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Top YouTube Searches (as of 2020)

Joshua Hardwick
Head of Content @ Ahrefs (or, in plain English, I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is EPIC). Founder @ The SEO Project.
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  • Monthly traffic 7,817
  • Linking websites 185
  • Shares 1,642
Data from Content Explorer

Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

Shows estimated monthly search traffic to this article according to Ahrefs data. The actual search traffic (as reported in Google Analytics) is usually 3-5 times bigger.

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    Have you ever wondered what people search for most on YouTube?

    Today, I’m excited to share with you some data:

    • Top 100 YouTube searches (US)—a list of the most popular YouTube searches in the US.
    • Top 100 YouTube searches (Worldwide)—the same data but filtered to show searches outside of the United States too. And with global search volumes.

    But first things first, a tip for those doing YouTube keyword research:

    You can find YouTube search volumes for 842 million keywords with Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.

    Sidenote.
    Do you want to know what people search for the most on Google? Here are the top Google searches.

    Now, without further ado, let’s find out just how popular cat videos really are!

    Top 100 YouTube search queries in the US

    It’s clear right away that searches for songs and musicians dominate this list.

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1pewdiepie3,770,000
    2asmr3,230,000
    3music2,670,000
    4markiplier2,380,000
    5old town road2,040,000
    6pewdiepie vs t series1,940,000
    7billie eilish1,910,000
    8fortnite1,630,000
    9david dobrik1,610,000
    10jacksepticeye1,580,000
    11james charles1,560,000
    12joe rogan1,560,000
    13baby shark1,500,000
    14bts1,350,000
    15dantdm1,330,000
    16snl1,260,000
    17game grumps1,140,000
    18cnn1,120,000
    19wwe1,100,000
    20lofi1,040,000
    21minecraft1,030,000
    22shane dawson993,000
    23t series955,000
    24fox news943,000
    25msnbc936,000
    26ssundee913,000
    27fgteev905,000
    28lofi hip hop904,000
    29mrbeast896,000
    30ariana grande867,000
    31stephen colbert864,000
    32gacha life854,000
    33flamingo835,000
    34nightcore802,000
    35jake paul767,000
    36songs761,000
    37lazarbeam747,000
    38eminem727,000
    39tyt722,000
    40vanossgaming716,000
    41taylor swift715,000
    42post malone712,000
    43jeffree star705,000
    44memes696,000
    45game of thrones695,000
    46cardi b691,000
    47trump681,000
    48study music678,000
    49avengers endgame647,000
    50espn646,000
    51john oliver637,000
    52blackpink630,000
    53coryxkenshin630,000
    54juice wrld626,000
    55logan paul620,000
    56unspeakable619,000
    57nba youngboy614,000
    58try not to laugh614,000
    59mr beast595,000
    60roblox594,000
    61dude perfect590,000
    62last week tonight589,000
    63peppa pig582,000
    64dunkey570,000
    65andrew yang566,000
    66ufc563,000
    67popularmmos559,000
    68game theory558,000
    69chad wild clay557,000
    70jre557,000
    71ninja557,000
    72buzzfeed unsolved550,000
    73drake549,000
    74colbert541,000
    75borderlands 3540,000
    76ben shapiro535,000
    77sml530,000
    78projared528,000
    79nfl526,000
    80seth meyers523,000
    81rachel maddow522,000
    82itsfunneh520,000
    83tik tok520,000
    84undisputed518,000
    85critical role516,000
    86jeffy515,000
    87trevor noah514,000
    88trisha paytas512,000
    89queen509,000
    90blippi505,000
    91tati504,000
    92gmm501,000
    93nintendo501,000
    94sssniperwolf499,000
    95tfue499,000
    96first take496,000
    97ryan’s toy review496,000
    987 rings495,000
    99sunflower post malone493,000
    100pokemon sword and shield489,000

    In fact, almost 1/4 of the top 100 searches are music related.

    What are people listening to?

    This song gets more than two million monthly searches:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Ov5jzm3j8

    Billie Eilish is pretty popular too, with just shy of two million monthly searches.

