Who is the second largest YouTuber

The YouTube boom: numbers & analyzes on the No. 1 video platform

The figures from YouTube are simply impressive: the platform records around 25 billion visits per month, users stay on average for 21 minutes and 38 seconds. SimilarWeb rates YouTube as the second largest website in the world - after Google, based on traffic. For this analysis, however, the focus is on YouTube's presence in Google's global search results. It is important to know that both Google and YouTube are part of the Alphabet Group. In the global Google search results, YouTube is partly ahead of Wikipedia.

Numbers on YouTube's boom

Searchmetrics annually analyzes the biggest winners and losers of the year according to SEO Visibility. This core metric from Searchmetrics shows how well placed - i.e. visible - a domain is in the organic search results. And the results of our 2018 annual charts were clear - YouTube was consistently the biggest winner in 2018.

For example, YouTube recorded an increase of 143% in the German Google search results. In Google's home market of the USA, too, YouTube was the biggest winner of the year in 2018 with a 79% increase in SEO visibility. The same applies to many other online markets:

Google has also replaced Wikipedia as the most visible domain in search engine results in several countries. This applies to Turkey, Spain and Brazil. Spain was a new addition last year: Thanks to a 62% increase in visibility in the Spanish Google results, YouTube was able to overtake the online encyclopedia in terms of Spanish visibility. In the other seven countries from our study sample, YouTube is in second place in the SEO Visibility in the respective Google country index. This analysis can be found in our SEO World Rankings.

Reason for the boom in moving images

The reason for the increase in the visibility of YouTube in many countries depends on two moments - increased user interest in moving image content and some changes in the search result layout that allow more videos to be displayed. According to the company, 1.9 billion logged-in users visit YouTube every month; In Germany, 76.7% of all residents use YouTube at least rarely. More than 70% of YouTube watchtime is generated on mobile devices.

But it is not just the increased user interest in moving image content that is causing a YouTube boom in global search results, but also Google's layout changes to the search results, which resulted in an enormous increase in videos in Google results in 2018. In June 2018, for example, Google rolled out the video carousels for desktop search results globally - and since then has no longer relied on individual video thumbnails that were listed as organic results, but instead shows a horizontally scrollable carousel with ten videos per search result - three of them are visible, the rest is shown when scrolling:

Google displays this video carousel for around half of all results for thousands of keyword search queries, which form the database for the Searchmetrics Research Cloud.

YouTube market shares in SERP features

As shown, YouTube was the absolute winner in Google search results 2018. In the following, it will be examined in more detail how high the YouTube market share is with corresponding SERP features. All additional elements and widgets on the search results page that do not belong to the ten organic results are named as SERP features. Incidentally, Searchmetrics offers monthly updated market shares here in the SERP Features Checker.

The presence of YouTube - and thus, conversely, the proportion of moving image competition in the Google search results - can be found in three SERP features. These are, on the one hand, in “classic” video snippets, in the video carousels already mentioned and in the area of ​​images that Google displays in a separate widget.

The comparison of the YouTube rankings in Google indices in six countries - including Germany, England and the USA - shows very homogeneous market shares for YouTube for the four SERP features. For videos and video carousels, it can be seen that the competition is practically no longer gaining any noteworthy market share. If a video or a video carousel is shown on the search results page, YouTube has 97 and 99% market share. This means that video competitors have a maximum of 2 to 3% share. And when Google plays an image integration on the search results page, YouTube ranks for 25 to 33% of these images - primarily with the thumbnails from the video preview:

7 SEO Tips for YouTube Optimization

Search engine optimization for YouTube can be compared to the tactics that worked for Google optimization up until the introduction of the Panda and Hummingbird updates. This means that classic keyword stuffing in the title, description and tags for regular SEO has not worked for a long time, but can still become relevant on YouTube.

  1. Create a thumbnail that is as clickable as possible and experiment with different versions if necessary. As described, this thumbnail can also generate traffic for the YouTube video or the website on which the YouTube video is integrated in the organic search results via the Google images box.
  2. The title should - in the sense of keyword relevance - be optimized for Google and at the same time be so extraordinary and unique that users feel addressed as well.
  3. Use the description for a detailed synopsis of the video. Here too, keyword relevance is important for a good initial YouTube ranking; try to include the most important keywords, especially in the first few sentences.
  4. In contrast to the organic search algorithm, tags still play an important role and should be used accordingly. So try to include as many meaningful and descriptive keywords in the tags as possible.
  5. Use the subtitles in the video and try to better prepare the content of the video for the search engine. After all, Google can interpret and evaluate text content much more efficiently than (audio) visual content.
  6. Motivate your video users to interact with likes and comments, as these signals also flow into the relevance rating. In addition, the actual playing time of the video is important for Google's assessment.
  7. Also make sure that the YouTube channel is well connected to your website and your other marketing channels. Host the videos on YouTube, embed them on your website and encourage others to embed their videos as well - every view counts!

Outlook: where is the development going?

The general trend towards more video content is likely to continue. However, it remains to be seen whether YouTube will continue to be the undisputed leader. It is true that the amount of data and the variety of topics can hardly be caught up on YouTube, but web history has shown with examples such as MySpace or Tumblr: Change is constant.

There are also some risks for YouTube: On the one hand, there is the trend towards high-format videos, such as those offered by Instagram, which are especially convenient on smartphones. By default, the YouTube videos are in widescreen format. The question is also open whether YouTube can grow - especially in the paid video sector. With YouTube Premium, the Alphabet subsidiary offers an ad-free offer with exclusive, including fictional content. But the competition here with top dog Netflix, Amazon Prime or the planned Disney streaming service is particularly high.

Due to the wide range of general interest, YouTube is likely to remain an important part of the marketing mix for every company in the future. In addition, it is not to be expected that the YouTube or video boom could generally slow down - on the contrary. According to a Cisco study, the proportion of video in total web traffic is likely to continue to rise. Cisco expects that the share of video in the data traffic will increase from the current 75% to 82% in the year 2022. According to the Cisco forecast, 17% of all video traffic will be generated by live videos in 2022.

Good times for marketers to use video content to generate more users, engagement, awareness and ultimately sales.


As Vice President Product, Malte Landwehr is responsible for Searchmetrics products and heads the Product Management and Product Marketing departments. In addition, Malte regularly presents his online marketing know-how at conferences and in specialist articles. Malte started in 2015 as Product Marketing Manager at Searchmetrics and, as part of the Product Management Team, incorporated feedback from customers and beta testers into the development of the Searchmetrics Suite. In 2017, with the newly created position of Director Product Marketing and Product Solutions, Malte took on responsibility for the go-to-market of new products, pricing, training and the support of our sales and services teams. Malte studied computer science at the University of Münster and can look back on more than 10 years of experience in online marketing. Before joining Searchmetrics, he worked as a consultant and project manager in a strategy consultancy and carried out research on network analysis and social media analytics on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Association.