How Does YouTube Actually Rank Your Attorney Videos?

What you are really asking is for YouTube’s algorithm for their search engine optimization. Good luck trying to get that information.


However, let me share with you what YouTube makes publicly available with regard to what goes into their algorithm that will give you an insight into how to improve your search engine visibility for your educational attorney videos.

They look at headlines, descriptions, keywords and tags.

They look at geolocation.

They look at the length of your video.

They look to see whether you have an interactive transcript.

They want to see whether you are utilizing captions and spotlight annotations.

They want to see how many back links there are to your attorney videos. In other words, how many people are linking to your videos?

They want to see social interaction including how many times your video is shared.

They want to see whether there are real comments and discussions about the topic directly under your video.


That brings me to a side topic of lawyers who “buy” views just to get people to believe they have a popular video. Keep in mind that YouTube understands how some people game the system by buying robotic or outsourced views.

An attorney video that has 25,000 views after three days with a crappy topic and poorly presented material with no social interaction and no comments is a clear giveaway that somebody’s trying to game the system.


YouTube has also changed their SEO formula recently from rewarding a video’s initial number of views to instead the length of time a video is watched.

They give more credibility and relevancy to videos that are watched throughout the entire clip rather than just the first few seconds. They also look at your YouTube channel to see how frequently you are uploading relevant content. If you are continually feeding the machine on a consistent basis, the expectation is that YouTube will reward your videos as having more authority and relevance than attorneys who upload inconsistently, in fits and spurts.


What can you do as an attorney who is using video to maximize the chances that YouTube and other search engines will recognize you have great content?

Ideally, you want to utilize all the different metrics that YouTube looks at in order to improve the chances that your videos will be ranked organically.


The bottom line is that if you consistently put out great educational content for your consumers and ideal clients on a regular frequent basis, and utilize all the tools that YouTube allows you, you’ll be well on your way to having your videos show up consistently when people search for your content and information.

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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins