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Top YouTube Searches (2021)

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).
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  • Monthly traffic 5,352
  • Linking websites 264
  • Tweets 1,147
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 brand new data:

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

    You can find YouTube search volumes for 371 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.

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1pewdiepie4,571,398
    2asmr4,036,274
    3music3,347,560
    4markiplier2,969,267
    5old town road2,501,430
    6billie eilish2,355,459
    7pewdiepie vs t series2,179,597
    8fortnite2,010,834
    9david dobrik2,006,263
    10jacksepticeye1,956,498
    11joe rogan1,922,619
    12james charles1,852,057
    13baby shark1,843,336
    14bts1,648,962
    15dantdm1,648,379
    16snl1,569,452
    17game grumps1,399,182
    18cnn1,383,248
    19wwe1,351,784
    20lofi1,317,905
    21minecraft1,294,920
    22shane dawson1,218,344
    23fox news1,194,207
    24msnbc1,162,435
    25mrbeast1,155,660
    26fgteev1,132,139
    27ssundee1,130,356
    28lofi hip hop1,115,248
    29t series1,106,948
    30gacha life1,088,275
    31stephen colbert1,071,076
    32flamingo1,053,715
    33ariana grande1,045,804
    34nightcore992,960
    35songs945,140
    36jake paul938,932
    37lazarbeam921,944
    38tyt905,280
    39eminem901,503
    40taylor swift894,841
    41post malone888,713
    42vanossgaming888,357
    43memes871,174
    44jeffree star861,302
    45trump853,570
    46study music840,359
    47cardi b833,307
    48juice wrld809,349
    49game of thrones807,388
    50espn801,990
    51unspeakable794,403
    52john oliver784,305
    53logan paul775,211
    54nba youngboy770,299
    55try not to laugh766,004
    56blackpink761,919
    57coryxkenshin759,131
    58avengers endgame752,274
    59roblox735,723
    60andrew yang732,854
    61dude perfect730,066
    62last week tonight726,970
    63peppa pig725,073
    64mr beast715,461
    65chad wild clay708,328
    66dunkey706,010
    67ufc699,040
    68game theory693,334
    69nfl688,779
    70jre687,693
    71buzzfeed unsolved682,198
    72popularmmos679,442
    73drake679,361
    74borderlands 3670,494
    75ninja670,413
    76colbert669,343
    77sml662,973
    78tik tok658,256
    79itsfunneh652,226
    80undisputed651,707
    81ben shapiro650,475
    82seth meyers650,378
    83rachel maddow648,303
    84projared641,203
    85pokemon sword and shield640,846
    86jeffy640,603
    87trevor noah640,279
    88critical role637,750
    89trisha paytas636,567
    90blippi634,897
    91gmm623,242
    92first take622,691
    93nintendo620,470
    94queen619,303
    95sssniperwolf618,963
    96ryans toy review611,976
    97tati604,341
    98funny videos601,083
    99sis vs bro599,916
    100jenna marbles598,684

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

    In fact, 20% of the top 100 searches are music related.

    Billie Eilish appears to be the most popular artist on the list with over two million monthly searches. Ariana Grande, Eminem, and Taylor Swift also make it into the top 40 with almost three million combined searches.

    And this song is proving pretty popular, with over 2.5M monthly searches:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7qovpFAGrQ

    But it’s not all about music…

    You’ll notice that 5 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 52% 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
    1pewdiepie4,571,398
    2markiplier2,969,267
    3pewdiepie vs t series2,179,597
    4david dobrik2,006,263
    5jacksepticeye1,956,498
    6joe rogan1,922,619
    7james charles1,852,057
    8dantdm1,648,379
    9snl1,569,452
    10game grumps1,399,182

    These searches get a combined 22.7 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
    1pewdiepie4,571,398
    2markiplier2,969,267
    3fortnite2,010,834
    4jacksepticeye1,956,498
    5dantdm1,648,379
    6game grumps1,399,182
    7minecraft1,294,920
    8fgteev1,132,139
    9ssundee1,130,356
    10vanossgaming888,357
    11unspeakable794,403
    12dunkey706,010
    13game theory693,334
    14popularmmos679,442
    15borderlands 3670,494
    16ninja670,413
    17pokemon sword and shield640,846
    18nintendo620,470

    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, they’re so popular that YouTube now has a dedicated channel for live streams.

