YouTube has its own search engine within the website. You type in your keyword, and it comes up and video results. There is a ranking system in place. It is not a random amount of related websites because there are so many videos on YouTube that each search would be too varied and therefore useless. The factors that affect the YouTube search are not exactly laid out for us, but if you do a little research and testing on the site itself then you will see that many of the factors listed below are relevant.
Links to your pages
Google have said a few times that the links to your YouTube videos will help you a little if you want them to rank higher in the Google search engine results. It is reasonable to assume that if a YouTube video is ranking high on the Google search engine results, then it will be more popular on YouTube and therefore rank higher on the YouTube search engine results. It sounds like a bit of a stretch, but if something is bringing more people to your YouTube videos then YouTube are likely to rank it higher to capitalize on it (especially since they take a share of the affiliate money that is made).
How well it is optimized with keywords
This is an obvious factor because if you do not put any tagged keywords into your YouTube video at all then it won’t rank very highly. The reverse of that is that if there are lots of good and relevant keywords then it is bound to rank higher; at least in comparison to YouTube videos with no keywords or poorly optimized keywords.
How optimized the title is
The title seems to have just as much of an impact on your search ranking as your keywords do. A nice descriptive title is therefore advisable, making sure that it is highly relevant and explains what your YouTube video is all about. Don’t try to go for an intriguing title such as “You will never believe this” because it simply will not rank highly.
How close your title is to the suggested search
If you type something in to the search bar, you will notice suggestions drop down in the same way they do with the Google search engine. Start typing in your current title and see what is suggested. Having a title that is closer to one of the suggestions is a good idea. It helps your ranking based on the assumption that the more regularly visited videos are the ones that rank higher. If your title is close to the suggestions then your video will be visited more.
How much traffic you are getting on a regular basis
Does the thumbs up or down affect it?
One may assume that the thumbs up and down system affects your ranking. The fact is that it is not very clear. If you were to observe YouTube you too would be confused. For example, TV shows on YouTube that are on there either with or without the consent of the copyright holder will often rank very highly. They also often have a lot of thumbs up, or at least they have more thumbs up that thumbs down. This would suggest that the thumbs up system helps your search ranking, but there is also evidence on YouTube that it doesn’t.
There are spam videos on YouTube that have more thumbs down that a finger print scanner at the NSA, but there are still spam videos that rank really highly. You look for the end credit scene for Captain America 2 because you had to run for a train before the credits rolled.
Yet, all you get on YouTube is a batch of people claiming to have it only to show you videos of their kids or talk about how some bloke is going to rise from the dead and judge us. They have hundreds of thumbs down with something like thirty thumbs up and yet they rank above the person that actually has the video because he recorded it on his phone in the cinema. So, does the thumbs up and or down system dictate ranking?
The amount of subscribers you have is a big factor
Take the Cinema Sins channel. They have many followers and frequently come out with high quality videos. They have a lot of copycats on YouTube too, and yet it is Cinema Sins that ranks nearer the top of the results. This suggests that their repeatedly good videos coupled with their many subscribers is a ranking factor.