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Should I use more, shorter tags, or fewer, longer ones?

Acerthorn

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My tags are limited to 500 characters. Everyone who coaches you on how to do SEO suggests finding search terms that have high search volume and low competition. That certainly makes perfect sense. But how exactly should you optimize for those search terms?

When I do searches for phrases with high search volume, I've noticed something rather bizzare. The top search results usually tend to have about thirty to forty tags that are only one word each, even if they are designed to be placed together.

For example, using Tubebuddy, I noticed that the phrases "let's play dark souls remastered blind" and "dark souls remastered blind" both have search volumes in the orange. A search for both phrases yield playlist by a guy named "Living Sun" as the top search result. This guy has only 582 subscribers, so he sure as hell isn't dominating the search results by snowball effect alone. I also notice that he has 32 tags, all of which are only a single word. "Dark" and "Souls" are separate tags, despite it being the two words together that people are searching for.

This is only one example. There are plenty more where that came from.

What do you guys think? What's the better strategy for optimizing your tags?
 

UhoohExtra

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yes i notice this too but normally from channels with lots of subscribers. it may be worth experimenting with.. maybe on an under performing video where there is nothing to loose. i suspect you'd have to apply this strategy to new upload for best best results though.
 
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Acerthorn

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Does anyone else have a more definitive answer to the question in my OP?
 

Dutchie Abroad

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Does anyone else have a more definitive answer to the question in my OP?
I think you're just one of the firsts to notice this. I've never seen this mentioned on the forum before, nor have I researched it myself. I think you will have to find out yourself through experimenting with your tags. For example, upload your coming two or three videos with these short word tags and see if they rank significantly higher than your other videos.
 

HiEnergy

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I often use a mixture of separated words together with combined words for terms that usually go together but are also searched separately.
For example: A video containing an Ableton Live 10 (a piece of music software) topic usually gets tagged like this by me: "ableton" "abelton" "ableton live" "live 10".
The mis-spelling "abelton" is rarely searched... but it IS searched.
Also people search "ableton" as well as "ableton live". "live" is too broad of a search term though, so I don't include that as a single word.
On your example: I wouldn't include "dark" and "souls" as separate words but "dark souls" as a compound term.
 

EVO

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I personally use a mix of single/double/triple/full phrases
 
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the_drifting_dad

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I personally use a mix of single/double/triple/full phrases
Same here, you need to tag it logically, think about what you would type in a search engine if you were looking for something related to your vide0
 

FawX

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I feel like it is good practice to use all kinds and all types of keywords/tags when putting in your own for example, on the topic of Dark Souls. You can Dark & Souls individual or together, get "Soulslike" in there or along the lines, even "Dark Souls Because I'm a Beginner" will get you surprising results. Experiment and find what works for you but don't tie yourself down to one "formula".
 

ShireenPlaysYT

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I think the only channels that use one word tags are channels that have over 100,000 subs and are getting over 1 million views per video; plus they don't need to be concerned with SEO because people will find their videos because they will be on the first page of YouTube results.

If you're a small channel (under 5,000 subs) you need to be using search terms in your tags; it's essential and it will have a huge impact on your channel. Plus the tags shouldn't only be in your tags, you should tag: your title, descriptions, tags and even the file that you're uploading for maximum exposure.
 

Frontier Forge

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I kinda made a "house rule" for myself. At least 3 general tags, for example "blacksmith, forging, blacksmithing", 5 more specific tags; (forging a blah blah blah, how to forge a blah blah blah, etc.) And then at least 3 very specific tags, (blacksmith forging a blah blah blah, forging a blah blah blah from high carbon steel, etc) then if I have space left, I'll fill it in with some more generic stuff and channel name