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Top YouTube Searches (as of May 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 79
  • Organic traffic 5518
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:

    pewdiepie youtube

    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
    1markiplier3,480,000
    2pewdiepie3,400,000
    3jake paul2,970,000
    4asmr2,790,000
    5logan paul2,750,000
    6jacksepticeye2,520,000
    7music2,430,000
    8despacito2,010,000
    9dantdm2,000,000
    10fortnite1,650,000
    11game grumps1,550,000
    12bts1,500,000
    13snl1,430,000
    14ricegum1,410,000
    15wwe1,370,000
    16shane dawson1,260,000
    17joe rogan1,240,000
    18stephen colbert1,230,000
    19eminem1,210,000
    20popularmmos1,210,000
    21david dobrik1,190,000
    22buzzfeed1,160,000
    23ssundee1,120,000
    24john oliver1,110,000
    25vanossgaming1,100,000
    26minecraft1,040,000
    27taylor swift1,020,000
    28cardi b996,000
    29shane991,000
    30h3h3966,000
    31drake957,000
    32cnn950,000
    33ninja949,000
    34pewdiepie vs t series945,000
    35post malone909,000
    36try not to laugh900,000
    37tyt891,000
    38last week tonight866,000
    39ariana grande850,000
    40msnbc841,000
    41baby shark840,000
    42fgteev827,000
    43game theory822,000
    44cnn live810,000
    45dude perfect780,000
    46xxxtentacion771,000
    47seth meyers767,000
    48alex jones759,000
    49nightcore755,000
    50fox news live754,000
    51rick and morty743,000
    52fox news734,000
    53dunkey731,000
    54ed sheeran721,000
    55idubbbz721,000
    56peppa pig715,000
    57bruno mars706,000
    58songs704,000
    59colbert703,000
    60philip defranco702,000
    61slime700,000
    62roblox692,000
    63ben shapiro684,000
    64kendrick lamar671,000
    65trevor noah664,000
    66trump656,000
    67youtube653,000
    68t series650,000
    69coryxkenshin644,000
    70lofi hip hop644,000
    71havana639,000
    72liza koshy636,000
    73vines632,000
    74gmm631,000
    75react627,000
    76buzzfeed unsolved626,000
    77fox news live stream626,000
    78guava juice622,000
    79aphmau618,000
    80nicki minaj618,000
    81jontron615,000
    82michael jackson608,000
    83funny videos602,000
    84jimmy fallon601,000
    852018 fifa world cup600,000
    86nba youngboy592,000
    87jimmy kimmel589,000
    88studio c584,000
    89jordan peterson583,000
    90sml581,000
    91watchmojo581,000
    92imagine dragons580,000
    93rachel maddow575,000
    94ksi572,000
    95bill maher571,000
    96lofi569,000
    97ace family564,000
    98jenna marbles563,000
    99linkin park562,000
    100romanatwood559,000

    In fact, 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 2.01M 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 6.24 BILLION views.

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

    Sidenote.
    The remixed (Bieber) version of this song has far fewer views (roughly 645M).

    To put that in perspective, Gangnam Style—the first video to reach a billion views on YouTube—currently has just 3.36B 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 49% 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
    1markiplier3,480,000
    2pewdiepie3,400,000
    3jake paul2,970,000
    4logan paul2,750,000
    5jacksepticeye2,520,000
    6dantdm2,000,000
    7game grumps1,550,000
    8snl1,430,000
    9ricegum1,410,000
    10shane dawson1,260,000

    These searches get a combined 22.77 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
    1markiplier3,480,000
    2pewdiepie3,400,000
    3jacksepticeye2,520,000
    4dantdm2,000,000
    5fortnite1,650,000
    6game grumps1,550,000
    7popularmmos1,210,000
    8ssundee1,120,000
    9vanossgaming1,100,000
    10minecraft1,040,000
    11ninja949,000
    12fgteev827,000
    13game theory822,000
    14dunkey731,000

    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 26.78M worldwide!

    Sidenote.
    This number has dropped significantly over the past few months. It seems this song has passed its prime! Maybe something new will overtake it soon!
    #KeywordSearch Volume
    1despacito26,780,000
    2bts13,680,000
    3pewdiepie13,430,000
    4bad bunny9,980,000
    5asmr8,840,000
    6ed sheeran8,820,000
    7shape of you8,560,000
    8ozuna8,080,000
    9music8,060,000
    10eminem7,910,000
    11wwe7,760,000
    12minecraft7,510,000
    13logan paul7,290,000
    14justin bieber6,900,000
    15ariana grande6,720,000
    16peppa pig6,680,000
    17fortnite6,560,000
    18bruno mars6,480,000
    19jake paul6,420,000
    20peliculas completas en español6,170,000
    21havana6,140,000
    22maluma6,140,000
    23blackpink6,100,000
    24baby shark5,940,000
    25markiplier5,600,000
    26alan walker5,570,000
    27youtube5,540,000
    28taylor swift5,490,000
    29linkin park5,340,000
    30shakira5,280,000
    31michael jackson5,070,000
    32enes batur4,910,000
    33coldplay4,820,000
    34jacksepticeye4,730,000
    35sia4,680,000
    36twice4,650,000
    37la rosa de guadalupe4,610,000
    38rihanna4,550,000
    39dua lipa4,490,000
    40musica4,470,000
    41dragon ball super4,450,000
    42imagine dragons4,410,000
    43drake4,380,000
    44katy perry4,340,000
    45songs4,340,000
    46queen4,310,000
    47fernanfloo4,230,000
    48selena gomez4,220,000
    49maroon 54,060,000
    50dantdm3,970,000
    512018 fifa world cup3,960,000
    52mi gente3,900,000
    53nicki minaj3,890,000
    54taki taki3,830,000
    55karaoke3,810,000
    56pewdiepie vs t series3,750,000
    57funny videos3,690,000
    58vegetta7773,680,000
    59lil pump3,530,000
    60post malone3,530,000
    61felipe neto3,450,000
    62exo3,440,000
    63cardi b3,430,000
    64xxx3,420,000
    65dross3,390,000
    66squeezie3,380,000
    67xxxtentacion3,350,000
    68badabun3,340,000
    69faded3,330,000
    70adele3,320,000
    71doraemon3,320,000
    72nightcore3,310,000
    73j balvin3,300,000
    74ninja3,300,000
    75perfect ed sheeran3,290,000
    76barbie3,240,000
    77shawn mendes3,190,000
    78movies3,160,000
    79romeo santos3,160,000
    80gta 53,110,000
    81live3,090,000
    82rockstar3,090,000
    83los polinesios3,070,000
    84roblox3,050,000
    85mr bean3,040,000
    86ncs3,020,000
    87slime3,020,000
    88t series2,990,000
    89perfect2,980,000
    90te bote2,950,000
    91rap2,930,000
    92beyonce2,920,000
    93twenty one pilots2,920,000
    94juegagerman2,910,000
    95chris brown2,880,000
    96despacito justin bieber2,850,000
    97ricegum2,820,000
    98ksi2,810,000
    99martin garrix2,780,000
    100the weeknd2,750,000

    That’s over 10 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 62/100 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 5.54M 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.

    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.



    Article stats

    • Referring domains 79
    • Organic traffic 5518
    Data from Content Explorer tool.