as well.


To determine quality, YouTube uses signals that should be very familiar to search marketers.

“Finally, for quality, our systems are designed to identify signals that can help determine which channels demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.”

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is also known amongst search marketers as EAT.

It should be familiar because Google