YouTube is launching a new type of search results page that appears when users look for videos by hashtag.
YouTube first introduced the ability to search by hashtag in 2018, but it never worked perfectly. Previously a hashtag search would include content using the hashtag and other related content that didn’t contain the hashtag.
Now, when searching for a specific hashtag on YouTube on either the desktop or mobile app, users will see a dedicated page that only contains videos with that hashtag.
Here’s an example for the hashtag #SEO:
Another way users can access hashtag search results pages is by clicking into any automatically linked hashtag displayed on YouTube. Hashtags are prominently shown above video titles.
After clicking through on a hashtag, YouTube says the new search results pages will be sorted to keep the “best” videos at the top.
I interpret that as meaning best performing videos, as the new hashtag pages are full of content with high view counts published by popular channels.
However, if you scroll down far enough it’s possible you’ll find hidden gems from smaller channels.
One of the most interesting elements of these new hashtag pages is the video count at the top. Each hashtag page shows how many channels have published videos with that hashtag, and how many videos there are in total.
Not only is this information interesting from a curiosity standpoint, but it can be useful to marketers and content creators.
For example, if you’re trying to gauge the popularity of a topic on YouTube, you could look up the hashtag and get an idea of how much content is out there. Data from the new hashtag pages may further assist with the YouTube keyword research strategies I wrote about last week.
YouTube says it will continue to make updates to hashtags in the future – which is good to know because many updates are needed. As far as search results pages go, YouTube’s new hashtag pages are bare bones as it gets.
Hashtag search results are algorithmically arranged in one long feed, which isn’t always the best solution for users and only serves to benefit bigger channels.
All the search filters YouTube offers for other types of searches are gone when conducting a hashtag search. It would be a great improvement to see the same filters become available across the board.
YouTube would do well to take notes from Twitter, the social network that pioneered hashtag search. What initially made hashtags work on Twitter is the way they allowed users to follow topics in real-time.
That’s not an option with YouTube’s hashtag search, which makes it near impossible to discover brand new content when searching by hashtag.
The new pages are an improvement over the way hashtags were previously grouped together on YouTube, but they’re lacking all the features of regular search results.
My wish list for future updates includes bringing all YouTube’s search filters over to hashtag pages, and implementing an easy way to view results in reverse chronological order. Those updates would be helpful to users and give more channels an opportunity to get discovered.
Source: YouTube Help Center