YouTube related terminology - DEFINITIVE glossary

The definitive YouTube creator dictionary.

Glossary Index:

YouTube terminology


A-roll is the footage of the main storyline of a video.
The guy talking to the camera and explain to you how you can make a million dollars is A-roll.
In a news story, the host talks about a cat that is rescued out of a tree by the fire department, the A-Roll is the footage of the host talking about the fire department and the cat.
Using only A-roll can get boring to watch, therefore we use b-roll.


"Ask Me Anything".
A phenomenon where a YouTuber answers questions of viewers


"Average Percentage Viewed".
How much of a video is watched by viewers on average.
This is expressed in a percentage.
What is a good or bad Average Percentage Viewed is, depends on the niche/competition and length of the video.
Generally speaking an Average Pecentage Viewed of 50% on a 10 minute video is considered good.


"Average View Duration".
Not to confuse with Average Percentage Viewed.
How long do viewers watch a video on average? (expressed in minutes and seconds)
Although a clickable thumbnail is much more important, generally speaking, a longer view duration will mean a higher ranking by YouTube's algorithms.


B-roll is the supporting footage for the a-roll and shows what it is the story is about.
B-roll is the footage that is ‘pasted’ over the A-roll.
B-roll can be anything visual: video footage, a photo, a graph, screenshot of a website or a newspaper.
In a video where a guys tells you how to make a million dollars, the B-roll is the footage that shows 100 dollar bills.
In a news story, the host talks about a cat that is rescued out of a tree by the fire department, the B-Roll is the footage of the fire department rescuing the cat.


Short for "weblog", a website log.
Formerly a blog was a personal log, but over the years the term shifted more towards informational content on a website.

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


Cost Per Mile, in other words: the revenue (cost) per 1000 monetized views.
The CPM varies per niche, depending on what advertisers are willing to pay.
The difference between RPM and CPM is: RPM represents all views (monetized and unmonetized), CPM represents only monetized views.


"Call To Action".
A request for viewers to subscribe, download your ebook, click the like button, etc.


Click Through Rate in percentage.
The number of viewers that actually click on your video when they see the thumbnail.
But regretfully, CTR says very little about views or success of a video.
Read The often believed lies of YouTube Click Through Rate for more information on the topic.

Creative Commons

A Creative Commons license determines that someone can freely use copyrighted content under certain conditions. For more information see Creative Commons website.


"a Day In The Life of".
Follow a YouTuber for a day in a video


"Digital Single Lens Reflex", a digital evolution of the (analog) SLR photo camera where the photographer sees though the viewfinder the exact image of the photo due to the use of a mirror. The use of mirror technology is only useful for photography (not video)

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"Establishedness Authoritativeness Trustworthyness".
Are you the authority in your niche/space to talk about what you talk about.
A doctor with a diploma has the authority to talk about a disease. While Tom,Dick and Harry have not.
Strongly connected to EAT is YMYL.


"Educational Documentary Scientific or Artistic".
Terminology to descibe if sexual explicit material is depicted in the right way according to the YouTube Community Guidelines


"Fear Of Missing Out".
Common psychological tactic to get viewers to click on video thumbnails.
If viewers get the idea that they are missing out on something they are much more inclined to click.
For example: a title like "10 things you don't know about birds".


"Get Ready With Me".
A walkthrough of a YouTuber preparing for a certain task


"High Dynamic Range".
This allows for more colors such as brighter whites and deeper blacks.
Videos need to be encoded as such to take advantage of HDR capabilities on YouTube


"In Real Life".
Often compared to the virtual life on YouTube, because this only represents a small portion of a persons life


"Live(stream) Control Room".
The section on YouTube Studio that allows creators to manage livestream settings.
LCR is accessible in YouTube Studio by clicking on "CREATE" (top right corner) and click on "go live".
Or in YouTube Studio click on "content", tab "live" and click on a pencil icon of the livestream you want to edit

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


"Network Attached Storage".
A device that is used over the network for extra storage.
A NAS has one or more hard disks or a SSDs in it.
More drives create redundancy for more reliability (also called RAID - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks).
If one drive fails, the other drive(s) can replicate or recover information to prevent data loss


"Outfit Of The Day", clothing worn today


Revenue Per Mile, in other words: the revenue (cost) per 1000 views.
The RPM varies per niche, depending on what advertisers are willing to pay.
The difference between RPM and CPM is: RPM represents all views (monetized and unmonetized), CPM represents only monetized views.


