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Top YouTube Searches (as of April 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.
    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 keywords explorer

    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
    1markiplier3,820,000
    2pewdiepie3,590,000
    3jake paul3,230,000
    4asmr2,960,000
    5logan paul2,950,000
    6jacksepticeye2,760,000
    7music2,590,000
    8despacito2,260,000
    9dantdm2,180,000
    10fortnite1,720,000
    11game grumps1,640,000
    12ricegum1,550,000
    13bts1,530,000
    14snl1,510,000
    15wwe1,460,000
    16shane dawson1,350,000
    17popularmmos1,340,000
    18stephen colbert1,320,000
    19eminem1,310,000
    20buzzfeed1,280,000
    21joe rogan1,280,000
    22david dobrik1,250,000
    23ssundee1,210,000
    24vanossgaming1,200,000
    25john oliver1,190,000
    26minecraft1,130,000
    27shane1,100,000
    28h3h31,070,000
    29taylor swift1,050,000
    30drake1,040,000
    31cardi b1,030,000
    32cnn1,010,000
    33ninja1,010,000
    34tyt970,000
    35try not to laugh956,000
    36post malone952,000
    37last week tonight922,000
    38msnbc898,000
    39cnn live892,000
    40ariana grande888,000
    41fgteev878,000
    42game theory874,000
    43baby shark842,000
    44xxxtentacion835,000
    45dude perfect832,000
    46pewdiepie vs t series827,000
    47alex jones824,000
    48seth meyers818,000
    49rick and morty807,000
    50nightcore803,000
    51fox news live801,000
    52dunkey791,000
    53study music791,000
    54idubbbz786,000
    55ed sheeran774,000
    56fox news762,000
    57bruno mars757,000
    58colbert757,000
    59slime755,000
    60philip defranco753,000
    61peppa pig750,000
    62songs748,000
    63roblox743,000
    64kendrick lamar732,000
    65trump724,000
    66ben shapiro712,000
    67youtube712,000
    68trevor noah708,000
    69liza koshy695,000
    70gmm686,000
    71havana684,000
    72aphmau680,000
    73vines680,000
    74guava juice679,000
    75react679,000
    76fox news live stream676,000
    77jontron671,000
    78coryxkenshin662,000
    79nicki minaj657,000
    80lofi hip hop656,000
    81jimmy fallon646,000
    82buzzfeed unsolved644,000
    83lil pump642,000
    84romanatwood639,000
    85michael jackson638,000
    86ksi634,000
    87ufc631,000
    88watchmojo631,000
    89t series628,000
    90jimmy kimmel627,000
    91studio c625,000
    92sml624,000
    932218 fifa world cup622,000
    94funny videos615,000
    95nba youngboy615,000
    96rachel maddow615,000
    97jordan peterson612,000
    98logic611,000
    99imagine dragons608,000
    100overwatch602,000

    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 2.26M 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).

    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 6.15 BILLION views.

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

    Sidenote.
    The remixed (Bieber) version of this song has far fewer views (roughly 643M).

    To put that in perspective, Gangnam Style—the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube—currently has just 3.34B 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 48% 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
    1markiplier3,820,000
    2pewdiepie3,590,000
    3jake paul3,230,000
    4logan paul2,950,000
    5jacksepticeye2,760,000
    6dantdm2,180,000
    7game grumps1,640,000
    8ricegum1,550,000
    9snl1,510,000
    10shane dawson1,350,000

    These searches get a combined 24.58 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
    1markiplier3,820,000
    2pewdiepie3,590,000
    3jacksepticeye2,760,000
    4dantdm2,180,000
    5fortnite1,720,000
    6game grumps1,640,000
    7popularmmos1,340,000
    8ssundee1,210,000
    9vanossgaming1,200,000
    10minecraft1,130,000
    11ninja1,010,000
    12fgteev878,000
    13game theory874,000
    14dunkey791,000
    152218 fifa world cup622,000
    16overwatch602,000

    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 “Fox News Live Stream” get millions of searches per month combined.

    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 30.28M worldwide!

    Sidenote.
    This number has dropped significantly over the past few months. It seems this song has passed its prime!
    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1despacito30,280,000
    2pewdiepie14,110,000
    3bts13,860,000
    4bad bunny10,690,000
    5shape of you9,610,000
    6ed sheeran9,510,000
    7asmr9,240,000
    8ozuna8,790,000
    9music8,570,000
    10eminem8,500,000
    11wwe8,300,000
    12minecraft8,040,000
    13logan paul7,780,000
    14justin bieber7,480,000
    15ariana grande7,040,000
    16bruno mars6,980,000
    17peppa pig6,980,000
    18jake paul6,960,000
    19fortnite6,780,000
    20maluma6,700,000
    21havana6,550,000
    22peliculas completas en español6,360,000
    23markiplier6,140,000
    24youtube5,970,000
    25baby shark5,890,000
    26shakira5,830,000
    27taylor swift5,700,000
    28blackpink5,690,000
    29linkin park5,650,000
    30alan walker5,630,000
    31michael jackson5,330,000
    32coldplay5,290,000
    33jacksepticeye5,160,000
    34sia5,100,000
    35enes batur5,060,000
    36rihanna4,930,000
    37twice4,870,000
    38la rosa de guadalupe4,800,000
    39dua lipa4,750,000
    40dragon ball super4,740,000
    41drake4,730,000
    42musica4,710,000
    43fernanfloo4,680,000
    44katy perry4,680,000
    45imagine dragons4,620,000
    46songs4,550,000
    47queen4,510,000
    48selena gomez4,500,000
    49dantdm4,300,000
    50maroon 54,300,000
    51mi gente4,180,000
    52nicki minaj4,150,000
    532218 fifa world cup4,090,000
    54karaoke4,040,000
    55vegetta7774,010,000
    56taki taki3,940,000
    57funny videos3,790,000
    58lil pump3,710,000
    59exo3,690,000
    60xxx3,680,000
    61dross3,650,000
    62felipe neto3,650,000
    63post malone3,650,000
    64squeezie3,650,000
    65faded3,630,000
    66adele3,620,000
    67xxxtentacion3,560,000
    68cardi b3,530,000
    69j balvin3,510,000
    70ninja3,500,000
    71barbie3,480,000
    72nightcore3,480,000
    73doraemon3,470,000
    74perfect ed sheeran3,440,000
    75shawn mendes3,400,000
    76live3,360,000
    77movies3,350,000
    78romeo santos3,340,000
    79badabun3,260,000
    80rockstar3,260,000
    81pewdiepie vs t series3,250,000
    82ncs3,240,000
    83gta 53,230,000
    84los polinesios3,230,000
    85juegagerman3,220,000
    86despacito justin bieber3,190,000
    87mr bean3,190,000
    88roblox3,190,000
    89slime3,190,000
    90perfect3,170,000
    91beyonce3,160,000
    92te bote3,130,000
    93twenty one pilots3,130,000
    94rap3,120,000
    95ksi3,090,000
    96ricegum3,090,000
    97chris brown3,060,000
    98rockabye3,000,000
    99martin garrix2,990,000
    100the weeknd2,970,000

    That’s over 11 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 63/100 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 over 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 5.97M 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!

    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.

    ahrefs youtube search volume

    YouTube search volume for “Ahrefs” in the US

    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 2,500. 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 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. 😉

    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.