Instant Entertainment: A YouTube Search Primer for Beginners

YouTube is a vast site, and it is growing all the time. It has become a fantastic resource for people looking for everything from new recipes to DIY advice, and it is no wonder it is one of the most popular sites on the web.

However, because there is so much content to choose from, finding exactly what you are looking for often poses a challenge. Everyone knows how to search for a basic video, but what if you want to go beyond that? Fortunately, there are many search options that you can make use of to find exactly what you are after.

Discover Advanced Search Options

By default, YouTube presents videos by relevance when you perform a search. However, the results that are presented often contain a mix of videos, playlists, channels and featured videos.

If you are looking for an instructional video to carry out some DIY, for example, you may carry out a simple search and then download your chosen video using YTD so that you can then watch it later. Often, a simple search is all it takes to find what you are after.

However, YouTube also helpfully provides a number of advanced search options to help you narrow down your search if you don’t find what you are after on the first go.

YouTube Search Filters

After carrying out your search in the standard search box, you will see the list of results. Just underneath the box, above the first video, you will see a tab that says ‘Filters’. Click on this, and you will be presented with a whole range of options for making your search more accurate.

The first column provides you with a date option, allowing you to filter your videos for everything from the last hour to a year ago.

The second column provides you with options for the result type, including videos, channels, films, shows and playlists.

In the third column, you can choose between short and long videos, which will show all the results under four minutes in length or over 20 minutes respectively.

In the fourth column, you can choose the features of the video you are searching for, such as HD, 3D, closed caption and live.

You can also choose a different ‘sort by’ option rather than relevance, and YouTube allows you to sort by date, view count and rating.

Play with the Filters

The great thing about filters is that they are very flexible. You can click on as many as you want to narrow down your search even further, and if you decide to get rid of a filter, you can simply click on the cross presented next to the filter tag. So you can then play around with these until you find the result you want.

Use Commas for Quicker Searching

If you want to make your advanced search quicker, you can use commas instead of clicking on the filters individually. For example, you could search for ‘phone review, short, 3D’ to apply the two filters to your keyword ‘phone review’. Once you have memorized a number of filters, you can apply them much quicker this way.

Using Search Operators

Another option is to use popular search operators in the same way that you might when searching for content in a search engine.

For example, by enclosing a phrase in speech marks, you will search for videos that include that specific phrase. You could also place the + or – sign before a keyword to force the search to show results that either include or exclude the keyword.

Mix, Match and Find Your Videos

If you are searching for that hard-to-find video that you really want to see, use any of the above tips to narrow down your results. Try mixing them up and using them in various combinations to improve your results, and soon you’ll be able to find exactly what you are looking for every time.

And, always make sure you respect IP when using downloads.

Tony Goldman is a social media whiz. He uses his years of experience managing social media to help other users optimize their time and efforts online.

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