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What Topic Does YouTube Think Your Video is About? (And Why That Matters)
If you do want to take advantage of a tool I'm about to show, then make sure to download VidIQ, as it will help you research YouTube, analyze any video on the platform (which is what we're about to do), audit your own channel, and suggest actual steps that will help grow your own YouTube channel. It is free to download.
All right, just before we jump into this tool, I need to explain a little bit of jargon, and that is freebase topics. To keep this as simple as possible, freebase topics is a way of assigning a common topic to places, people, songs, and so on. What's important about all of this is YouTube automatically tries to do this with your video and every single video on the platform. And that data is made available through the YouTube API.
As an example, if we take the most watched video on YouTube right now, with it's 6.3 billion views, these are the tags that were fed into YouTube, but these are the topics YouTube automatically decided were associated with the video.
YouTube Topics: How They Get Assigned
And a question you might be asking at this point is, "Does a video need a lot of views "to be assigned into a YouTube topic?" Put simply, the answer is no. A video can be published very recently, have less than 100 views, and different tags, and yet, the video still has these topics. So, this is all to do with metadata, right?
If I include certain keywords in the title, description, and the tag, YouTube's gonna be able to put my video in the right topic and serve it to the right audience. Well, PewDiePie is notorious for not caring too much about metadata. This video only mentions Minecraft once in the title, description, and tags, and yet, YouTube still classifies the video within the video game culture topic.
On the other hand, when PewDiePie mentions Minecraft in the title in this video, along with an action verb, "raiding", YouTube seems to have more information to work with and adds two more topics, action game and role-playing game.
Now, that all seems relatively straight forward. But what happens when the video content gets a little blurred? Say we have a video creator such as MrBeast. Well, this video titled "World's Largest Bowl Of Cereal" has YouTube clutching at straws a little bit, suggesting the topics of lifestyle and technology. If MrBeast buys a homeless man a Lamborghini, then swap out technology for vehicle, as a topic. But if MrBeast challenges people to stay in a Tesla, that's purely for entertainment value and nothing else, according to YouTube's topics.
How to Influence YouTube Topics
Can you directly control these YouTube topics? Clearly not. Can you influence these YouTube topics? Yes, with metadata, but is more going besides? Although there is no hard data on this at the moment, YouTube is likely looking at captions, if you've included them, maybe even comments on your video, and watching the video in an artificial intelligence type of way. But ultimately, what does this all mean for you, the individual video creator? That's where we need to do some big data research.
We handed over our numbers on video topics to data expert and CEO of Little Monster Media, Matt Gielen, to come up with some answers. Matt was able to define the super topics and how competitive they are, as well as identifying topics with few videos, but high average views, presenting possible windows of opportunity.
I don't want to steal Matt's thunder on this one, as his videos are always a fascinating insight into the inner working of YouTube. So, do check it out over here.
Want To Get More Views on YouTube?
If you want to take your YouTube channel to the next level and get more views on YouTube then make sure to download vidIQ. It will help you research YouTube, analyze videos, audit your own channel, and take actionable steps click here to install now!