Today, I’m excited to share with you some 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, a tip for those doing YouTube keyword research:
You can find YouTube search volumes for 842 million keywords with Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.
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.
|5||old town road||2,040,000|
|6||pewdiepie vs t series||1,940,000|
|28||lofi hip hop||904,000|
|45||game of thrones||695,000|
|58||try not to laugh||614,000|
|62||last week tonight||589,000|
|69||chad wild clay||557,000|
|97||ryan’s toy review||496,000|
|99||sunflower post malone||493,000|
|100||pokemon sword and shield||489,000|
In fact, almost 1/4 of the top 100 searches are music related.
What are people listening to?
This song gets more than two million monthly searches:
Billie Eilish is pretty popular too, with just shy of two million monthly searches.
However, if we look at searches over time, we see that her popularity peaked in April 2019…
… which is likely because she released Bad Guy around this time.
But it’s not all about music…
You’ll notice that five of the top 10 searches are “branded”, meaning folks are searching for channel names or YouTube personalities. This is a trend that continues beyond the top 10, with 50% 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:
|3||pewdiepie vs t series||1,940,000|
These searches get a combined 18.13 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):
|18||pokemon sword and shield||489,000|
Having looked through some of those channels myself, live gaming videos—aka, “let’s plays”—seem very popular. Not familiar with these? 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,” “Fox News,” and “ESPN” each gets millions of 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, 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 Old Town Road, as monthly searches top 10M worldwide!
|8||old town road||10,150,000|
|10||peliculas completas en español||9,050,000|
|12||pewdiepie vs t series||8,720,000|
|25||la rosa de guadalupe||6,300,000|
|44||geo news live||4,490,000|
|48||aaj tak live||4,360,000|
|52||kill this love||4,250,000|
|58||game of thrones||4,050,000|
|67||5 minute crafts||3,760,000|
|100||daddy y yankee||3,180,000|
That’s just shy of four 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 57/100 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 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
And how about this:
There are 4.6M monthly searches on YouTube for… um, Youtube. #GoFigure
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.
1,500 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 4,500. 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 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!
Fancy playing around with the new Keywords Explorer yourself?