    However, if we look at searches over time, we see that her popularity peaked in April 2019…

    … which is likely because she released Bad Guy around this time.

    But it’s not all about music…

    You’ll notice that five of the top 10 searches are “branded”, meaning folks are searching for channel names or YouTube personalities. This is a trend that continues beyond the top 10, with 50% of the top 100 searches being for specific YouTube personalities and channels.

    Here are the top 10 most popular YouTube channels and “celebrities” according to our data:

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1pewdiepie3,770,000
    2markiplier2,380,000
    3pewdiepie vs t series1,940,000
    4david dobrik1,610,000
    5jacksepticeye1,580,000
    6james charles1,560,000
    7joe rogan1,560,000
    8dantdm1,330,000
    9snl1,260,000
    10game grumps1,140,000

    These searches get a combined 18.13 MILLION searches per month in the US.

    Interestingly, quite a few of these folks are gaming vloggers (or gaming vloggers turned YouTube personalities, like PewDiePie), which brings us neatly onto what appears to be the next most popular genre of videos on YouTube: gaming videos.

    Here are all the searches that somehow relate to gaming (and their respective search volumes):

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1pewdiepie3,770,000
    2markiplier2,380,000
    3fortnite1,630,000
    4jacksepticeye1,580,000
    5dantdm1,330,000
    6game grumps1,140,000
    7minecraft1,030,000
    8ssundee913,000
    9fgteev905,000
    10vanossgaming716,000
    11unspeakable619,000
    12dunkey570,000
    13popularmmos559,000
    14game theory558,000
    15ninja557,000
    16borderlands 3540,000
    17nintendo501,000
    18pokemon sword and shield489,000

    Having looked through some of those channels myself, live gaming videos—aka, “let’s plays”—seem very popular. Not familiar with these? Here’s one of the most popular let’s plays from one of the most popular YouTubers on our list—jacksepticeye:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJmsCDWKCnc

    Speaking of live videos, it looks like millions of people are watching live TV on YouTube. “CNN,” “Fox News,” and “ESPN” each gets millions of searches per month.

    Live videos are so popular, in fact, that YouTube now has a dedicated channel for live streams.

    Screenshot 2020 02 28 at 16.57.19

    It’s not just live TV that people like watching on YouTube either: John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and many other US TV personalities also get millions of searches per month.

    So, to summarise, people flock to YouTube in search of entertainment.

    Hardly surprising, right? But what is surprising is this:

    None of the top 100 YouTube searches in the US have anything to do with cats. That’s a shame because I love cats. 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP4NMoJcFd4

    Now let’s see how these US stats compare to the Worldwide stats.

    Top 100 YouTube search queries in the World

    It looks like it’s not just the US that has an unhealthy obsession with the song Old Town Road, as monthly searches top 10M worldwide!

