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Google vs. YouTube Search: Why Video Rankings Differ

August 27, 2018 / Roger Montti

RankRanger compared the ranking of video carousels in Google desktop versus how YouTube ranks. RankRanger discovered that the algorithm Google uses for desktop search is different from the YouTube algorithm. This article goes beyond that study to identify possible reasons to explain that difference. For the keyword phrase [How to Make Pizza], YouTube appears to show videos that are popular on YouTube. The top 14 results in YouTube have millions of views. Showing users the most popular results is a good user experience. The videos that are ranked by the YouTube algorithm may be based on features related to the videos themselves, on popularity, and user engagement metrics. The length of the videos appears to be longer in YouTube rankings than in the Google desktop carousel. For the example search phrase, how to make pizza, Google even ranks a video that is forty-two seconds long. Is Google’s desktop video carousel algorithm showing a preference for shorter videos? Curiously, RankRa...