In the past, we've done Newbie's Guides for certain services, but we wanted to switch things up and really dig into a product's advanced features.
Video-sharing site YouTube is the perfect service to start with because it's massively popular and incredibly simple to use, but also has a few powerful features that are tucked away. This guide is to help you learn how to use some of these advanced features and to serve as a simple reference page.
Using YouTube's search tool: YouTube's search engine works a lot like Google's. In fact, it uses the same search operators to let you tweak your results. Here are some worth remembering the next time you're looking for a video:
Limit to words in the title. Putting "allintitle:" in front of your search keeps YouTube's results limited to those videos with the matching words in the title. This is great if you want to keep it from searching through descriptions or tags. Not so useful if the video you're looking for has a misspelled or misleading title.
Exclude a term. Add a "-" then the word you want to exclude will keep it out of the results. So if you're searching for explosions but don't want to see videos with diet Coke or Mentos, you'd type in "Explosion -diet -coke -mentos." Be sure to add the "-" in front of every word you don't want.
Play the wildcard. If you're too lazy to type a word, or think that YouTube will figure out the words you're leaving out, you can just put in an asterisk in place of that word. In practice, this means that searching for something like "Fallout: Broken Steel" you could just type "Fallout * Steel" and have it guess the word in the middle.
If you can't remember these off the top of your head you can find them in YouTube's advanced search box, which shows up as an option in the results of any completed search. It's also worth going there if you want to filter how long the videos in the results should be. This is a great way to find long-form content that's 20 minutes or more.
Search and browse with your eyes. If titles and thumbnails are not enough, you can explore additional, related video clusters by using YouTube's warp feature. This is a feature that can still be found on some videos, but YouTube has since relegated it to its TestTube section. That doesn't mean you can't use it on any old video though. Simply inserting "warp.swf" in the URL instead of the word "watch" will send you into full-screen "warp speed" mode. To read more about how to use this feature check out our coverage of it.
Third-party search tools There are a handful of third-party YouTube search engines and tools that add a little bit of utility on top of YouTube's search. Here are some of our favorites:… Read more