Google Vs. YouTube SEO – What’s The Difference?

Google Vs. YouTube SEO – What’s The Difference?

Do the same principles apply to Google and YouTube SEO? Can you get double the amount of traffic you’re getting right now while focusing on YouTube? Is it easier to rank on YouTube than Google?

These are a few questions that people ask about these two biggest search engines. (In case you didn’t know, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.)

Having a website is inevitable in 2021. And to increase its outreach, YouTube is a great platform. So the comparisons like Google vs. YouTube SEO are obvious. People want to know if they can apply the Google SEO principles to YouTube.

This is why, in this blog post, I’m talking about the differences between ranking on these two platforms.

Without any further delay, let’s get to it.

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Google Vs. YouTube SEO

Google SEO takes a lot longer than YouTube SEO

YouTube can give you SEO results a lot faster. It can rank your video in the first 24 to 48 hours of publishing. Quite fast, right? If your video does well on the first day, you can expect it to do well for the rest of its lifetime.

On the other hand, Google is exactly the opposite. You don’t rank on day one. Website owners who see results in the first 3 to 6 months are lucky. It typically takes more than a year for your webpage or a new website to rank. Google SEO is a slow game.

So the bottom line is this: First 24 hours on YouTube determines how your video does in the long run. And the first year on Google determines how the webpage does in the long run.

Both YouTube and Google look at authority

Yes, for both these websites, authority is a major factor. Both on Google and YouTube, the more authority you have, the higher you rank for everything. But we are not discussing similarities here; we are talking about differences. Authority on YouTube changes month-over-month. However, your authority on Google keeps increasing if you focus on building links.

On YouTube, you can have amazing authority one month, and all your videos will be doing well. But if you release a few really bad videos next month, your authority will drastically go down. It can also affect other videos on your channel.

So the main difference lies in the amount of effort you put, and how much you have to fight on both these sites. Don’t get me wrong here. You have to put a lot of effort into Google as well. But on YouTube, the competition should be on the next level. You have to create new content and keep your audience engaged.

The general rule of thumb is not to be complacent.

Their ranking factors are different

These two platforms look at two different factors to determine rankings. Google considers links. The more backlinks you have, the better your SEO will be.

Link building is a separate topic. You can read my guide to building links here. But I’ll give you a basic strategy to work on.

Start with finding all the websites that link to your competitor’s website. You can use tools like for this purpose. This tool has a feature called Link Intersect. You put in your top 3 competitors and your domain.

This way, you’ll see websites that link to your competitors but don’t link to you. Then, you reach out to all those websites and ask them to link to your website. As simple as that?

Actually, it is not. If you find a site that links to one of your 200 competitors, chances are they will not link to you.  But if you find a site that links to your 5 competitors, they might link to you as they are open to more people.

Google Vs. YouTube SEO

Now let’s talk about YouTube. It’s not about links, it’s about engagement. The watch times help in your video’s score. This doesn’t just include your watch time. It also includes the time someone watches other YouTube videos.

Pretty crazy, right?

It’s all about engagement

This is also related to the previous reason, but it deserved another section. I said that Google considers backlinks while YouTube considers engagement.

Google also looks at engagement but in a different way from YouTube. Google looks at how many people come to your site through its search engine and stay there as compared to clicking the back button and visiting another site (bouncing). It’s an indication to Google that searchers might have found what they were looking for.

On YouTube, engagement is related to watch time, likes, comments, and dislikes. Yes, dislikes also count. They tell YouTube that it’s engaging content. This is the same reason YouTubers ask you to like, share, and comment on every video.

YouTube is easy to rank for and Google is hard

I already mentioned that your website can take months to up to a year to rank on Google. The exact time depends on your industry but doesn’t expect the first page Google ranking is a few days.

YouTube is entirely different. It can rank your video in a few days. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s the reality.

I know there are millions of YouTube videos, but if you take the time, you’ll be able to score well quickly. If you create a brand new website and a YouTube channel, you’ll get more search traffic from YouTube than your website in the next two years.

Final Words on Google Vs. YouTube SEO

YouTube SEO is easier and takes less time to show results than Google. For both platforms, engagement is important, although they look at engagement differently. Google loves backlinks, but for YouTube, engagement is everything.

YouTube has plenty of easy opportunities today. This doesn’t mean you should start a YouTube channel and abandon your website. If you work hard, you’ll be able to rank on Google as well.

What’s your take on Google vs. YouTube SEO? Do let me know in the comments below.

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