Typewriter symbolizing transcriptions from audio to textYouTube SEO

Why Are Transcripts Crucial on YouTube?

~3 min. read time

Intro 👏🏽

In our last blog post, we talked about How To Rank YT Videos Fast.

We explored how SEO principles apply, not only to search engines like google but also platforms like YouTube whose content can be found through such search engines.

One of the points, of course, was how you can optimize your ranking by using transcripts.

Let’s explore that a little deeper and show why transcripts boost your ranking.

Maxing Out What You Can 📈

So, how do transcripts actually work in your favor?

YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, so they have access to Google’s assets, including their search engine. If they are not using the same thing, it’s at least very likely that the YouTube search works similarly to the Google search engine.

So, what makes the search engine tick? ⏱

Google takes many things into account when producing search results.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • What topic you are writing about
  • How many links there are from other pages to yours (to your video)
  • How long your site has been around
  • How many times it has been clicked on for a particular search term in the last time
  • Keywords in your titles
  • Keywords in other parts of your text
  • Keywords you mention in your video
  • Hell, maybe even relatedness of your title to your body of text-based on mathematical similarity measures

... but I digress.

The point is, you have limited control over how your page or video will be ranked because there are just so many factors Google (and other search engines) looks at.

So, why not take ownership of the few things you can influence? Why not optimize your video’s ranking with the means that are available to you?

Of course, that’s why you are here. Your interest is piqued. You just need some convincing. 😏

Here we go, then.

One thing you control are keywords & Google loves keywords. If you go and plan a campaign in Google Ads, they even have a Keyword Planner ready for you to use (we used it for this article 🤓).

Keywords are great because they let the algorithms that run in the back identify what the hell you are talking about. So, by using Keywords these same algorithms suggested, will make it easier for the machines to learn about the value of your content.

How does that tie in with transcripts? 🤔

Well, Keywords are just that, words. And transcripts are also just a bunch of words. Each sub-sentence of a transcript could be seen as a Keyword, since they are usually given to you in n-grams, aka. groups of words, i.e. “SEO optimization” & “video ranking”. In the end, it’s just video transcripts are an additional body of text the page ranking algorithms can effectively search with relative ease.

Now, the auto-generated transcripts you get from YouTube are machine-made. Some voice2text algorithm churned them out for everyone's convenience. However, that algorithm might be wrong. It might not pick up everything you said in your video correctly, especially if you are a non-English speaker. (Because the training sample is likely to be smaller and such things, we can talk about machine learning another day 😘)

Continuing, Google knows its algorithms are not perfect. Therefore, they reward creators that put in the additional effort to improve everyone's experience on the platform. The ranking algorithm will now favor your video with manual transcripts more than ones that only have standard transcripts. The assumption here is that the transcripts a human added are superior to the machine’s version. (Skynet dislikes this 🤖)

In turn, you will rank higher on the search scoreboard.

“Why are the algorithms you use better than Googles?”, I hear you ask. 🤓

Google, in the end, is an advertisement company. That’s where they get their money from. They also have been notorious for only investing in ideas and projects in the company that have a projected 10x impact. Investing in training incredibly complex and expensive deep learning models, which are enabled for everyone for free, just to marginally up people's YT experience, doesn’t move the needle that much.

This is great news for us since we are catering to the needs of this niche!

One might add, this is also a pretty smart move from Google, as people will put in the work to improve things. Then later, Google can sweep in and buy successful companies that have created products and integrate them into their stack.

Conclusion 🏆

If you want to grow your audience and become profitable on YouTube, it’s better to optimize what you can, as competition is ever-increasing while the YT game becomes more complex.

Transcripts will not make your video go viral, if other parts of it are subpar, however, they will definitely make you rank better. And that’s good for you, us, and, eventually, Google.


Plus, it’s another affordable tool in your arsenal on your way to the top. Especially with us as your partner in crime 😙

So, what are you waiting for?

Get Transcripts for your YouTube Videos Today.

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