Holly Starks


Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick Her Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Holly Starks, for our next ‘Pick His/Her Brain’ session and I want to thank her for the participation.

Holly is the queen of YouTube SEO and she is a well-known figure in various SEO groups.

She is the type of a person who believes in breaking a few eggs before making a great omelet.

That said, her approach may not appeal to whitehat SEO folks.

Nonetheless, you may want to pick her brain if you have any questions about YouTube optimization.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until she asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until bitcoin value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM her and bother her. If you have a private question, ask for her permission on this thread when appropriate.

#PickHisBrain #PickHerBrain

Table of Contents

Whats your favorite software?

It somewhat changes on what tests are being ran.

But zennoposter seems to be my go to tool when all else fails.

What are some of the greatest SEO benefits of ranking a video on YouTube?

Youtube updates are easier to work in.

Its just matter of understanding what to read and how to test to see if your able to hit the wholes still.

You can be as creative as you want and lazy as you would like to be.

Content is not king … in the ranking aspect.

Conversions are a different story.

We generally can rank most terms, depending on budget from 3 minutes to 3 weeks.

If you have a healthy budget you can rank for weight loss in 4 hours.

In google, you would be lucky to rank a new even old domain in months. When I say healthy budget, we mean 10.00 a day.

No way you can do that in google on that budget, WH or BH.

What do you test and read?

I believe that various from update to update on google updates.

While most SEO peeps are waking up to daily panic attacks because of being concerned with what google is doing differently on that day.

I wake up and start my daily campaigns and watch Netflix most of the day.

Youtube traffic is golden if you know what to promote, how to rank, and how to get to buy.

Tells us more about the “get to buy” aspect when there’s a break between binge watching sessions?

Only if you bring the ruffles.

What’s the best approach to get people to convert from a video?

Conversions are always the tricky parts.

Again, it’s getting in the consumers mindset.

I believe your in PPL so your video just needs to be simple, yet very fast out of the gates.

Long drawn out videos simply don’t work.

People are on the go, watching videos.

Get to the point already, they don’t care who you are really.

Best tip for ranking quickly for a medium competition keyword?

My best tip for ranking most things are …. it’s about the engagements you get.

It’s not about the links … no matter what anyone else says.

Side by side tests prove CTR beats links everyday of the week.

How do GMBs and You Tube go together to rank quickly?

GMB url in the descrription? Use it as a buffer for crappy links? idk, just thinking out loud.

I do not rank GMB with youtube. There are others tools like MR that will do the job.

How do you get YouTube search volume?

Throw shit at the wall and see if you get searches.

There is no search tool that gives you volume.

You can run YT ads and get somewhat of idea but that’s as close as you will come.

Do you think that Google and YT are closing all the loopholes or is there still opportunity for really tearing it apart?

It’s a bit interesting right now. I stopped doing mass videos at the end of 2016 because of deindexing problems in google.

We recently got our bot running and so far we are able to keep mass videos indexed and moving again in google.

So while I think they are trying to close wholes, when they change code in the algo they break something that was previously fixed or more wholes open up.

Hence why I started testing every 2 months again.

Google has closed a major loophole in March with the fuck tard indexing update. That’s as nicely as possible that I can say it.

We were completely removing maps entirely from any searches and any city, on demand at will until that a march update.

While we can still do it, it’s become a bad thorn in my side so at the moment I put it the side until I have patience again to read what my tests results are.

Do you find high retention views & mass backlinks still being very effective to rank (and rank fast)?What do you think is the most important factor to move the needle for youtube seo (for local Google search)?

It depends on how the views are coming in. Bought high retention views will not beat out CTR.

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And I haven’t built a backlink to any Youtube video in over a year and a half.

While they may work, it will never beat someone that is doing CTR manipulation.

It’s likely because ur not running it the right way.

I can stop any almost any CTR campaign and they will stick for, well the only reason why they move is if I go back and start up new campaigns.

It’s just a matter of understanding there algo and limits. Most will fail here because it’s ran from the start wrong so it will fail.

Do you have a link to your coahing/training program?

I offer a 5 week coaching program. Head over to youtube, pop in Holly Starks coaching.

There are 3 reviews I was able to squeeze out of people.

Most of the students want me to quit selling the coaching so they aint keen on getting me a review LOL.

I have a video ranking club at 500 a month – 3 videos a month we rank for you also of the coaching is out of your range.

Is there a cost to the CTR process? Like some tool or service that needs to be purchased on top of the knowledge of how to do it?

For coaching or in general CTR? Either way, yes you needs funds and a healthy daily budget.

There are just some small things on how your instructing them that you need to change.

I’m not doing a viral approach, I’ve tested that and it seemed to kill my videos before it got going.

After vaca maybe I will get with you to close in on the small things that are effecting your CTR.

Why do you do video rather than websites? Speed? Ease? Easier competition? How does conversion compare?

At the end of 2016, I was kinda turning into master of none. Like I was trying all these ways to make money, getting burnt out, hated even looking at mg PC.

That’s why I went back to my love, which was Youtube. I can’t build a website of my life depended on it.

I enjoy the ease of Youtube rankings.

And I understand how they see things. Less stressful and tons of money to be made on there.

That and like 85% people have mobile phones and are watching videos more and more each day.

