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Top YouTube Searches (as of February 2019)

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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  • Referring domains 58
  • Organic traffic 10253
Data from Content Explorer tool.
    Have you ever wondered what people search for most on YouTube?

    Today, I’m excited to share with you some brand new 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—some news:

    We recently launched the new version of our Keywords Explorer tool, and we’ve added search data for YouTube. It’s currently in beta, and looks like this:

    YouTube data in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer—now live!

    So basically, you can now use Keywords Explorer to do keyword research across all the major search engines—Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube!

    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
    1markiplier3,840,000
    2pewdiepie3,390,000
    3jake paul3,370,000
    4logan paul3,080,000
    5asmr2,860,000
    6jacksepticeye2,780,000
    7music2,530,000
    8despacito2,350,000
    9dantdm2,190,000
    10fortnite1,670,000
    11game grumps1,630,000
    12ricegum1,620,000
    13bts1,530,000
    14snl1,450,000
    15wwe1,450,000
    16popularmmos1,360,000
    17buzzfeed1,320,000
    18eminem1,320,000
    19stephen colbert1,310,000
    20shane dawson1,290,000
    21vanossgaming1,220,000
    22ssundee1,210,000
    23john oliver1,200,000
    24joe rogan1,190,000
    25david dobrik1,180,000
    26shane1,140,000
    27minecraft1,130,000
    28h3h31,100,000
    29taylor swift1,080,000
    30drake1,050,000
    31cardi b1,000,000
    32ninja1,000,000
    33cnn969,000
    34tyt965,000
    35try not to laugh963,000
    36post malone947,000
    37cnn live937,000
    38last week tonight919,000
    39game theory881,000
    40msnbc864,000
    41fgteev852,000
    42alex jones844,000
    43rick and morty842,000
    44xxxtentacion842,000
    45fox news live840,000
    46dude perfect829,000
    47ariana grande818,000
    48seth meyers818,000
    49idubbbz813,000
    50ed sheeran793,000
    51dunkey783,000
    52nightcore777,000
    53study music768,000
    54bruno mars766,000
    55philip defranco756,000
    56slime754,000
    57kendrick lamar753,000
    58fox news750,000
    59colbert749,000
    60peppa pig741,000
    61roblox734,000
    62baby shark733,000
    63songs727,000
    64trump717,000
    65youtube716,000
    66liza koshy714,000
    67havana709,000
    68fox news live stream706,000
    69trevor noah704,000
    70guava juice697,000
    71ben shapiro696,000
    72aphmau692,000
    73react684,000
    74vines681,000
    75jontron678,000
    76gmm677,000
    77romanatwood665,000
    78nicki minaj660,000
    792218 fifa world cup658,000
    80jimmy fallon652,000
    81ksi649,000
    82lil pump649,000
    83buzzfeed unsolved642,000
    84jimmy kimmel636,000
    85studio c632,000
    86watchmojo632,000
    87sml625,000
    88logic621,000
    89michael jackson621,000
    90casey neistat617,000
    91coryxkenshin617,000
    92ufc617,000
    93overwatch614,000
    94justin bieber610,000
    95funny videos608,000
    96dragon ball super606,000
    97lofi hip hop606,000
    98jordan peterson603,000
    99linkin park602,000
    100imagine dragons601,000

    In fact, over ¼ of the top 100 searches are music‐related.

    If you’ve ever been in any doubt as to just how popular Justin Bieber is, doubt no more. There are a staggering 2.35M monthly searches for Despacito (a song that—while not originally a Bieber song—saw a huge boost in popularity after the release of Justin’s remix) and a further ~610,000 monthly searches for Justin Bieber.

    So it probably comes as no surprise that the official video for Despacito (note: this is not actually the Justin Bieber version) is the most viewed video of all‐time on YouTube with 5.99 BILLION views.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJQP7kiw5Fk

    Sidenote.
    The remixed (Bieber) version of this song has far fewer views (roughly 640M).

    To put that in perspective, Gangnam Style—the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube—currently has just 3.29B views.

