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Search engine optimization or “SEO” is the process of getting pages to rank higher in search engines, such as Google. Ranking higher in search engines can of course lead to an increase in traffic, because searching is one of the main ways in which people discover content online.

A very small percentage of people click beyond the first page of search results and because of this even a small improvement in search engine rankings can result in your content receiving more engagement. This engagement can lead to eventually monetizing content, free products, and a deeper connection with more people that have interests similar to yours. 

Search engine algorithms have evolved to be extremely complex, and take into account hundreds or even thousands of different ranking factors. In recent years cannabis has become more targeted on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and now TikTok. A large part of allowing the algorithms to push your content is in creating content that is targeted towards the keywords that search engines' users are searching for – but what happens when you’ve done that and your content is censored from search?

In this article we will cover:

Recently we made some SEO updates on our website and we hope this article helps optimize your content on WeedTube so it can be discovered by even more people! 


Cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance, leaving it federally illegal while states simultaneously continue to legalize. 37 states in the U.S currently allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes. While state laws adjust, social media platforms who operate worldwide tend to have different guidelines depending on which platform you use.

  

Content creators who use cannabis are subject to a mess of violation notifications on platforms like TikTok or Instagram if they even mention the word "weed".

Cannabis Creators Censored

This rise of algorithmic censorship has caused some users to turn to words like “bingo” when referencing a bong, or “ouid” when referencing cannabis. Despite this rebellion, algorithms continue to adjust to the alternative ways cannabis content creators try to educate and entertain while engaging in their recreational or medicinal hobby.

So, how does one gain any relevance?

  

 

How do you get seen making weed content?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO has become crucial in determining who gets picked up by the algorithms. While uploading your content feels like a final step, it is actually the first step to getting seen online.

There’s always a chance you’ll randomly go viral and get thousands of views or followers - but after that, those viewers may still be unable to find you even if they subscribed to view your content.

If you do not share your content, with relevant information describing the context of your content, you will not be seen.

 

Many sites are not transparent when relaying their data collection points or describing how their algorithms work, but from research we can gather a few key points that seem to be standard:

Let’s say a creator uploads a video titled “New Strain Review” and their description is, “Hey I’m back! In this video I can't wait to show different strains! Follow me @MaryJane” 

This video is less likely to get viewed on search engines. Why?

They said they are back, who they are, and what they're doing - so it should be easy to understand right?

To a human this may be understandable but we need to keep in mind that these algorithms are not human - this is a complex computer. 

The computer will break down this description to be formatted in plain text HTML, and then that is what gets categorized in search engines. So for example, the first few words of this description has so much punctuation that search engines will instead read it as "Hey I & # 3 9 ; m back & # x 2 1 ; In this video I can & # 3 9 ; t wait to show different strains & # x 2 1 ; Follow me & # 6 4 ; MaryJane"

When you approach it from the perspective of the computer you can understand how this description may be more difficult to understand.

What Is HTML

Your first ten words are valuable. 


With keywords you are trying to describe the experience you had when making your video, to a computer. 

What city were you near? What feelings did you feel? How did you use it? 

Typing the answers to these questions in your description will tell search engines how to better organize your content to reach your audience.

Using unique words or phrases that are original to your content is another way to allow the engines to better understand you.

 

Let’s say a creator uploads a video titled “New Strain Review” and their description is, “Hey I’m back! In this video I can't wait to show different strains! Follow me @MaryJane” - and we now understand why that may not be the easiest description for a computer to understand. How can we improve this?

A better title and description for this video might be, "White Widow and Mai Thai Review” with the description, "Salad provided by the best dispensary in California with the lowest prices available and the high was absolutely incredible. The feeling from one of these strains was really unique and I am very curious if anybody has felt anything similar. I am excited to be back and share all of my different strains! Follow me on all socials @MaryJane

  

Some key takeaways are as follows:

  • Listed strains names

  • Experience and location within first ten words

  • Call to action with link

 

Page structure is a core component of SEO because webpages are written in HTML. How the code is structured can impact a search engine’s ability to evaluate a page. Including relevant keywords in the title, description, URL, and comments of the page. By using descriptive words in your description you allow search engines to better understand your content, and recommend it to the right people. The better the keywords in your first ten words, the more likely you are to be easily found and recommended by algorithms.


