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Can youtube captions help with SEO?

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

How captions optimize your YouTube channel

YouTube is the #3 search engine in the world based on research from Tubics. People use YouTube regularly to search for answers to any kind of question you can imagine! to see “how-to” do something, to learn new skills, and to find tutorials on how to get more views! 😋Or to simply just pass the time with some entertaining content.

Google uses a special algorithm for YouTube to ensure that when users search for any sort of topic, they receive the best results.

How does YouTube’s algorithm work?

It prioritizes relevance, engagement, and quality when creating the results for a search. Videos with the highest score in these three categories appear at the top of the search results list.

So what can YouTubers and content creators do to get the highest rankings in these three categories?

For starters, they need to create high-quality content with good and clear audio and good lighting. It’s also very important to write a good title, tags, and description of the video to ensure it contains the most relevant and searched keywords for the topic.

Nonetheless, the best way to improve relevance, engagement, and quality scores for videos on YouTube, is to include professional captions!

Captions and text transcripts allow Google to easily crawl (read) everything that is said during your video to better analyze your keywords and subject. Also as discussed in our blogpost: Can human captions help me get more views? Captions expand your audience and help viewers engage more with your content, improve your video’s scores, increase your number of views, and help to increase revenue per video.

As an important remark: For the best performance on search and relevance, don’t use the free captions within YouTube… Because it’s not searchable text! More on this later.

Let’s talk in more detail about how captions affect your YouTube videos:

  1. As shared by the Broadstream team post: Captions improve your keyword density, thus improving your search rankings. Caption files (.srt files) are added to videos in text format, so all of the text is used by the search engine to place your videos high on the list when someone searches not only your keywords but relevant words in your .srt or caption file.

  2. The higher your keyword density, the higher your SEO optimization will be and the more people will be exposed to your content. So in short, captions will help to convert your audio and spoken content into fully searchable text! (cool thing eh 😎)

  3. Also as shared by the team at 3 play media Closed Captioned Videos Rank Higher in Search Results Adding closed captions is another proven way to make your videos searchable. Unlike the other content in your video, closed captions come from a text file that your video references as it plays. That text file is readable by search engine bots. If search engines can read closed captions, they will index them and weigh them in search results- Their research showed an increment of almost 8% in the increment of views.

  4. That same experiment, shared by the team at 3 play media proved that search bots indexed the closed captions. They tested this by querying a phrase that appeared nowhere in the video title, description, or metadata except for its captions. The video showed up fourth in search results on YouTube.

Important Note While closed captions can be indexed, there is no SEO benefit to adding open captions to your video. Open captions are embedded into the video and therefore can not be crawled by search bots.

“So why not use YouTube automated captions?”

  1. Because Google doesn’t crawl them!

  2. YT automated captions will not help increase your search rankings or position your video high on the list when your audience searches for the topic.

  3. They also will not help to boost your engagement which in turn helps boost your rankings in search results.

  4. Yes, YouTube automated captions are a free and easy option to add captions to your video, but they aren’t adding any benefit to your channel’s overall performance or growth.

  5. If you want to grow your channel, then take the step toward using professional captions. We do it for as cheap as 1.5$ per minute and we can also add captions on 140 languages!


Adding captions to your YouTube videos will help to improve your keyword density, and as a result improve your search ranking! As a matter of fact, adding human made captions is easier and more affordable than you think. Our team will do the job for you, and you will receive everything ready to upload and rock those keywords! 🥳

If you are interested on adding those captions, contact us here

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