Would you put a youtube video on your front page for SEO even though it may hurt your page speed?

Rankings aren’t based on speed alone. Are you meaning, the videos don’t have much watch time or poor engagement so they drop m … yes.

But we can manipulate what youtube sees. So we give her what she wants.

Any tips repurposing content?

Not really. My only advice would be if you have a 10+ minute video, break it up into 3 minute segments.

Your watch time and retention will like you more.

Best way to rank gmbs with youtube videos.

I do not rank GMB with youtube. There are others tools like MR that will do the job.

Can you over optimize a YouTube video? We use to be able to rank videos for competitive local terms just by stuffing keywords in the file name, channel name, title, description and tags. Does that still work as well as it did years ago?

That’s kind of a catch-22. While you can’t over optimize a video, you can get caught on overduing .. if that’s a word … CTR and engagements.

I’ve had to practice over several months to find the right settings so we don’t get caught on the island by ourselves.

That’s why most people say CTR don’t work, because you have to love, live, breathe, eat YT and CTR to understand it fully.

From your experience, what type of video converts best?

A ) Explainer Video (Animation)

B ) Spokesperson

It depends on what the niche is and who the consumer is. You really have to get into the consumers mindset of what they want.

As a example, a women’s voice will convert better in home services … it’s a trust factor.

What’s a good tactic for ranking mass uploads as a whole?

You have to be able to mass scale engagements.

Smm panel can achieve that for engagement signals. What about powering them up to move in google?

No a panel can’t. It’s not legitimate views. Youtube is a bit smarter then that.

Panels just push views and not correct engagements at the right levels.

Do you do livestream videos or regular videos these days?


What’s your top monetization strategy with YT?

Get them on a email list and fire away.

How do you manipulate CTR for YT videos?

I built a private software for it.

Do you offer a training course with all this info?

I offer a 5 week coaching program. Head over to youtube, pop in Holly Starks coaching.

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There are 3 reviews I was able to squeeze out of people.

Most of the students want me to quit selling the coaching so they aint keen on getting me a review LOL.

I have a video ranking club at 500 a month – 3 videos a month we rank for you also of the coaching is out of your range.

After uploading video on YT, you share its link on other platforms for more exposure?

No, I don’t share the video at all. I upload the video and start my CTR.

Can you tell more specific things on what your private software does?

Defiantly not. That wouldn’t look natural. Can’t go into what it does but it’s not singular in that mindset.

How many accounts or ip’s would I need to mount a good CTR campaign for a medium competition keyword?Accounts or just ips?



And no you can’t use proxies. That’s where alot of engagements will fail. YT is quite smart.

What are the best tips (plural) for high CTR?

Test test and test

I guess you have some winners. What are those tactics?

I will have to decline going into that. Testing is where the bricks will take you.

What is your preferred monetization tactic? PPL, Affiliate, Clients?

Everything under the sun. Gaming is a nasty but fun niche I’m enjoying that recently.

What is ctr in regards to YouTube? Is this when the viewer clicks through to next video on the channel?

I think, off the cuff, there are 18 different CTR varieties that we use.

Best tip for a brand new local business service site to be launched.(Other than on page)

Site? As in website? omg don’t ask me. I will get the sucker banned in hours on google. I’m a video gal.

Brand new video channel? Make sure you go into youtube advanced section and fill in the location down to the city and niche channel.

G indexer Not working now any special instruction or anything else to index backlink or regarding g indexer.

It’s not my software. It works still on some things, some days are better then others. Nothing we can do about it really.

How do you tell if a keyword term is worth ranking a YT video for in Google or YT before you target it? Any software to check terms in mass?

No software to check in mass. Mass video is about a numbers game. You can track youtube in proranktracker.

I do use semrush to get a little insight on google.

How many YouTube views do you think you have totalled over the years from all videos?

Has to be in the millions.

How to rank videos in youtube fastly?

Engagements and proper tagging.

What are your thoughts about this CTRMethod https://bluify.net/microworkers-youtube-ranking/ You state that “crowd sourcing services and tools do NOT work”. But where did you start? In my opinion MW would be the way to go. Still there are problems like for example “wrong country” (e.g. you want engagement from US IPs but get the engagement from Indian IPs). What other “problems” would you see in the MW method? (I tried the MW method and get some results, but they are not consistent).

Yes we have tried these sites and overall we can’t control things like watch time and retention rates.

It was easier and overall the best decision to create a crew to do this for us, or to run the bot that we had been coding.

1. Find the most viral YT videos of the last week, check if you can safely(!) copy them. Download & Reupload them to your channel. 2. Upload a few of them, then mix in your commercial stuff. Result: The non-commerical videos will pick up a lot of views and likes/comments naturally (if you picked the right videos!) => View Count of your channel grows naturally => Better rankings for your commerical videos. What do you think about that method? PS: You need to pick the videos wisely, in order not to run into copyright problems.

I personally don’t like the idea because your can lose yr acct easily if someone reports using there video.

Even if you think your safe, too much of a risk if I have a good channel.

If we transcribe a youtube video into text and post that text on a website, is it considered duplicate content?

It shouldn’t be dup content.

Do the overall channel views and subscriber numbers affect each video? Or is engagement for purposes of ranking determined on a video-by-video basis?

Engagements only. Subs and views only help if they are engaging.


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