Understanding Keywords

Keyword research allows you to find relevant words or phrases that work within algorithms.

Here are some ways to generate relevant keywords:

  • Search the effects of the strains you’re reviewing, see what descriptive words come up like, “euphoric high” or “pain relief” and find a way to incorporate those into your description

  • Avoid words like “weed” or “marijuana” because these can be easily censored within algorithms 

  • Research the topics you’re covering and provide links from reliable sources. Links allow search engines to better understand you are using some kind of reliable sources. Major search engines will promote you to more directories if your content is referencing reliable sources. 

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel! People go viral with short titles like “you won’t believe this” or “that horse was wild” and it is because their words feel authentic and it is being interacted with. You cannot attempt to recreate anybody's success - you can only do yourself, authentically.

  • Authenticity is valuable. People want to connect with you - it is *social* media afterall. Don’t forget the social aspect - we want to know your feelings. Did this product change your life? Why or why not? How can we get a similar experience? How can we interact with you? 

Keyword Research Example

  • Search the topic of your video and analyze what the suggested search options are. Take note and implement those into your description or title. Tell us exactly why someone could benefit from your content.

  • If you want to go a step further there are things like Google Search Console or Google Ads Keyword Planner which are both free tools provided by Google. Using these tools can provide other similar search results for topics you lookup. 

 

There are many sites that will tell you which keywords to use, when to use them, and how to expand your vocabulary of similar words for the same subject.

While you could pay for a keyword service, another option would be to research yourself by just typing into google a subject you’re curious to learn keywords for. You’ll notice several articles will pop up based on just one subject, and typically the summaries of those articles will have several keywords to help guide your process.

Lavender Keyword Example

 

Notice how Google suggests growing tips, plant classification, tells us that lavender is in the mint family (who knew?) and shows what people are asking about lavender. 


 

Now more than ever, engaging well-written descriptions and titles are crucial to having your videos discoverable.

Optimizing your description will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results. A well-written description lets users know they’ve found what they are looking for and encourages them to watch your content! Our platform is of course dedicated to providing a safe space for cannabis content, but even the largest search engines continue to operate under the guidelines of federal illegality. Hopefully we’ll see legalization become a reality – until then, we can work together to combat censorship.

Sign this petition to make cannabis content fairly regulated on social media!

If you have anymore censorship tips, resources, or experiences - comment them below! 
 

Don't forget to share your favorite content to help our community GROW!
Helpful Tips To Combat Censorship

By The WeedTube

WeedTube was launched on March 1st of 2018 by a community of deleted content creators. As we continue to grow, WeedTube strives to provide all services with integrity. Our mission is to provide for the community, and provide a change in perception of cannabis around the world. We are working hard to consistently create a platform that services our community in the best ways possible.

7 Comments
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dopedev420 3 months ago
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AardVark 3 months ago
https://theweedtube.com/video/6-proven-tips-to-increase-yield-when-growing-marijuana-125294 Here is an example of the type of text amount google would want in order to rank a page/post. Most video pages text is on average a "short paragraph" at most type of description. Adding more text could help for sure with ranking just as long as you aren't keyword stuffing. If there are specific terms you are trying to rank for in google one easy way is to search for it and check out the first pages results. If you believe that your video or content has potential to outrank the current listed results then by all means add more content to it. The key to ranking in 2022 is user experience. You "can" rank on page one with nothing more than a video BUT it has to have the user experience that google is after. If people love your video on a specific topic and they share it socially then sure a video with little or no text "could" rank but it has to be above and beyond everything else online.
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provisional_air 3 months ago
I definitely need to take some of this advice!!
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LaceyBug 2 months ago
Thanks for the helpful tips ! I will try to implement these in the channel changes I am making for sure !
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WeedTea 2 months ago
Love this advice
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