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

blog header youtube tag generator
  • Alex Lefkowitz
    (Author)

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts

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

These tools promise video creators to optimize the tags of your existing and new content. This is supposed to increase the visibility of your videos.

But do these generators actually make a difference? And how do YouTube tags work, anyway?

Here’s what you need to know.

Contents

What Are YouTube Tags?​

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

Hashtags in titles and under videos, and they’re important for SEO. You can search for them, and clicking on them sends you to special hashtag landing pages. These pages group and curate popular video content under every hashtag.

YouTube will actually suggest some likely hashtags when you upload your content. They’ll appear in the video title field, and when you type a ‘#’ in the description.

youtube hashtags, displayed above the title
Hashtags are displayed under the video.

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
The tag field in YouTube Studio.

Once upon a time, YouTube relied on tags to understand what videos were about. This was how it used to find your videos in response to for searches. They also influenced other recommendations like those on the end screen and the sidebar. However, YouTube’s AI algorithm stopped using them all the way back in 2015. 

Tags do still help it connect uncommon spellings – like the names of brands, products, or people – to search terms. It also helps the auto-transcription tool to spell unusual words right.

Other than that, according to Google itself, “tags play a minimal role in your video’s discovery.”

Some SEO experts still use them. However, they generally only spend a few minutes on them, aware that they’re not particularly important. 

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How Do YouTube Tag Generators Work?

Usually, tag generators simply pull data from YouTube’s own search autocomplete feature. It works the same as typing something related to your video into the search field. YouTube then gives you related phrases you could use as tags.

These tools automate and speed up this process for you.

How do YouTube tag generators work?
This tag generator states where its data comes from: YouTube's autocomplete.

In addition, many generators also give you statistics on how commonly other creators use these tags. This can give you an idea of the popularity of certain subjects on the platform.

YouTube tag generator statistics.
Google search volume in a keyword research tool - some tag generators do the same thing.

Moreover, some tools will also extract tags and hashtags from popular videos. Basically, they’ll copy them from the top search results for your target keyword. All these terms might even be useful as future video ideas.

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Caution: Spam Alert! ​

YouTube tags generator tools and other keyword 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, or any that aren’t relevant.

If you use more than 60 hashtags, for instance, YouTube will see it as an indicator of spam content. Consequently, the platform will ignore all of them

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

verdict gavel judgement icon

The Verdict on YouTube Tag Generators​

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

Maybe – if you’re short of ideas. 

However, they won’t be of much use if you’ve already done some keyword research for your niche. In that case, you’ll already have plenty of options to tag your video. 

In addition, tags themselves will basically do nothing to increase your video’s visibility. If you do want to cover every last base, go for a free generator tool or just use the search suggestions. A paid tool is probably not worth it.

Overall, though, there are more effective ways than tags to grow your audience.

In contrast, hashtags are becoming more important, especially on Shorts. That means you should put some thought into selecting the right ones for your content. A YouTube tag generator can help with that, but general SEO tools will do the job just fine. 

Finally, be sure to only use relevant tags, hashtags, and other keywords, or the algorithm might flag them as spam.

FAQs

Tag generators let you easily create SEO-optimized tags, hashtags and keywords for your videos. 

Regular YouTube tags are not really important. At most, they help clarify spelling to YouTube’s algorithm. Hashtags, on the other hand, can help your video visibility.

AI tag generators help you find tags, keywords and hashtags for your videos.

Hashtags do matter, but the old kind don’t (except to clarify spelling). Overall, you should aim to use relevant keywords in all of your content, not just the tags. 

You should use a combination of general tags and specific ones. The general tags – say, ‘food’ – establish your niche and topic. Specific tags – like ‘how to make hummus’ – show what this particular video is about.

Author

  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts