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:
So basically, you can now use Keywords Explorer to do keyword research across all the major search engines—Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube!
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.
|35||try not to laugh||963,000|
|38||last week tonight||919,000|
|43||rick and morty||842,000|
|45||fox news live||840,000|
|68||fox news live stream||706,000|
|79||2218 fifa world cup||658,000|
|96||dragon ball super||606,000|
|97||lofi hip hop||606,000|
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.
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:
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):
|15||2218 fifa world cup||658,000|
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:
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.
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. 😉
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!
|5||shape of you||10,000,000|
|23||peliculas completas en español||6,170,000|
|36||dragon ball super||4,900,000|
|43||la rosa de guadalupe||4,670,000|
|49||2218 fifa world cup||4,340,000|
|68||perfect ed sheeran||3,500,000|
|75||despacito justin bieber||3,360,000|
|93||twenty one pilots||3,100,000|
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. 😉
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
And how about this:
There are 5.9M monthly searches on YouTube for… um, Youtube. #GoFigure
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.
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.
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!
Fancy playing around with the new Keywords Explorer yourself?