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

YouTube tag generator

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

These generators promise to optimize the tags of your existing and new content. This is supposed to increase the visibility of your YouTube videos.

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

Here’s what you need to know. 

YouTube tag generator

What Are YouTube Tags?

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

Hashtags are visible under videos, and they’re important for YouTube SEO. You can search for them, and when you click on them, you’ll be sent to special hashtag landing pages. These group together and curate popular video content under every hashtag.

youtube hashtags, displayed above the title

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 found related content for searches. However, YouTube’s AI algorithm stopped using them back in 2015. 

Tags still help YouTube connect uncommon spellings – like the names of brands, products, or people – to search terms, and ensure that unusual words are identified correctly for auto-transcription.

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

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

tag work icon

How Do YouTube Tag Generators Work?

Usually, tag generators simply pull data from 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?
This tag generator states where its data comes from: YouTube's autocomplete.

In addition, many generators also give you 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.
Search volume in a keyword research tool - some tag generators do the same thing.

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

YouTube tag generator

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, or any that aren’t relevant.

If you use more than 15 hashtags, for instance, YouTube will see it as an indicator of spam content. Consequently, the platform ignores 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 verdict

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, 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 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 rather than a paid one, or just use YouTube’s autocomplete feature.

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

YouTube tag generator

In contrast, hashtags are becoming more important 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 the job just fine. 

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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