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Traffic arbitrage

How to choose popular tags for YouTube: a detailed guide

Tags are one of the tools that you need to use if you want to promote your videos on YouTube. In short, tags are the keywords that help the platform's algorithms understand the content of your video and determine which users it should be recommended to. Well-chosen tags can help your video appear in search results for specific keywords or related topics.
When selecting tags, it's important to choose not only the most popular ones but also the ones that are most relevant to the content of your video. It's worth noting that perfectly chosen tags are not a panacea if you have a poor video title or if your YouTube channel is poorly optimized.

Tags or hashtags

Don't confuse them. Despite their similarities, tags and hashtags are different things. Tags are only available to you and YouTube algorithms. They are entered in a specific field when setting up information for your uploaded video.

Hashtags, on the other hand, are entered in the video description preceded by the # symbol and are visible to every user. Additionally, YouTube displays hashtags under the video title. Overall, hashtags also assist the service's algorithms in determining the topic of the video. They also aid in navigation on the platform, as clicking on a hashtag allows users to see only the videos that include it. You can create your own unique hashtag so that when users click on it, only your videos appear in the results.

How to add tags

It's not difficult to do. First, log in to YouTube and go to the Creator Studio. Then:

  • Open the "Content" tab.
  • Select any video and click on the "Details" button (pencil icon when hovering the mouse cursor).
  • Scroll down the page to the "Tags" section. If you don't see an input field, click on the "Expand" button.
Now you can enter your selected queries into this field. It's important to note that you can't specify an unlimited number of tags. YouTube limits them to a total of 500 characters. However, you can include tags consisting of two or more words with spaces.

To separate tags, you need to use a comma or press Enter. Additionally, you can use up to 15 hashtags in the video description. It's against YouTube's rules to use more than that. If you exceed this limit, all hashtags beyond the 15th will be rejected. Furthermore, your video itself may be hidden from search results or removed.

Prohibited topics

Of course, there are certain limitations on YouTube regarding the topics of tags and hashtags. They should not contain:
  • Search queries that do not match the content of the video.
  • Discriminatory statements.
  • Words related to sex or erotic content.
  • Profanity, threats, or insults.

Additionally, when choosing hashtags for video descriptions, it is not recommended to copy tags. This rule may vary depending on the niche you have chosen, and sometimes it can be overlooked. However, it is better to keep a few researched search queries for hashtags and not use them as tags.

Tag groups

For effective tag selection, it's important to understand that tags can be grouped into several categories.

  • Primary Tags: This is your main keyword or key phrase, which is the primary search term that can lead users to your video. You can include it in the video title (in that case, you may not need to include it among other tags in the Creator Studio).
  • Additional Tags: This group includes tags that are directly related to the content of your video. For example, if your video is about traffic arbitrage, tags such as "arbitrage," "affiliate program," "offer," and so on could be included here. The main condition is that they should reflect the content of the video.
  • Alternative Tags: This group consists of tags that are similar to the primary tag but use different word combinations. For example, if the primary tag is "How to Drive Traffic from TikTok," alternative tags could be "TikTok Arbitrage," "Getting Traffic from TikTok," "Driving Traffic from TikTok to Dating," and so on.
  • General Theme Tags: These are words and queries related to the niche your video addresses. For the examples mentioned above, general theme tags could be "traffic," "online earnings," and so on.

Additionally, you can create and promote your own personalized tag. Essentially, it would be the name of your channel or the nickname of its author. In this case:

  1. A viewer watches your video.
  2. YouTube recognizes the tags in the video and suggests related videos that have your personalized tag.

This way, the user receives a recommendation to watch another one of your videos, which positively affects audience retention.

Finding popular tags

Finding popular keywords is relatively easy. There are several methods available, both paid and free. You can directly analyze your competitors, use search engine services, or utilize third-party tools.

Search engines

Yandex.Wordstat and Google Trends can help gather user-generated keywords from any topic. Simply enter the keyword of interest, and these services will show you what people have been searching for along with it. Filter out the most popular and relevant ones that align with the theme of your video, and you'll have a list of tags that can help promote your video not only on YouTube but also in search engine results.

Additionally, you can utilize the search bar on the video hosting platform itself. When you start typing a query on YouTube, for example, the service displays dropdown suggestions. These are additional tags for your video.

Checking competitors

To see what tags other channels are using, you can do it manually or with the help of third-party tools. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the channel of your competitor and find the specific video you are interested in.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the page.
  3. Select "View Page Source" (or a similar command in your browser).
  4. In the appearing field, press Ctrl+F to initiate a search.
  5. Enter "keywords" (without quotes) in the search field.

This will help you locate the section where the competitor's tags are listed in the page source.
Congratulations! Now you can see what tags your potential competitors are using. However, we do not recommend copying them exactly. YouTube will recognize that you released a video later than your competitor but with their keywords. As a result, your video may be removed from search results or blocked.

It's important to maintain originality and uniqueness in your content and tag selection to avoid any potential penalties or negative impact on your channel's visibility.

Useful tools

There are several useful tools that can help you gather and filter popular keywords to use as tags. Unlike Google Trends and Yandex, these tools specifically work with YouTube, making it easier for you to select tags.

  • Ahrefs: A powerful SEO tool that allows you to find keywords for YouTube from users worldwide or specific countries. It provides internal analytics on keyword difficulty and competition. The only drawback is that it requires a paid subscription.
  • VidIQ: A popular service that operates as a browser extension. It analyzes videos, gathers data on their performance, and displays the tags used in the videos. However, the tag viewing feature is available only in the paid version.
  • Prozavr: This service offers three functions: tag selection based on a keyword or phrase, retrieving tags from specific videos, and collecting queries from YouTube suggestions. Depending on your specific needs, any of these tools can be suitable.
  • Keyword Tool: Another popular tool among SEO specialists. To find tags, simply select the platform (YouTube), enter the keyword, specify the GEO and language. You can obtain keywords for the entire world or a specific country.

These tools can significantly assist you in gathering and optimizing your tags for better visibility and searchability on YouTube.


Tags on YouTube are an important tool for promoting your videos and engaging your audience. Making the right choice of keywords can not only help your videos appear in recommendations to other users but also rank higher in search results on platforms like Yandex and Google, bringing even more audience to your channel. All of this directly impacts the growth of your audience and potential earnings on YouTube.