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1bts17,630,000
    2pewdiepie16,320,000
    3asmr13,910,000
    4billie eilish13,860,000
    5baby shark12,090,000
    6badabun11,330,000
    7blackpink10,390,000
    8old town road10,150,000
    9music9,670,000
    10peliculas completas en español9,050,000
    11fortnite9,010,000
    12pewdiepie vs t series8,720,000
    13minecraft8,560,000
    14senorita8,290,000
    15ariana grande7,890,000
    16alan walker7,560,000
    17calma7,390,000
    18tik tok7,270,000
    19musica7,140,000
    20bad bunny7,040,000
    21wwe6,870,000
    22queen6,660,000
    23eminem6,600,000
    24enes batur6,600,000
    25la rosa de guadalupe6,300,000
    26ed sheeran6,230,000
    27taki taki6,180,000
    28despacito6,030,000
    29peppa pig6,030,000
    30songs5,490,000
    31maluma5,240,000
    32michael jackson5,240,000
    33t series5,240,000
    34paulo londra5,180,000
    35ozuna5,060,000
    36bad guy4,830,000
    37taylor swift4,690,000
    38free fire4,630,000
    39youtube4,630,000
    40imagine dragons4,580,000
    41karaoke4,560,000
    42twice4,540,000
    43nightcore4,530,000
    44geo news live4,490,000
    45anuel4,460,000
    46roblox4,460,000
    47james charles4,370,000
    48aaj tak live4,360,000
    497 rings4,350,000
    50justin bieber4,330,000
    51bruno mars4,290,000
    52kill this love4,250,000
    53post malone4,240,000
    54doraemon4,180,000
    55gacha life4,170,000
    56markiplier4,160,000
    57china4,080,000
    58game of thrones4,050,000
    59marshmello4,020,000
    60музыка3,890,000
    61maroon 53,880,000
    62bohemian rhapsody3,850,000
    63linkin park3,850,000
    64dance monkey3,830,000
    65anuel aa3,820,000
    66felipe neto3,780,000
    675 minute crafts3,760,000
    68lady gaga3,740,000
    69dross3,690,000
    70cardi b3,640,000
    71los polinesios3,630,000
    72squeezie3,610,000
    73con calma3,520,000
    74coldplay3,510,000
    75rihanna3,510,000
    76selena gomez3,510,000
    77mikecrack3,500,000
    78rap3,490,000
    79pubg3,460,000
    80sia3,450,000
    81soolking3,450,000
    82drake3,430,000
    83funny videos3,410,000
    84shawn mendes3,410,000
    85jacksepticeye3,390,000
    86vegetta7773,380,000
    87song3,370,000
    88movies3,360,000
    89аид3,360,000
    90cocomelon3,340,000
    91dua lipa3,320,000
    92joe rogan3,310,000
    93avengers endgame3,290,000
    94david dobrik3,270,000
    95romeo santos3,270,000
    96slime3,250,000
    97gta 53,230,000
    98believer3,200,000
    99barbie3,180,000
    100daddy y yankee3,180,000

    That’s just shy of four searches per SECOND on average.

    And this isn’t the only song racking up the YouTube views. Searches for artists, bands and songs dominate our list of the top 100 worldwide YouTube searches with a staggering 57/100 searches (almost ⅔) being music‐related.

    So compared to the US, it seems that the rest of the World uses YouTube far more for music.

    What are they listening to besides Bieber? Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and of course, South Korean boy band BTS.

    Not heard of BTS? Get listening. 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBdVXkSdhwU

    There are also far fewer “branded” searches (i.e., for YouTube personalities) Worldwide. Only two of the top 10 searches are branded, which is quite a contrast to the US where half the top 10 searches are.

    ASMR videos appear to be popular everywhere.

    Not familiar with ASMR videos either? You’re in for a treat… #DontJudge

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUUAu_aiaVw

    And how about this:

    There are 4.6M monthly searches on YouTube for… um, Youtube. #GoFigure

    Sidenote.
    We see a similar thing with Google searches. There are millions of searches every month for “Google” on Google. Very strange.

    See more YouTube search data in Keywords Explorer!

    Are you doing YouTube SEO and want to know how many searches a particular query gets on YouTube every month?

    Head over to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, enter a query, and select YouTube from the dropdown.

    Let’s see how many people search for “Ahrefs” each month in the US.

    Screenshot 2020 02 28 at 17.03.07

    YouTube search volume for “Ahrefs” in the US

    1,500 searches. Looks like Sam Oh is doing an excellent job growing our channel!

    Lots of folks outside the US also seem to be looking for our channel, as the global volume for this query is 4,500. We’re especially popular in India.

    But the fun doesn’t stop there…

    We can use the reports on the left-hand side of the screen to delve deeper and see the specific things people are searching for in about the topic.

    Screenshot 2020 02 28 at 17.10.17

    Looks like a fair few people are looking for an Ahrefs tutorial.

    And they’re in luck because we have an entire playlist of Ahrefs tutorials!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZE7FbMBuJY&list=PLvJ_dXFSpd2vX2RVxjEjBmYoeX6LmJFGP

    Fancy playing around with the new Keywords Explorer yourself?

    Take a 7‑day trial for $7. 😉

    • Monthly traffic 7,817
    • Linking websites 185
    • Shares 1,642
    Data from Content Explorer

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