What’s a YouTube Tag Generator - And Should You Use One?

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YouTube tag generator
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

You might have stumbled across them online, or heard them recommended in your network: YouTube Tag Generators. 

Allegedly, these generators will optimize the tags of your existing and new content, consequently increasing  the visibility of your YouTube videos.

But is that really the case? How do YouTube tags work? And do these generators actually make a difference?

Here’s the run-down. 

What are YouTube Tags?

First off, there are actually two kinds of tags on YouTube: plain tags and hashtags.

Hashtags are visible under videos, and they’re important for YouTube SEO. You can also search for them, and YouTube even recently rolled out hashtag landing pages. These group together and curate popular video content under every hashtag.

YouTube hashtags

Tags, on the other hand, aren’t visible anywhere on the platform. You can enter them in a separate field when you upload videos. However, they are not as important as they used to be – by far!

YouTube tags

Once upon a time, YouTube relied on tags to find related content for searches. However, this functionality was taken over by YouTube’s AI algorithm all way back in 2015. 

Today, tags have only one remaining notable function: helping YouTube connect unusually spelled words to search terms. This is helpful for brand names, for example, and also ensures that unusual words get identified and transcribed correctly for auto-transcription.

SEO experts still use YouTube tags, but generally only spend a few minutes on them, aware of their relative insignificance. 

According to Google, though, the situation is clear: “Tags can be useful if the content of your video is commonly misspelled. Otherwise, tags play a minimal role in your video’s discovery.”  

How do YouTube tag generators work?

Usually, tag generators harness YouTube’s own search autocomplete feature. You begin typing something that’s related to your video into the search field, and YouTube will give you related phrases you could use as tags.

Tag generators automate and speed up this process for you.

How do YouTube tag generators work?

In addition, many generators also show you some statistics on how commonly these tags are used. This can give you an idea of the popularity of certain subjects on the platform.

YouTube tag generator statistics.

Moreover, YouTube tag generators may also extract tags and hashtags from popular videos from the search results for your keyword.

A Note of Caution: Spam Alert!

Both dedicated YouTube tag generators and general keyword research tools will come up with a wealth of keywords. Many of those will be unrelated to your video’s content.

Don’t let yourself be tempted to use them all.

If you use more than 15 hashtags, for instance, YouTube will flag it as excessive and an indicator of spam content. Consequently, the platform will ignore all of them. 

The same goes for other elements you can add when uploading a video, such as regular tags, and the keywords you include in your video description. If you go overboard on any of them, or they don’t match your content, you’ll actually hurt your video’s rankings.

The Bottom Line

So, should you use a YouTube tag generator, at the end of the day? 

Maybe – if you’re short of ideas. 

However, if you’ve done some keyword research for your niche, you’ll already have plenty of material to use if you are going to add tags to your video. 

In addition, tags themselves are relatively insignificant when it comes to increasing your video’s visibility. If you do want to cover every last base, go for a free generator tool rather than a paid one, or even YouTube’s autocomplete feature.

In contrast, hashtags are rising in importance on YouTube, and you should definitely put some effort into selecting the right ones for your content. A YouTube tag generator can help with that, but general SEO tools will do just as good of a job. 

Finally, be sure to carefully select the keywords, tags, and hashtags that you are going to use – to avoid having your content flagged as spam.

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