Does Embedding YouTube Videos on Websites Improve its Rankings on YouTube?
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, with over 2 billion logged-in users visiting it every month.
With such a massive audience, it’s no surprise that creators are eager to rank highly on YouTube search.
One common strategy is to embed YouTube videos on websites, in hopes of boosting engagement and rankings on YouTube.
But does this technique actually work?
Let’s analyze if and how embedding videos affects YouTube rankings.
Embedding Alone Doesn’t Directly Influence YouTube Rankings
The short answer is no, simply embedding a YouTube video on your website or blog does not directly affect how it ranks on YouTube.
YouTube’s algorithm determines rankings primarily based on metrics like:
- Watch time
- Number of views
- Audience retention
- Click-through rate
- Audience interaction and engagement on YouTube
These core ranking factors depend on the video’s actual performance on YouTube, not third-party websites.
As per YouTube themselves:
“The best way to gain viewership on YouTube is to allow your videos to accumulate views from different surfaces like YouTube Homepage, YouTube Search, Related Videos and YouTube Suggested Videos.”
So embedding alone doesn’t signal relevance or quality to YouTube’s algorithm.
The view sources matter more than just view count.
But Embedding Can Indirectly Boost Rankings By Increasing Engagement
However, strategically embedding videos can indirectly benefit YouTube rankings in certain ways:
1. Drives More Views
When people view your embedded videos on external sites, it adds to the view count, watch time, and traffic sources for your content.
More views usually signal to YouTube that the video resonates with viewers.
This can lead to better rankings.
According to Backlinko, videos that rank #1 for competitive keywords have 2.5x more backlinks and embedded views than videos ranking #2 to #10.
2. Attracts External Shares
Embedding makes it easy for viewers to share your video via social media or email right from the embed player.
More shares signal popularity.
3. Provides More Context
Videos embedded on contextually relevant pages help give viewers and YouTube more context on the video’s topic. This can improve click-through rates.
4. Generates Backlinks
Each embed code to your video also counts as a backlink from an external domain.
More referral links from quality sites signals authority to YouTube.
Best Practices for Embedding YouTube Videos to Help Rankings
While embedding alone won’t boost your YouTube rankings directly, you can implement some best practices to maximize its indirect benefits:
1. Optimize Your Video for YouTube First
Focus first on optimizing your video content specifically for YouTube and its algorithm:
- Compelling titles and descriptions
- Engaging thumbnail
- Relevant tags
- Closed captions
- Interactive cards
- Quality content that keeps viewers watching
This builds a solid foundation for rankings on YouTube itself.
2. Embed Responsibly
Follow YouTube’s guidelines for responsible embedding:
- Use the embed code provided by YouTube
- Don’t manipulate views with auto-playing or hidden videos
- Only embed videos on sites with related content
- Comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service
Violating these can result in penalties or banned accounts.
3. Embed on High Authority Sites
The ranking value comes from embedding on reputable, high-traffic websites and blogs relevant to your video niche.
Avoid spammy or shady websites.
4. Place Embed Codes on High Visibility Areas
Embed videos above the page fold or in sidebars, widgets etc.
This makes it more visible to drive clicks and views rather than burying it.
5. Include a Strong Call-to-Action
Prompt visitors to click the video with captions like “Watch Video”, “View Tutorial” etc. to maximize engagement.
By keeping these tips in mind, embedding can become an effective indirect SEO strategy.
But focus first on optimizing videos for success on YouTube itself.
Does YouTube Differentiate Between Views from Embedded Videos vs YouTube?
An common question is whether YouTube treats views from embedded videos differently than views directly on YouTube.
The answer is yes – YouTube’s algorithm does differentiate between traffic sources.
In 2018, YouTube announced they would only count “legitimate views” from embeddings towards monetizable view counts. This includes:
- The embedded video is watchable for a minimum amount of time (few seconds)
- The video is large enough on screen
Views from embeddings where video is auto-played without user action may not be counted.
YouTube also tends to weight engagements like likes, comments, shares from YouTube itself higher than third-party sites.
So while embeddings contribute to overall views, the engagements and watch time directly on YouTube hold more SEO value in general.
Should You Embed Videos on Your Website?
While embeddings may not directly influence rankings, there are still good reasons to embed your videos:
- Exposure: Reach new audiences who may not find it on YouTube
- Engagement: Allow easy sharing and interactions to boost metrics
- Context: Help viewers better understand the video topic and purpose
- Traffic: Drive viewers from your site to your YouTube channel
The key is strategically choosing relevant pages and posts to embed your videos on, rather than arbitrarily adding to every page.
Include relevant context and meta descriptions for each embedded video.
Well-placed embeds act as a “trailer” enticing visitors to head to your channel to view more content.
FAQs Around Embedding YouTube Videos for SEO
Does embedding my videos on my website help my YouTube ranking?
Embedding alone doesn’t affect YouTube ranking, but can indirectly help by increasing clicks, shares, watch time and exposure.
Optimize your video first and foremost for ranking on YouTube itself.
Where should I embed YouTube videos on my site?
Embed videos on high-traffic pages like your homepage, about us, service pages, blog posts etc.
Place them prominently above the fold. Avoid orphan pages or unrelated areas.
How many views from embedded videos does YouTube count?
YouTube will count views from properly attributed embeds where the video is sufficiently visible on screen and watchable for a few seconds at minimum.
Hidden or auto-playing videos may not be counted.
Can I embed a full YouTube video on my website?
YouTube’s terms don’t allow you to embed a full video from YouTube on your site instead of YouTube itself.
You can embed a trailer or excerpt and link back to the full video on YouTube.
Does embedding videos help YouTube SEO more than linking out?
Generally yes, embedding makes the video content more visible and easier to interact with than just a text link.
But focus first on on-page optimization on YouTube itself for maximum ranking impact.
In summary, strategically embedding well-optimized YouTube videos on relevant pages of your website and social media can provide an SEO boost by driving more exposure, clicks and engagement.
However, truly ranking on YouTube depends on factors like watch time, retention and engagement on the YouTube platform itself.
Use embeddings as a supplement to, not a replacement for proper YouTube SEO.
Optimize your video content for YouTube’s algorithm, then embed thoughtfully on authoritative sites to indirectly help rankings and visibility.