    But it’s not all about music…

    You’ll notice that 6 of the top 10 searches are “branded” searches—i.e., folks searching for channel names or YouTube personalities. This is a trend that continues beyond the top 10, with 47% 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
    1markiplier3,840,000
    2pewdiepie3,390,000
    3jake paul3,370,000
    4logan paul3,080,000
    5jacksepticeye2,780,000
    6dantdm2,190,000
    7game grumps1,630,000
    8ricegum1,620,000
    9snl1,450,000
    10popularmmos1,360,000

    These searches get a combined 24.71 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
    1markiplier3,840,000
    2pewdiepie3,390,000
    3jacksepticeye2,780,000
    4dantdm2,190,000
    5fortnite1,670,000
    6game grumps1,630,000
    7popularmmos1,360,000
    8vanossgaming1,220,000
    9ssundee1,210,000
    10minecraft1,130,000
    11ninja1,000,000
    12game theory881,000
    13fgteev852,000
    14dunkey783,000
    152218 fifa world cup658,000
    16overwatch614,000

    Having looked through some of those channels myself, live gaming videos—aka, “let’s plays”—seem very popular. Not familiar with such videos? 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 Live,” “Fox News Live,” and simply “live” get millions of combined searches per month.

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

    youtube live

    It’s not just live TV that people like watching on YouTube either: John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, 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 Despacito, with monthly searches topping 31.6M worldwide!

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1despacito31,620,000
    2bts13,640,000
    3pewdiepie13,280,000
    4bad bunny10,860,000
    5shape of you10,000,000
    6ed sheeran9,730,000
    7ozuna8,960,000
    8asmr8,820,000
    9eminem8,500,000
    10music8,400,000
    11wwe8,240,000
    12logan paul8,100,000
    13minecraft7,950,000
    14justin bieber7,630,000
    15jake paul7,240,000
    16bruno mars7,020,000
    17peppa pig6,960,000
    18maluma6,820,000
    19havana6,760,000
    20ariana grande6,610,000
    21fortnite6,480,000
    22markiplier6,180,000
    23peliculas completas en español6,170,000
    24youtube5,980,000
    25shakira5,970,000
    26taylor swift5,810,000
    27linkin park5,700,000
    28alan walker5,410,000
    29coldplay5,370,000
    30blackpink5,340,000
    31baby shark5,300,000
    32jacksepticeye5,200,000
    33michael jackson5,190,000
    34sia5,140,000
    35rihanna4,970,000
    36dragon ball super4,900,000
    37twice4,890,000
    38fernanfloo4,820,000
    39enes batur4,810,000
    40dua lipa4,760,000
    41katy perry4,760,000
    42drake4,740,000
    43la rosa de guadalupe4,670,000
    44musica4,580,000
    45imagine dragons4,560,000
    46selena gomez4,500,000
    47mi gente4,350,000
    48songs4,350,000
    492218 fifa world cup4,340,000
    50dantdm4,330,000
    51maroon 54,210,000
    52nicki minaj4,160,000
    53queen4,080,000
    54vegetta7774,040,000
    55karaoke3,930,000
    56funny videos3,730,000
    57exo3,690,000
    58faded3,660,000
    59lil pump3,650,000
    60xxx3,640,000
    61adele3,620,000
    62dross3,610,000
    63squeezie3,600,000
    64felipe neto3,580,000
    65j balvin3,560,000
    66post malone3,550,000
    67xxxtentacion3,550,000
    68perfect ed sheeran3,500,000
    69barbie3,450,000
    70ninja3,440,000
    71taki taki3,420,000
    72live3,390,000
    73shawn mendes3,390,000
    74cardi b3,380,000
    75despacito justin bieber3,360,000
    76romeo santos3,360,000
    77nightcore3,350,000
    78doraemon3,320,000
    79juegagerman3,280,000
    80movies3,260,000
    81rockstar3,250,000
    82los polinesios3,240,000
    83ricegum3,240,000
    84ncs3,200,000
    85beyonce3,190,000
    86perfect3,190,000
    87gta 53,180,000
    88te bote3,180,000
    89mr bean3,160,000
    90ksi3,130,000
    91slime3,110,000
    92rockabye3,100,000
    93twenty one pilots3,100,000
    94chris brown3,090,000
    95rap3,070,000
    96roblox3,040,000
    97martin garrix3,030,000
    98the weeknd3,000,000
    99enrique iglesias2,980,000
    100gucci gang2,970,000

    That’s over 12 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 65/100 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 one of the top 10 searches is branded, which is quite a contrast to the US where almost 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 5.9M 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 the new Keywords Explorer!

    Do you 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.

    YouTube search volume for “Ahrefs” in the US

    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 2,000. 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 relation to the topic.

    ahrefs phrase match youtube

    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. 😉

    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.

    Article stats

    • Referring domains 58
    • Organic traffic 10253
    Data from Content Explorer tool.

    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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