Making Video News Visible: Identifying the Optimization Strategies of the Cybermedia on YouTube Using Web Metrics [review]

SEO Youtube digital news media
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Abstract The main objective of this study is to identify the main SEO strategies implemented by the cybermedia’s YouTube channels using a battery of web metrics at the channel and video levels. To this end, a sample comprising the ten cybermedia channels in Spain with the highest web traffic is considered. At the channel level, a significant positive correlation is found between connectivity (number of subscribers), productivity (number of videos published), and audience (number of views).

At the video level, the correlation between the most viewed videos of each cybermedia reveals the presence of two families of video-level metrics: on the one hand, those related to the impact of videos (Views, Popularity, Likes, etc.) and, on the other, those related to the implementation of active SEO strategies (primarily, tags and keywords within Description fields).

Results seem to confirm that SEO strategies are likely to be more effective when applied to videos that are not high quality publications or which do not address popular subject matters, characteristics that tend to attract most viewers regardless of SEO strategies employed. Finally, a set of best practices for promoting and optimizing videos on YouTube, especially tailored for the cybermedia, is proposed.

KEYWORDS: Cybermedia, YouTube, search engine optimization, video SEO, Journalism, analytic tools, web indicators, Spain 


According to the media map elaborated by Inteligencia y Media (, in 2018 there were at least 500 companies operating in the radio, television, press, and advertising sectors in Spain.

However, the information structure in Spain is characterized by a great concentration of media power (Reig 2011), which is supported by the main communication groups (Vocento, Unidad Editorial, COPE, Planeta, Atresmedia, Mediaset España Comunicación, Imagina Media Audiovisual, Godó, Zeta, Prensa Ibérica, Joly, Hearst Magazines, Intereconomía Corporación, and Henneo).

One of the main problems of the Spanish communication media is the lack of innovation in the sector (García-Santamaría, Fernández-Beaumont, and Pérez-Bahón 2016), which is exacerbated by the currently period of digital transformation of industries.

Therefore, the need to propose strategies that allow communication media the dissemination of content globally using all kinds of multimedia platforms (among which Youtube stands out) is more important than ever.

In particular, Journalism is becoming increasingly visual, undoubtedly the result of the growing influence of the Web (Peer and Ksiazek 2011) and, as part of this trend, in addition to having to respond to other concurrent pressures (including, web visibility, new formats, and new ways of navigating), the mainstream media have begun to launch channels on YouTube (

By using these video channels, the media have obtained a supplementary platform on which to disseminate their journalistic productions (Rodríguez-Martínez, Codina, and Pedraza-Jiménez 2010).

seotube and digital news media
Source: article reviewed

But, in opting to do so, journalism needs to identify best practices to ensure it connects its audiovisual production with its target audience (Giomelakis and Veglis 2015a, 2015b; Lopezosa and Codina 2018). Such a strategy seems critical if we bear in mind the importance of YouTube as a source of information for a large number of individuals. Proof of this is that today it is ranked as the second most used search engine in the world, after Google (Spencer 2018). Given the global popularity of YouTube, with over one billion users watching over a billion hours of video each day (, the strategies associated with search engine optimization (SEO) (Davis 2006) will undoubtedly be of massive importance in optimizing the visibility of these media channels within the ocean of content currently hosted on YouTube.

The SEO literature has been concerned for some time now with designing, proposing, developing and testing sets of indicators and tools for the study of website and web page visibility (Codina et al. 2016; García-Carretero et al. 2016) as a proxy of quality (Rodríguez-Martínez, Codina, and Pedraza-Jiménez 2010, 2012). These indicators have subsequently been adapted and applied to the field of Audiovisual Communication, specifically to the optimization of videos published on YouTube (Bonelli 2017; Fons 2018a).

However, the optimization of the cybermedia’s YouTube channels has yet to be analyzed from the perspective afforded by SEO.The objectives of this study are therefore to identify and measure the SEO strategies being implemented by the cybermedia using a battery of metrics developed in SEO. To this end, the following research questions (RQs) are addressed:

  • RQ1. Do the cybermedia’s YouTube channels present specific performance patterns when measured using channel-level SEO metrics?
  • RQ2. Do the most viewed videos published by the cybermedia use SEO actions to achieve their higher impact (as measured using video-level metrics) on YouTube?

Finally, a set of recommendations will be generated for the cybermedia so they can optimize their video visibility on YouTube.


Full text document


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