Search Engine Optimization.
The knowledge of optimizing content to be found by search engines like Google, Bing and YouTube.
Read YouTube SEO tips for more information on the topic.


"Unique Selling Point".
Why should people consume your content or buy your product?
The thing(s) that make you (or your brand) unique compared to others.
"the cheapest phone" is a unique selling point.


"Unlisted Video Review".
As a creator you are asked to self certify your videos on ad eligibility.
You have to certify the video on strong language or sexuality for example.
If you are in doubt, you can ask for a human review by YouTube itself.
This video needs to be marked as unlisted instead of private.


The video version of BLOG. VLOG refers to a personal video log of a YouTuber (video diary), a representation of a day (or week) of a certain individual.

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


"Video On Demand".
This is a regular "long-form" YouTube video as opposed to a Short or a Livestream


"Views Per Hour".
The amount of views in 1 hour that a video generates


"View Through Ratio".
This is a statistic for YouTube ads.
This explains how many viewers did make it to the end of a skippable ad.
How VTR is calculated:
VTR = completed views / amount of ads shown


"Your Money Your Life".
Content that is about topics that significantly impact your life or your financial situation.
Talking about cancer treatments is YMYL content, just like talking about mortgages.
Strongly connected to YMYL is EAT.


"YouTube Partner Program".
You need to apply to the Partner Program to earn money with your YouTube channel.
You can check eligibility here


Short for "YouTube"

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


Short "YouTube Analytics".
Refers to the part of YouTube Studio where you can view the statistics of your YouTube channel

YouTube Studio

The private administration panel for YouTube creators on YouTubes website.
Here you can upload videos, edit video details, see statistics of your videos and much more...


Most often YouTuber refers to the host of a YouTube channel


Short for "advertisement".
Generally referred to as the ads a shown before, during or after a video.
YouTube also shows text/image based ads in the recommend video section

audience retention

How much of your video do viewers watch? Expressed in a percentage.
If every viewer watches your video from beginning to the end, that is an audience retention of 100%.
If every viewer watches 2,5 minutes out of a 10 minute video, that is an audience retention of 25%.
An audience retention around 50% is regarded as a good video by the YouTube algorithm.
Read also my article how to improve audience retention on YouTube for more information on the topic.


The image that represents a YouTube channel.
Most YouTubers use a photo of their face or the logo of their company

branding watermark

Often referred to as branding by YouTube itself.
A watermark appears in a YouTube video on the bottom right corner.
When you click on a branding watermark you will subscribe to a channel.
This is the reason that a lot of watermarks read:"subscribe"

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


Captions (or closed captions) are literal transcriptions of audible information in a video.
Captions also include audible information like a coughing sound or music, useful for viewers with a hearing disability.
"captions" or often referred to as "subtitles", although captions are broader than subtitles. Companies like Rev offer transcription services for YouTube creators.

channel art

Your avatar, the banner above your channel homepage and branding watermark are channel art.

channel authority

Your reputation on YouTube measured in total accumulated watch time minutes on your channel in total.
The more channel authority you have, the more likely you are to be ranked higher.

channel header

This is a graphic that is displayed on the top of your channel homepage

channel homepage

Every channel has a home page.
When you click on a channel name (for example under a video on YouTube), you’ll be directed to the channel home page.
Here you can see the channel header, the community tab, video tab and the welcome video.

