There are loads of articles around the web propagating the idea that YouTube is the second largest search engine.
Being that popular, no one really disputes the claim. Is it true, though?
Let’s find out.
It is often claimed that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet.
It is owned by Google, it is immensely popular, and widely used on a daily basis by almost everyone. It must be the truth then, right?
Well, it pays off checking your facts every once in a while.
Let’s compare the real data and check it out for ourselves, just to make sure. Who knows, the real answer may come as a surprise to you.
And the answer matters, which we will explain at the end of the article. So let’s begin!
Is YouTube Second Largest Search Engine?
The answer is a bit complicated and requires some explaining first.
Let’s make it clear from the start, however: is YouTube the second largest search engine?
We’ll try to elaborate, so bear with us for a bit.
YouTube is a daughter company of Google, and Google itself sometimes markets YouTube as the second largest search engine on the web.
People tend to go with this fact and take it for granted, but a number of often-overlooked aspects dispute this statistics.
The myth comes from the fact that early metrics included YouTube’s integrated search engine as a regular search engine, which actually isn’t the case.
Yes, YouTube is the second most popular website, less popular only than Google itself, but this does not make YouTube the second largest search engine. There is a difference.
If you want to rank the largest search engine, you have to compare the actual number of web search requests, not website traffic.
Similarweb, the “official” measure service of the digital world, as they call themselves, has conducted a market analysis in October 2022 to uncover the most popular search engines in the world. The results?
Unsurprisingly, Google holds the first spot with 91.17% of total web search engine inquiries.
In second place is Yahoo with 2.95%, and the third spot went to Bing with 2.90% of inquiries. As you can see, there is no YouTube here. How come?
Is YouTube Irrelevant as a Search Engine?
Here something you probably already know but haven’t really thought about in this context.
Google is responsible for 91.17% of total web search engine traffic, but Google is made of several different services that qualify as search engines.
These include Google itself, Google Images, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Data analysis shows that, out of these ~91%, Google Search Engine comprises 68%, Google Images contribute with about 20%, and in the third place is YouTube with about 3%.
So, is YouTube the second largest search engine?
No, it is the third largest search engine, the second being Google Images. Quite a surprise, isn’t it?
If it were listed separately from other Google services and as an independent search engine, YouTube would hold the third place by popularity and beat the nearest contender on the list, which is Bing.
This means that YouTube is not irrelevant as a search engine. On the contrary, it is huge and immensely influential!
YouTube Still Dominant in Several Categories
Much of YouTube’s popularity has always rested on music and music videos.
This has not changed in spite of multiple music-oriented streaming services and social media sprouting up to vie for the top spot.
YouTube, together with YouTube music, a streaming service designed to optimize the YouTube listening experience, still has the greatest share of all music streaming listening time, beating Spotify, Deezer, and the rest.
Besides music, video game streaming and entertainment grab the most attention from YouTube users, according to various demographics.
These categories are the largest and fastest-growing which comes as no surprise due to the young generations’ growing interests in digital entertainment.
The surprise category with the second-highest growth rate besides Music? Kids Entertainment!
That’s right, the content for the youngest is only increasing in popularity and attracting even more and even younger people that are yet to become full members of the market.
And the market readily anticipates them, so should you.
Is YouTube Relevant for Music, Entertainment, and Kids Alone?
Not at all. In fact, Google has come to transform its marketing to better integrate YouTube into its services. Also, an important contributor to this is video hosting.
YouTube is still massively dominant on the market and the vast majority of websites have YouTube video services embedded into their presentation.
Be sure that savvy marketers take this into account when forming their strategies.
When it comes to Google Search, you are probably familiar with the fact that YouTube includes organic listings with relevant videos that appear in search results (the interactive SERP section).
Called Video Carousel Box, it gives users the option to watch several videos related to the topic, showing three at a time and two arrows to navigate “the carousel”.
When the algorithm is absolutely confident that a specific video is a key component of the answer to your search inquiry, it will provide the video along with the answer at the very top of the page, which is quite a juicy position.
You don’t even have to leave the page with Google results, it will be embedded and won’t disrupt your search flow.
As a matter of fact, even the textual description of the video can be used as the answering material in the answer boxes.
This comes as a major boon for properly optimized YouTube SEO practice.
How to Get YouTube Videos Into Answer Box
Google is pretty discreet when it comes to specific details and instructions, so no official information exists, but people have extracted relevant tips from observation and experiments.
- Include relevant keywords (5 to 10 words)
- Properly optimized content structure
- Relevant video titles
- Precise, concise, and appropriate video descriptions
The interesting thing here is that you don’t have to rank first with your content in order to get featured in an Answer Box.
What seems to matter is that you have a mobile-friendly website, rank within the top 20 results, and textual content written as a frequently searched-for question.
Everything matters in proper SEO practice, so if you do it correctly you will massively increase your chances of appearing in an Answer Box.
What is the Importance of YouTube SEO?
Based on the facts presented above, YouTube SEO optimization is a huge deal.
It can mean the difference between getting featured or not, and traffic greatly benefits from being featured, as every 101 course on digital marketing teaches you first.
YouTube SEO helps with ranking your videos within the internal search results of YouTube, but also in the general search indexing context of its big daddy company, Google itself.
With no signs of their popularity waning, Google and YouTube are still alpha and omega in the online marketing industry.
In fact, both of these platforms show trends of evolving to better complement each other and grow even more into the future.
In other words, investing into your YouTube SEO practice today will bring profits both now and to a greater extent in the future.
Do not throw away good marketing options, as this literally means throwing your money out of the window! And if you do it, your competition most certainly won’t.
Is YouTube really the second largest search engine in the world? No. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t enormously influential.
If it were listed as a search engine separately from Google, it would still beat the nearest non-Google competitor.
Now, for a proper answer: YouTube is the third largest search search engine in the world, after Google itself and Google Images, even though they do come together in a single bundle in most research analyses, which makes sense since they are a part of a single company.
On the other hand, YouTube is still the second most popular website in the world, which brings many boons and options to prospective marketing experts and companies looking for quality exposure.
And it is only growing! The time to work on your YouTube SEO streamlining and optimization is now.
If you do it right, it will propel you on both Google and YouTube result pages, potentially even landing you a featured position, regardless of the fact if you did or did not land yourself a top result in Google Search, thanks to Answer Box recommendations.
Finally, as both YouTube and Google display every characteristic of continuous growth, rest assured that they will remain dominant forces in the foreseeable future.
If you wish to grow your digital presence and thus expand your influence and monetization options, you should be wise and tend to your video descriptions, titles, captions, and all sorts of text and improve them in proper SEO techniques.
That would be everything we have to say on the topic. We wish you good luck and good growth.
See you among the top results on both pages!