New data reveals the top searches performed on YouTube this year, along with the most popular channels.
The top 100 YouTube search queries of the year are revealed in a study examining the search volume of over 800 million keywords.
YouTube does not provide this data officially, but Ahrefs compiles a report each year based on data in its Keyword Explorer tool.
Top queries in the report are broken down by searches in the US and searches performed worldwide.
First let’s take a look at top US searches.
Top YouTube Searches in the US
These are the top 20 searches on YouTube in the United States. For a complete list of top 100 queries, see the original report.
Top 20 US Queries (& Search Volume)
- pewdiepie (3,770,000)
- asmr (3,230,000)
- music (2,670,000)
- markiplier (2,380,000)
- old town road (2,040,000)
- pewdiepie vs t series (1,940,000)
- billie eilish (1,910,000)
- fortnite (1,630,000)
- david dobrik (1,610,000)
- jacksepticeye (1,580,000)
- james charles (1,560,000)
- joe rogan (1,560,000)
- baby shark (1,500,000)
- bts (1,350,000)
- dantdm (1,330,000)
- snl (1,260,000)
- game grumps (1,140,000)
- cnn (1,120,000)
- wwe (1,100,000)
- lofi (1,040,000)
One thing that’s clear when looking at this year’s top searches compared to last year’s is more people are turning to YouTube for music.
Almost a quarter of this year’s top 100 US searches are music related. The keyword “music” itself is the 3rd most searched term even.
Another auditory experience, ASMR, comes in at #2 which is down from last year’s top position.
Five of the top 10 searches are branded, which means people are searching directly for the names of channels and YouTube creators.
In fact, 50% of the top 100 searches are for specific YouTube personalities and channels.
At a glance it would appear gaming queries are still popular, but less so compared to last year.
That could be an indication Twitch is capturing more of the gaming audience.
Let’s see how these searches compare to the top worldwide searches.
Top YouTube Searches Worldwide
These are the top 20 searches on YouTube worldwide. For a complete list of top 100 queries, see the original report.
Top 20 Worldwide Queries (& Search Volume)
- bts (17,630,000)
- pewdiepie (16,320,000)
- asmr (13,910,000)
- billie eilish (13,860,000)
- baby shark (12,090,000)
- badabun (11,330,000)
- blackpink (10,390,000)
- old town road (10,150,000)
- music (9,670,000)
- peliculas completas en español (9,050,000)
- fortnite (9,010,000)
- pewdiepie vs t series (8,720,000)
- minecraft (8,560,000)
- senorita (8,290,000)
- ariana grande (7,890,000)
- alan walker (7,560,000)
- calma (7,390,000)
- tik tok (7,270,000)
- musica (7,140,000)
- bad bunny (7,040,000)
It appears the whole world is using YouTube more for music, as Ahrefs points out:
“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.”
The rest of the world isn’t as into branded content, however, as only two of the top 10 worldwide searches are branded.
Takeaways For Marketers
Perhaps the greatest takeaway for marketers is the insight into what users generally search for on YouTube.
People primarily turn to YouTube search for: music, gaming, branded content, and already-established YouTubers.
That presents a challenge when it comes to building an audience for smaller independent channels.
It’s not impossible though, as there are ways outside of search results to generate traffic to videos.