Long-form videos were popular on YouTube for years before Shorts were officially introduced in 2021.

The way YouTube presents and pushes short-form and long-form content is different.

If getting more search engine visibility is your priority, you might wonder “Are short videos on YouTube okay for SEO?”.

The short answer is yes, short videos on YouTube are okay for SEO. In fact, short videos can indirectly help your YouTube rankings.

In this post, we’ll get into the details of:

  • How short and long video SEO works
  • The impact YouTube Shorts can have on long-form videos
  • How to improve your video SEO with YouTube Shorts

Let’s dive in.

Are Short Videos on YouTube Okay for SEO?media icon

YouTube Shorts don’t impact your SEO unless you want them to. To better understand the impact of Shorts on your SEO, let’s briefly look at how YouTube SEO works.

Understanding YouTube SEO

YouTube is a video search engine hosting a staggering 3.7 million new videos every day. Standing out as a video content creator is trickier than ever.

Plus, YouTube uses a complex algorithm to determine which videos to rank for which keywords. To rank your YouTube videos, you need to understand what this algorithm wants.

Here are the three most important factors in YouTube SEO.


In SEO, keywords are words or phrases people use to search stuff on a search engine like YouTube. Here’s a good example:

YouTube search bar screenshot

Keyword selection plays a crucial role in your video’s search engine visibility. Here are the three most important factors to consider:

  • They should accurately represent your video content
  • The SERP (Search Engine Results Page) competition for that keyword shouldn’t be too high
  • It’s important to incorporate your target keyword in all the important sections of your video (Title, description, tags)

Watch Time

Watch time is the time an average viewer spends watching your video. Engaging, fun, and helpful videos tend to get higher watch times, improving their chances of better SEO rankings.


The more people engage with your YouTube video, in the form of likes, comments, and shares, the better it tends to do on YouTube’s search engine.

How Do People Discover YouTube Shorts?Your target audience

When it comes to YouTube Shorts, search plays a minor role. Most people access them from the dedicated in-app feed.

If you consume YouTube Shorts, you’d know there’s a dedicated section for it in the app. YouTube’s algorithm also promotes Shorts on the homepage based on your watch history and interests.

However, there is still a chance to optimize your Shorts for search. By incorporating your target keyword in all the important sections of your video – title, description, and tags – you can increase its visibility and attract more viewers.

But remember, it’s not just about getting views; it’s about keeping those viewers engaged. The longer people watch your Shorts, the higher its chances of appearing in the recommended section and gaining more traction.

YouTube Shorts inside the mobile app

Recommendations for your Video

Once you’re inside the “Shorts” tab in your mobile app, the algorithm starts presenting you with content.

The YouTube algorithm analyzes your interests based on your watch history and starts recommending content according to that data.

Your watch time and engagement help the algorithm decide what type of content to serve on your device in the future.

Let’s say you recently watched a series of cooking videos. The next time you open the app, the algorithm might show you recipes, cooking tips, and kitchen hacks. This personalized experience is the result of algorithms working in the background, constantly learning and adapting to your preferences.

Can YouTube Shorts Help with SEO?SEO magnifying glass icon

YouTube Shorts are exploding in popularity. But, do these bite-sized videos impact the search engine visibility of your traditional, long-form videos? The answer is a little nuanced.

While there’s no direct impact, Shorts can help you improve your video SEO and boost your search traffic. Let’s first look at the SEO limitations of YouTube Shorts.

Limited Direct Impact

Keyword optimization is an important aspect of YouTube SEO, but it is a lot easier to do with a traditional video. Shorts don’t have a lot of space for elements like the title, description, and tags, limiting your ability to optimize your videos for the right keywords.

In addition, the YouTube algorithm considers the watch time of your videos before ranking them. Shorts contribute less overall watch time to your channel, so using them to rank long-form videos won’t make sense.

Indirect Impact

While Shorts might not impact your rankings directly, you can use them to grow your channel’s search visibility in multiple ways.

Driving Traffic to Your Channel

Probably the best way to use YouTube Shorts for SEO growth is traffic redirection.

Many times, a short video isn’t enough to cover a topic comprehensively.

Plus, you may want to get more viewers to your long-form content by using the virality of short-form content.

For traffic redirection, use a call-to-action at the end of your Shorts prompting viewers to check out other videos on your channel.

This way, you can get more views, engagement, and watch time on your long videos, which can help their search engine visibility.

Brand Awareness and Discovery

YouTube Shorts can help you get more reach for your brand. As a result, your target audience remembers your brand name and can search for it directly in the search bar.

Webology brand search on YouTube


More likes, shares, and comments on YouTube Shorts are a positive signal for the YouTube algorithm, potentially giving your traditional videos a ranking boost.

How to Optimize YouTube Shorts for SEO

The effectiveness of YouTube Shorts as an SEO tool heavily depends on their ability to grab attention and drive viewers to your long-form videos. Here’s how you can optimize them for maximum impact.

Create High-Quality Content

Grab attention with a powerful hook and get viewers to keep watching your video. Drive engagement with fun and helpful content. Your content’s quality needs to be top-notch if you want to stand out from the crowd. Think of creative and engaging ways to present your message, whether it’s through storytelling, humor, or valuable information.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Relevant hashtags can help the algorithm to understand your content and serve it to the right people. Use trending hashtags for better discoverability in the Shorts feed and search results. Additionally, include relevant hashtags in your video description to make it more likely for users to find your content.

Redirect Viewers to Long-Form Videos

Even if a YouTube Short comprehensively covers a topic, you want to redirect its viewers to a relevant long-form video.

To do that, subtly nudge viewers at the end of your YouTube Shorts. You can do this by mentioning that the topic is covered in more detail in one of your longer videos, or by adding a link to the long-form video in the video description.

This strategy not only helps drive traffic to your other content but also encourages viewers to engage with your channel and explore more of your videos. Additionally, having both short and long-form versions of your content allows you to reach a wider audience and cater to different viewing preferences.

Share to Other Social Media Channels

In addition to promoting your long-form videos within your YouTube Shorts, you can also share them on other social media platforms. This not only expands your reach but also allows for cross-promotion and driving traffic back to your YouTube channel. When sharing on social media, be sure to use eye-catching visuals and post captions that entice followers to click through and watch the full video. You can even tease segments from the long-form video in your posts to generate interest and give viewers a taste of what they can expect.


Short-form videos are soaring in popularity. And why not? They’re easy to consume on the go, can be super engaging, and require less effort to produce.

But, if you want to educate or inform your audience on a deeper level, and build relationships, YouTube Shorts can be a little too short.

You might want to get more views on traditional long-form videos, which makes you wonder, are YouTube videos on YouTube okay for SEO?

The answer is a resounding yes; Shorts can help you with brand awareness, leading to more branded searches.

Even better, you can use YouTube shorts as an entry point in your marketing funnel and guide viewers to your long-form videos for a deeper dive into the topic.

Lastly, YouTube also offers a search feature for the in-app Shorts feed. Use video SEO best practices to help your Shorts rank higher for your target keywords. Remember that ranking your youtube videos doesn’t require technicalities or spammy tactics. It’s all about creating valuable and engaging content that resonates with your audience.

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