YouTube Launches New Tool for Better Search Insights

The tools include data insights from user searches, plus a content gap filter to help creators find new video ideas.
Adam Rowe

YouTube has finally taken a huge step towards improving its search capabilities by adding a new data-insights tool.

YouTube Search Insights will roll out to all brands and creators by the end of the month, following its initial debut as beta preview last November.

And since YouTube is one of the biggest social platforms around, this is particularly good news for businesses that need to supercharge their content marketing efforts.

How It Works

The new abilities include data insights from user searches across all of YouTube — not just from the user's own followers, although that data is included as well. The data on offer has some limits, though: It will only be aggregated data from the past 28 days, and only from English-language search terms across five countries — the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and India.

More regions and languages will be rolled out down the road, according to YouTube, though there's no set timetable for when to expect them.

In addition, there's another new tool: A content gap filter designed to point out popular searches that don't yet have the desired results. Creators can filter for potential new topics or video ideas.

Will the new filter mean that all my personal searches for a frustratingly nonexistent LoFi cover of the Odd Couple theme song could actually will it into existence? We can only hope.

Where to Find It

Creators can access the new tools by clicking their profile pic on the top-right and selecting YouTube Studio from the dropdown menu before clicking through a few more tabs:

YouTube Studio > Analytics > Research

Once at Research, you'll see a few more tabs — “Searches Across YouTube” and “Your viewers' searches,” the latter of which will have the “content gaps” filter included.

The tools won't fully roll out until the end of April, so you may not see them yet.

Hopefully the fact that Google parent company Alphabet owns YouTube is an indicator that the user search data across the video media site will be just as useful as the search data from Google itself (even if some sources are taking a stance against the search giant in recent months).

Why YouTube Matters

YouTube is easily the biggest social media platform in the US, according to 2021 research that found 81% of US adults who said they use it. The only other platform that came close was Facebook, at 69%.

In addition, YouTube is one of just two platforms that have seen meaningful growth since 2019, with the other being the much smaller Reddit.

According to an early 2020 Pew Research survey, more than a quarter of Americans get their news from YouTube, too. For any business that needs to establish a presence online, that makes YouTube an attractive pick — both for the size of its audience and for why they tend to visit it.

YouTube's new tools, then, give businesses and advertisers the foot up that they'll need to better target their future videos and react to what the audience needs.

That said, sometimes these hyper-targeted trends can amplify existing issues like conspiracy theories, so the extra data available could be used for the wrong reasons. But for any small businesses with the right social media management approach and no conspiracies to peddle, these new tools could be the most useful update YouTube has added in years.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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