    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 summarize, 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.

    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1bts16,723,304
    2pewdiepie16,495,659
    3asmr14,655,088
    4billie eilish13,801,247
    5baby shark12,110,100
    6old town road10,456,524
    7music10,232,134
    8badabun10,188,997
    9blackpink9,580,131
    10fortnite9,117,342
    11minecraft8,540,800
    12pewdiepie vs t series8,252,156
    13peliculas completas en español8,223,530
    14senorita8,203,240
    15ariana grande7,599,148
    16alan walker7,011,862
    17tik tok6,918,634
    18musica6,776,562
    19wwe6,720,364
    20calma6,570,493
    21bad bunny6,462,239
    22eminem6,454,801
    23queen6,443,123
    24ed sheeran6,098,093
    25peppa pig6,011,992
    26despacito5,694,159
    27la rosa de guadalupe5,653,795
    28taki taki5,437,988
    29enes batur5,424,066
    30michael jackson5,079,319
    31songs5,040,082
    32t series4,948,708
    33maluma4,858,299
    34bad guy4,806,490
    35markiplier4,770,407
    36taylor swift4,709,317
    37ozuna4,665,643
    38nightcore4,622,362
    39paulo londra4,606,009
    40karaoke4,542,724
    41james charles4,530,707
    42youtube4,472,373
    43imagine dragons4,471,413
    44dance monkey4,468,853
    45twice4,388,230
    46roblox4,383,944
    47free fire4,368,431
    48gacha life4,360,138
    49post malone4,268,859
    50justin bieber4,153,259
    51felipe neto4,129,776
    52bruno mars4,125,165
    537 rings4,071,507
    54china4,007,730
    55doraemon3,919,814
    56anuel3,895,705
    57kill this love3,841,537
    58jacksepticeye3,777,353
    59maroon 53,771,017
    60joe rogan3,763,617
    61game of thrones3,762,771
    62marshmello3,739,179
    63linkin park3,735,715
    64david dobrik3,707,115
    65bohemian rhapsody3,702,925
    66squeezie3,639,897
    67lady gaga3,636,055
    68aaj tak live3,576,911
    695 minute crafts3,542,329
    70cardi b3,541,762
    71geo news live3,529,420
    72музыка3,510,408
    73selena gomez3,452,110
    74coldplay3,438,660
    75dantdm3,432,755
    76lofi3,423,363
    77anuel aa3,421,588
    78rihanna3,399,253
    79drake3,391,085
    80dross3,388,714
    81los polinesios3,378,828
    82rap3,372,895
    83shawn mendes3,303,856
    84cocomelon3,286,720
    85sia3,286,486
    86song3,216,548
    87slime3,215,921
    88dua lipa3,215,514
    89con calma3,209,614
    90funny videos3,185,759
    91mikecrack3,183,225
    92vegetta7773,150,688
    93pubg3,052,130
    94avengers endgame3,043,992
    95movies3,041,954
    96soolking3,039,784
    97believer3,008,394
    98gta 53,000,893
    99romeo santos2,995,028
    100katy perry2,993,646

    It looks like people are somewhat obsessed with BTS, as monthly searches top 16M worldwide!

    That’s more than 6 searches per SECOND, on average.

    And they’re not the only artists racking up the YouTube views. Searches for artists, bands and songs dominate our list of the top 100 worldwide YouTube searches with a staggering 58/100 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 BTS? Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and of course,Billie Eilish.

    Here’s a great live performance by Billie:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sZ2_aGsLKU

    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 almost 4.5M 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.

    1,700 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 4,100. We’re especially popular in India.

    But the fun doesn’t stop there…

    We can use the Phrase match report to delve deeper and see the specific things people are searching for about the topic.

    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 Keywords Explorer yourself?

    Take a 7‑day trial for $7. 😉

    • Monthly traffic 5,352
    • Linking websites 264
    • Tweets 1,147
    Data from Content Explorer