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YouTube Search is Like Mining For Gold

by Joe Kukura on July 12, 2013

YouTube recently crunched their own numbers and found that their huge audience of YouTubers is uploading 100 hours of video every single minute. That’s four days worth of videos being posted to YouTube every 60 seconds. That’s almost 16.5 years worth of video posted on YouTube every day. Just for kicks, that’s 5,993 years worth of videos posted to YouTube each calendar year. There goes the idea of just doing YouTube search for new videos.

Yet so many of these videos are just unwatchably bad. We’ve all clicked on a YouTube video that looked really good — but it turned out to be just a slideshow of still pictures or someone having simply filmed what’s playing on the TV (that’s bad form on many levels). Let’s not forget all those YouTube searches that led us to videos that have the tried and true “This video has been removed…” statement. How can one regularly hunt down the best YouTube videos, or the best bad YouTube videos? Is there a good way to do a YouTube search out the five or ten quality minutes in those 100 hours of video uploaded every minute?

HOW DO YOU SEARCH YOUTUBE TO FIND THE BEST VIDEOS?

You don’t search. You let YouTube tell you. They have several methods for suggesting the videos you’re likely to like. Once you use these YouTube tools a few times, YouTube’s algorithms will determine whether you’ll like a video before you’ve even seen it. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google – and they know a thing or two about searching, collecting your data, and analyzing it to make suggestions.

Don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for YouTube videos? Download RealPlayer and click on the Web Videos tab to see new and popular videos daily.

For some of these methods to work, of course, you need to start a YouTube account with a username. YouTube must be able to identify you and track which videos you watch and like. If you don’t already have a YouTube account, starting one is probably not a huge privacy concern. You’re allowed to alter your privacy settings.

In fact, if you have a Gmail email address then you probably already have a YouTube account. Does your name appear at the top left of the screen when you visit YouTube? If so, you have a YouTube account. If you didn’t know that Google connected your Gmail and YouTube accounts back in 2011, click the What to Watch link on the left of your YouTube page display. Then prepare to have your mind blown — YouTube has already curated a gallery of recommended videos based on your interests.

SEARCHING YOUTUBE FOR THE MOST POPULAR VIDEOS

YouTube keeps close tabs on which videos are being watched the most, and displays these on the constantly updated YouTube Charts on its site. Acting as a “Top 30 List” that can be navigated like a slideshow, YouTube Charts display the most watched videos for music, movies, sports, and a number of other topics. You can manipulate the top of the charts by searching on the current most watched, this week’s most watched, this month’s, and the all-time most watched.

YouTube Charts does a great job of showing the best gems of the user-generated videos from random people worldwide. One drawback, though, is that many of the international videos are not in English. You can adjust the countries for which your YouTube searches will show results, but you can’t sort by language. That said, the language barriers are not a problem in YouTube Charts’ Pets & Animals videos section, which just helped me locate the Cats Who Love Vacuum Cleaners video that’s had me in fits of laughter all day.

STOP SEARCHING YOUTUBE AND SUBSCRIBE TO CHANNELS

Now that you have this YouTube account that you didn’t know you had, all of your YouTube activity shows up on a YouTube profile page. Don’t worry – it doesn’t show the whole world which videos you’ve been watching. What it does show the world is your Google+ profile picture (you still have that Google+ account, remember?) plus various other YouTube activity. YouTube activity consists of videos on which you commented, clicked the Like button or posted to YouTube yourself.

More importantly, having a profile allows you to get updates of when your favorite video producers post new stuff on his/her YouTube Channel. Whenever you see a YouTube video you really like, click the Subscribe button and you’ll receive updates every time that channel posts another video. Subscribing to a YouTube channel means you’ll get instant updates whenever, say, Louis C.K. posts a new stand-up act or MLB posts a new video of a fan making a sweet catch on a foul ball. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the heck out of the new material inspired by the BBC version of “The Office” they’ve been posting lately on the Ricky Gervais YouTube channel.

Hopefully these tips will help your YouTube search and you’ll find some personal favorites from the 100 hours of new videos showing up on YouTube every minute. Got any other tricks for searching for good new YouTube videos? Are there other outstanding YouTube channels we should know about? Feel free to post 100 hours of your opinions in the comments section below.

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