2015 Update! – Transcribing Videos from YouTube’s Closed Captioning


Video Transcription Done For You for FREE By YouTube’s Closed Captioning!


If you only knew how long I’ve been meaning to place this video into a post on my blog!  I created it back in June of 2013 so I’m not sure what took me so long?!  It’s been ranked in the number 1 spot on page 1 of Google for over 2 years now.  Silly me!  The branding in the introduction of the video is for a domain I still own, and haven’t utilized much lately, but the message is still the same.


It’s a slick little tip on what to do with those “unscripted” video recordings you put up on YouTube that you were not so sure how to describe.  This works great for vids under 5 minutes in length, any longer than that and the full description may not fit into YouTube’s Video Manager’s editor.  But then again, I haven’t fully tested it with all the content I’ve created so far.

Updated for 2015!

It took me awhile to get around to this, but as of July 10th, 2015, I have updated the video that this blog originally referred to at the bottom of the post.  Both still carry some weight, but I want you to have the latest and greatest information at your disposal, so here it is!

The whole idea is to get your keywords tagged and ranking in your video, right?  Even YouTube has a thing or two to say about how you should use metadata in your videos.   You’re usually discussing the topic or keyword you want to rank for in your video, but just using the title and recommended tags doesn’t always cut it, does it?

Get some of that relevant, readable data into your descriptions!  And think about this for a moment, not everyone can actually HEAR your video (probably didn’t cross your mind much, eh?).  What that means is, if you don’t take into consideration the Closed Captioning option offered to you, you may just be missing out on a significant portion of your audience.  We can’t have that…

What is Closed Captioning?

If you’re not familiar with the term, you see it in all of those foreign films on Netflix.  It’s simply a transcription of your audio track at the bottom of the screen, interlaced with the video, allowing the hearing impaired to follow along with your video’s content.  You may or may not know this, but YouTube’s internal video reader has the ability to decipher your voice from the audio feed and transcribe it to text automatically.  This feature certainly doesn’t kick in immediately (it usually takes at least 24 hours to generate) and doesn’t always work perfectly (as you’ll see in the video), but what it does do might just surprise you!

Rectangle 2The quality of your automatically generated transcription depends on a few key factors, such as the…

  • Length of your video
  • Clear articulation of your words
  • Clarity of your voice
  • Any background noise that may interfere

So if transcribing text for your latest upload was an afterthought, before you go paying for an expensive transcription service or software, save yourself some money and effort by watching my updated for 2015 clip above, but it wouldn’t hurt ya to watch my #1 page ranking video that started it all back in 2013!  You’ll discover just how easy it is to transcribe your videos using YouTube’s built-in closed captioning feature!

Leave me a comment below and be sure to share this with those you know that could benefit from this tip when they generate their next new video post!

See you in my next video!

Written by 

Leland Best - CEO of Best Conceptions LLC, has worn many hats over the past 35 years. He has trained and certified in Radio/TV/CATV Production, Automotive Design, Firefighting and Fire/Water Damage Restoration. Leland has been working with computers and the internet since their inceptions, and during his 25 year career as a Civil Designer his home-based business served several Fortune 500's. Leland and his wife Jenna call the Shiawassee River their home where he currently follows his passion as an author, live streamer, video producer and affiliate website builder under the brands BCBLive!™, and The Megabit Affiliate™.

15 thoughts on “2015 Update! – Transcribing Videos from YouTube’s Closed Captioning”

  1. Awesome tip and instructions to put into place transcriptions for those using Youtube and need the closed captioning. This was a great video training module. I will definately share it .

    1. Thanks for the kind words and the share Debra! We never want to forget about those that may see the world more than they hear it!

  2. This is very informatove in transcribing Youtube video.
    Thanks for sharing it here!
    I would probably do this in the future and come back again to learn 🙂


  3. I’ve come across Transcribing before, and I have found the topic very interesting since I also own a website and a big fan of Youtube videos, especially motivational and inspirational ones 😀

    AWESOME! I didn’t even know what Closed Captioning was until you mentioned Netflix, and then I suddenly realized since I’ve watched a few foreig films.

    Thanks also for the explanation on how Youtube works when it comes to Closed Captioning.


    1. Hi Neil! I’ve been pretty lucky to have all of the wonderful comments that followed my posting of my first transcribing video back over 2 years ago! I’ve since updated the format when YouTube added in the in-line editor, which was a huge improvement to the interface.

      I tend to transcribe most of my own videos from scratch using this method, but I have also utilize the professional transcription service I mention in the description and I highly recommend it to those that don’t have the time to do their own! Check them out, they start at $1.00/min. and they do a wonderful job! http://owl.bestatlast.com

  4. This is awesome!! I haven’t made any YouTube videos yet, but do plan to do that as I get into developing more content — this looks like it’ll be pretty simple, save me so much time and, like you said, make sure the info is getting out to the entire audience. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

    1. Hey Megan! We can never forget how big our audience really is! Sometime we tend to take for granted that we can see and hear these videos and forget to consider those that may not! I try to make sure that I am in touch with my entire audience base and closed captioning helps me get there!

  5. Creating the closed captioning on a video is not something I am at all familiar with doing. However, I did find your post to be very detailed and informative about doing it. And the video really helped as well. Do you think it is important for rankings to have a closed captioning feature to videos?

    I also like how you talked about not being able to update what you had previously put out. That is something we all need to remember to do as time goes on or face our websites looking bad because they are so outdated.

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks for stopping by. It has been said by some SEO “experts” that adding CC can improve your page ranking by including keywords in the text. YouTube doesn’t specifically use keywords added into closed captioning in video, however just giving the extra accessibility to your entire audience and those that would like to read AND listen to your content DOES increase your video view times and therefore can increase your rankings in the SERPs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *