by Juan Robin II
Have you ever wondered what people search for most on YouTube?
Today, I’m excited to share with you some brand new data:
- Top100 YouTube searches (US)—a list of the most popular YouTube searches in the US.
- Top100 YouTube searches (Worldwide)—the same data but filtered to show searches outside of the United States too. And with global search volumes.
But first things first—some news:
Here’s a preview of how it will look for YouTube:
So basically, you’ll soon be able to use Keywords Explorer to see keyword metrics for all the major search engines—Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube.
Now, without further ado, let’s find out just how popular cat videos really are!
Top 100 YouTube search queries in the US
It’s clear right away that searches for songs and musicians dominate this list.
|25||try not to laugh||2,430,000|
|28||rick and morty||2,390,000|
|32||fox news live||2,230,000|
|38||last week tonight||2,040,000|
|47||dragon ball super||1,790,000|
|61||2018 fifa world cup||1,600,000|
|67||fox news live stream||1,570,000|
|76||lil uzi vert||1,460,000|
In fact, almost ⅓ of the top 100 searches are music related.
If you’ve ever been in any doubt as to just how popular Justin Bieber is, doubt no more. There are a staggering 5.48M monthly searches for Despacito (a song that—while not originally a Bieber song—saw a huge boost in popularity after the release of Justin’s remix) and a further ~1.57M monthly searches for Justin Bieber.
So it probably comes as no surprise that the official video for Despacito (note: this is not actually the Justin Bieber version) is the most viewed video of all‐time on YouTube with 5.74 BILLION views.
To put that in perspective, Gangnam Style—the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube—currently has just 3.24B views.
But it’s not all about music…
You’ll notice that 6 of the top 10 searches are “branded” searches—i.e., folks searching for channel names or YouTube personalities. This is a trend that continues beyond the top 10, with 40% of the top 100 searches being for specific YouTube personalities and channels.
Here are the top 10 most popular YouTube channels and “celebrities” according to our data:
These searches get a combined 50.86 MILLION searches per month in the US.
Interestingly, quite a few of these folks are gaming vloggers (or gaming vloggers turned YouTube personalities, like PewDiePie), which brings us neatly onto what appears to be the next most popular genre of videos on YouTube: gaming videos.
Here are all the searches that somehow relate to gaming (and their respective search volumes):
Having looked through some of those channels myself, live gaming videos—aka, “let’s plays”—seem very popular. Not familiar with such videos? Here’s one of the most popular let’s plays from one of the most popular YouTubers on our list—jacksepticeye:
Speaking of live videos, it looks like millions of people are watching live TV on YouTube. “CNN Live,” “Fox News Live,” and simply “live” each have millions of searches per month.
Live videos are so popular, in fact, that YouTube now has a dedicated channel for live streams.
It’s not just live TV that people like watching on YouTube either: John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and many other US TV personalities also get millions of searches per month.
So, to summarise, people flock to YouTube in search of entertainment.
Hardly surprising, right? But what is surprising is this:
None of the top 100 YouTube searches in the US have anything to do with cats. That’s a shame because I love cats. 😉
Now let’s see how these US stats compare to the Worldwide stats.
Top 100 YouTube search queries in the World
It looks like it’s not just the US that has an unhealthy obsession with the song Despacito, with monthly searches topping 79M worldwide!
|4||shape of you||25,120,000|
|18||peliculas completas en español||16,540,000|
|26||dragon ball super||13,840,000|
|37||2018 fifa world cup||11,770,000|
|46||la rosa de guadalupe||10,230,000|
|53||despacito justin bieber||9,070,000|
|86||twenty one pilots||7,300,000|
|91||perfect ed sheeran||7,090,000|
|98||felices los 4||6,640,000|
That’s over 30 searches per SECOND on average.
And this isn’t the only song racking up the YouTube views. Searches for artists, bands and songs dominate our list of the top 100 worldwide YouTube searches with a staggering 65/100 searches (almost ⅔) being music‐related.
So compared to the US, it seems that the rest of the World uses YouTube far more for music.
What else are they listening to? Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and of course, South Korean boy band BTS.
Not heard of BTS? Get listening. 😉
There are also far fewer “branded” searches (i.e., for YouTube personalities) Worldwide. Only one of the top 10 searches is branded, which is quite a contrast to the US where over half the top 10 searches are.
ASMR videos appear to be popular around the globe.
Not familiar with ASMR videos? You’re in for a treat… #DontJudge
And how about this:
There are 13.2M monthly searches on YouTube for… um, Youtube. #GoFigure
Full YouTube Keywords Explorer is coming soon!
Some of you may know that we have a tool called Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
With this, you can enter any seed keyword (e.g., “Xbox”) and see exactly how many times people are searching for it on Google each month.
You can also discover a ton of related keyword ideas using the various reports.
Unfortunately, we don’t know of any tool that does the same thing for YouTube, which is a big blow for video marketers.
So we decided to make one.
Here’s a sneak peek:
It will show estimated YouTube search volumes (in the US and other countries), clicks, and search trends over time. You can also generate YouTube keyword ideas using the various reports on the left‐hand menu.
We’re hoping to launch this tool in early 2019.
Stay tuned! 🙂