(I may receive commissions from the links in this post. For more informations read my Disclosure.)
The Most Advanced Guide To Youtube Search Operators
Many times we’d love to find something on Youtube. Only just right now it was like, that whatever I put in,
I couldn’t find the title I was searching for.
A video about flirting. I knew it was like about 1 hour and hidden in a channel.
I just had spotted it right there.
I even went into the channel and looked at the time of each video. Carefully.
But I could not find it again. It’s like it’s suddenly hiding from me.
Do you know that?
Learn The Youtube Operators
That’s when the idea of mastering the Youtube operators was born.
- I’ll give you the most common one first.
Most Common Youtube Operators – GUI
- Then what you can do to refine your search.
- And after that: how to really dig it to the point.
This will just concentrate on the GUI and entering basic search terms.
The normal things you will have tried already for sure, hence only a short overview to start with:
into the search box. Without any quotes or anything else.
This is just to represent the search term.
And let youtube do the search for you.
What do you find?
There are videos that contain the word Google in the title, for example:
“Made by Google 2018”
(Click on the link to try it)
But also Channels. For example the Google Youtube video channel.
There are also videos where the keywords are displayed in a bold font.
Some videos also contain additional URLs that are shown in a bold font as well.
So again to summarize:
You’re most likely to find:
- Videos containing the word Google in the title
- Videos containing the word Google as a keyword (tag) in a description
- Videos containing the word Google in an URL.
Let’s just imagine you want to filter. Because you got too many results and you’re only interested in the long videos (>20 minutes).
Click on: Filter
And choose one of those for the:
Short (< 4 minutes)
|Long ( 20 minutes||4K||
As you might notice: It’s only possible to select ONE filter at a time. You cannot combine that.
That’s where the next part comes into play so you can refine your Youtube search.
The TYPE will enable you to search for videos (sure. Lol. ;-), channels, as we saw before.
DURATION: helps you find either short (<4 minutes) or long videos (>20) minutes.
It’s good that it exists at all, but in many cases, you will certainly have to refine your search to find more.
Or reduce your search time.
FEATURES: Will provide you with finding a live video. Or 4k and HD. Also valuable if you for example remember:
That the specific video you were searching for had Subtitles or CC (I guess that was Closed Captions!)
When the video is licensed under creative commons it is normally freely usable.
But make sure it really is. It’s your responsibility.
360° is the video type that you can watch from any angle.
For instance, have a look at this rollercoaster ride:
Looks quite interesting, doesn’t it? Well, if you have seen a lot of rollercoaster videos or even are a roller coaster tester it’s highly unlikely that it makes you euphoric.
Sure. But did you pay attention to the symbol bottom left? 360! While playing use the mouse pointer (hand symbol) to drag.
Now you’ll see that you can watch it from any angle while it’s playing. Now that’s interesting, isn’t it? 🙂
VR180 goes in the same direction. If you search for those type of videos just click on VR180 to filter for those type of videos.
3D are the ones you can watch with 3d stereo glasses.
HDR is for a high dynamic range.
And the rest: Location is all about the place.
And purchase, the ones you’ve bought.
What I mostly tend to use is either:
Searching for long videos. Or by Relevance.
But if you need more complicated and specialized filters, hop on to the next paragraph.
Refine Your Youtube Search
This will be the stuff if you see filtering doesn’t get you any further.
Therefore this will be relevant to using the search entry field plus operators.
What are those operators?
Well, you may assume that there are is at least a subset of the filters used before.
Let’s dive into it:
One filter you might not see as such, because it could also have been added to the first part:
Just enter two words instead of one.
Why did I classify this as a filter as well?
Because it reduces the search results. To a smaller number again.
But to get one step further:
Foreword: You may combine this having a look at the Google Operators Tutorial as well to see
which operators happen to work for you on YouTube as well.
Here’s a link to AHREF, with a really exhaustive explanation:
it all happens by adding a comma to your search term.