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


A title, thumbnail or description that does not represent the content of a video very well, with the intention of driving more views.
YouTube buries clickbait videos directly by not ranking and suggesting them anymore.
The formula that YouTube uses for detecting clickbait:
clickbait = high CTR + low audience retention.
More about clickbait in this article

closed captions

"Closed Captions".
Captions that are "closed" by a black (or any other color) box background to improve readability


Short for "collaboration".
Two or more individuals work together on a certain task or project.
In YouTube-land this is most likely another YouTuber or a brand/sponsor

community tab

In the community tab you can post texts, pictures and polls that subscribers will see in their video feed.

evergreen videos

Evergreen videos a videos that a relevant and drive views for a long period (a couple or years).
Evergreen videos are the best way to grow your YouTube channel.


Most common form is a clothing haul where a YouTuber tries on multiple outfits. Other hauls do also exist

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


A popular term for someone who has a large social media following (in the case of YouTube a large amount of subscribers)

long tail keywords

In SEO, long tail keywords vs short tail keywords determine how long your target keyword phrase is.
Long tail keyword phrases are less competitive and therefore easier to rank for.
"How to feed a cat" (short tail) is a competitive keyword phrase, "how to feed a siamese cat in the winter" (long tail) is more specific and therefore less competitive.

recommended videos

Videos that the YouTube algorithm recommends.
This can be in the recommended section, but also at the end of a video or on the YouTube home page.

session watch time

The amount of time that viewers watch videos on YouTube before leaving the platform.
Since session watch time increases the time that viewers spend on the platform, this is a ranking factor for your channel.

short tail keywords

The opposite of long tail keywords. See long tail keywords for a comparison

sub for sub

channel owners agreeing to follow each other’s channel in order to grow.
Sub for sub will hurt the growth of a YouTube channel more than it gains.
Read never buy YouTube subscribers ofr more information

How to get views - YouTube course 2024


Text shown on the bottom (or top) of a video to translate the spoken language in the native language of the viewer.
Subtitles are often confused with captions, which include also other audible information


On the video details page (where you can input tile, description and upload a thumbnail), you can also input tags.
The relevancy of tags declined considerably over the last years.


the graphical ‘movie poster’ that represents your video.
You can upload a custom thumbnail for each video


What is popular/ what is a trend?
Which video content currently gets a lot of views


open a box and show what is inside. Often combined with a review of a product to show the viewer the contents of the package of a (new) product

unweighted score

A unweighted score doesn’t take your viewing and search behavior in the past.
This is basically a representation of a new / clean YouTube account without any viewing history


"Vertical Video On Demand".
VODs (regular YouTube videos) in the vertical orientation (instead of horizontal)

How to get views - YouTube course 2024

video card

A video card in the YouTube jargon has nothing to do with your graphics card in your computer.
YouTube shows an ‘i’ icon at the top right corner of video.
In the video editor in YouTube Studio you can add text (called a card) that is showed when a video is playing.
Those cards can contain a link to a website, link to a video, a link to a playlist and a poll.

video content

content = video + title + thumbnail + description.
A lot of people think that content is only the video, but it is the combination of all those factors.

video impressions

How many times did YouTube show your video thumbnail (and title) to users of the platform?
The impressions can come from the YouTube home page, in the recommended section (on the right of your screen), at the end of a video, a video card or every other place on YouTube.


A YouTube video that is gets a lot of views in a short amount of time


A concatenation of VLOG and Christmas.
A lot of YouTubers Vlog around Christmas time (usually a daily VLOG), because there are generally more viewers on YouTube around that time of the year.

watch page

A page where you watch a YouTube video

How to get views - YouTube course 2024

watch time

The amount of minutes that a video is watched by a viewer.
If 1 viewer watches 6 minutes out of a 10 minute video, the watch time minutes for this video is 6 minutes.
If 1 viewer watches 2 minutes out of a 6 minute video, the watch time minutes for this video is 2 minutes.
The YouTube algorithm ranks videos based on accumulated watch time minutes on a channel called Channel Authority.

weighted score

A weighted score takes in account your viewing and search behavior in the past

youtube algorithm

The formula (computer code) that YouTube uses to decide which video it should serve to a viewer.
There are a couple of algorithms, for example:
The recommended section on a YouTube watch page, the search algorithm and the homepage algorithm.
An in-depth look at the YouTube algorithms in this article

youtube homepage

The first page you see when you enter in your internet browser.