Let’s say you want to search for a Britney Spears Music Video.
And the important criteria is relevance and HD for you.
So your search term might be looking something like this:
(Click on the link to see what happens)
Now you should get mostly relevant 4k videos that are tagged with a Britney Spears somewhere.
This means we combined filters of the GUI interface by using the text interface.
Because we used relevance AND 4k at once. This is not possible just using the GUI filter.
Got it? Well done. 🙂
As you can see I put “Britney Spears” in quotes. Why?
Because Only searching for the term without quotes will search for all combinations.
Like either Britney or Spears is found. But putting it in quotes searches for the exact term.
So we’re sure to only find Britney Spears related videos.
Since before we got also some results including channels it’s time to introduce the + and – operators.
+: use it to force youtube to include your search term. For example: Rihanna +cover +”Christina Aguilera.” Search for Rihanna’s Christina Aguilera covers. If they even exist. 😉
-: to exclude it. For example -channel would show everything you’re searching for, but no channels.
intitle: e.g.: intitle:”Live Recording”, will search for live recording, but only videos will be displayed where this is specified in the title.
*: this is a wildcard. Meaning: it will be replaced by anything, but only one word.
Advanced Youtube Searching
Still didn’t even find what you were searching for or want to create more out of this?
Then this is the place to be.
Maybe you want to even process those links further or give a user an example search
provided by your blog or use the result to process it further, maybe even to generate a result.
Therefore let’s have a look at what the URLs are looking like:
Doubling search operators
Let’s search for “wide belt” (including the quotes).
Look at the search result.
Now do it again, but this time you add the term twice, like this:
“wide belt” “wide belt”
This will narrow down your search and normally reveal a much more relevant search result.
Many people don’t know that.
Let’s have a look at the URL structure. What does it look like?
Let’s look at an URL for this video:
What does it look like?
First, there is a header like: https or HTTP. Which is just the protocol. https is a secure protocol.
Then there is the URL itself (like the part that points to the domain:)
The rest (after the question mark “?”) are parameters.
Let’s break them down for this case:
The last one we can separate again, into:
Every term in one line is a word or a character of the term before.
Since we put there
“Are Fashion Belts trendy or Trashy”
This is how youtube encodes the URL.
As humans, we would have to decipher it. But we can also create youtube URLs that way, for example:
Let’s imagine we want to change the last word, so we get this:
“Are Fashion Belts trendy or Vintage”
But what if you’d like to add a completely different search term?
Youtube URL Player Parameters
Click on the Video below. You’ll notice it starts at minute 1. Not at the very beginning.
Why? Because I’ve modified the URL like this:
You can do the same by adding an end parameter, like this:
So this would let you play the video from 60 seconds for 30 seconds more and then stop at 90 seconds in.
Thus, you can also share excerpts of videos with someone. Especially useful if it’s a quite long video though you want to relate only to a tiny part of it.
Due to this modification, the first minute will be skipped.
Now you know to add a parameter you have to add &” and the parameter itself.
“&” is the parameter separation. And “=” separates the parameter name from the parameter itself.
What else can we modify in term of parameters then?
Here is a list (the red parameters I could not successfully used them, they had no effect whatsoever):
|loop=1||supposed to loop the video.
But does either not work or not anymore.
|rel=0||Should suppress the related videos, but seems also not to work anymore.|
|t=0m37s||Adding time codes. This will, for example, make the video start at 0 minutes and 37 seconds.|
Additional Information About Youtube URLs
Still not enough food for your hungry mood? Ok, here’s a bonus. 🙂
Just use youtube repeater if you’d love to repeat your video URL or a part of it:
(This is a commercial that will be repeated over and over again using youtube repeater without end.
At the moment it seems directly entering youtube repeater does not work. But it still works just adding the watch parameter to the video.)
Youtube aka Google breaks it down for you in this support article:
If you like this article subscribe.
Got any question? Leave a comment below.