VidIQ vs TubeBuddy
The ULTIMATE comparison!

Are you looking to buy the best YouTube SEO Tools in 2020? This post compares the two flagship SEO Tools!

I'll be going very in-depth on the differences and benefits of both VidIQ and TubeBuddy.

After reading this, you should be able to decide which YouTube SEO Tool is best for you quickly.

Keep reading and find out!

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Logo

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy!

Becoming popular on YouTube is now harder than ever.
With hundreds of hours of videos being uploaded onto the platform every minute, being picked up by the algorithm and getting views can seem like an impossible task.

Experienced YouTubers will know that creating content is only half the story;
the rest is marketing it, and getting people to watch your videos.

Two programs that aim to help with that: VidIQ and TubeBuddy put dozens of functions at your disposal to help you get around YouTube, know what works and create a marketing strategy.

But which one is best suited to your needs, and are they worth paying the premium version? In this article, we'll give an overview of the features shared by both extensions, how they differ, what their premium plans can offer, and how to assess the needs of your channel to make the best decision.

A Note on Marketing
The first question that we'll answer in this article is: do you really need either of them?
The short answer to this question is, if you care at all about marketing, then yes.

YouTube marketing essentially just means having a strategy so that your videos get views. These strategies may include but are not limited to: choosing the right titles and tags, engaging with your audience in the proper way, choosing attractive thumbnails, posting at the right times...

Now, whether you want to monetize your channel or not, you are going to have to implement some of those strategies if you want to get views.
And even in their free versions, TubeBuddy and VidIQ can help out with that quite a bit by making your research work easier.

Here's what they offer, and why it may be beneficial for you:

Free versions of
TubeBuddy and VidIQ

Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ have free versions that you can download easily as browser extensions. What we really like about both of these extensions is that they haven't been stingy in the number of services they offer to free users!

In fact, if you can't afford any of the premium plans at this stage of your YouTube career, we still highly recommend getting one, if not both of them to help with your YouTube posting.

VidIQ Free Version: 
TubeBuddy Free Version:

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Browser Compatibility

Browser Compatibility:

Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ are compatible with the Google Chrome browser, and TubeBuddy also works with Firefox and Safari. Being compatible with your browser means that they show up in your search bar and become a part of your YouTube experience when you open the website through your browser.

Downloading them is also fairly simple; you only need to download the extension and create an account that you will link up with your YouTube channel.
In their free versions, neither extension asks you to enter bank card details. 

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Keyword research Tool

Keyword Advice:

One of the main benefits of using TubeBuddy or VidIQ is that they help you figure out what keywords are most popular with YouTube users, and which are the most competitive.
With either app, performing a search on YouTube will provide extra information on that search. When using TubeBuddy, you'll be able to find out how many users looked for that term this month, and how stiff your competition is.

Taking both metrics into account, TubeBuddy gives you the lowdown on whether a given keyword or phrase is good to target. You will also be able to see what other popular searches use the same keywords in alternative phrases, and what tags are commonly used by popular videos ranking for this keyword.

VidIQ is also useful on this one, though it provides you with different metrics.
When comparing TubeBuddy vs. VidIQ, you'll find that the latter doesn't let you know how many people searched this term this month, at least not on the free plan.
But, as with TubeBuddy, you will receive a report on the competitiveness of your given search word. 

Knowing how many people are searching for a given keyword can be instrumental in creating a video that gets a lot of views: you want to aim for a search word that a decent amount of users search for each month.

On the other hand, you also don't want to use keywords that are oversaturated, those for which you have no chance of ranking on the first page of results. The tools that TubeBuddy and VidIQ put at your disposal can help you to find that sweet spot between popular keywords, and achievable ones for the size of your channel. 

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Upload Keyword

Uploading Videos:

When it comes to uploading videos, both browser extensions can help to make the process easier, though the tools that they offer are a little bit different.

VidIQ will suggest tags for you to use, based on the best suggestions for the keywords you are targeting. For this particular feature, however, the free version is quite limited.
You will only see a handful of tags with it and will need to upgrade to a premium version to gain access to a full list. It also offers an uploading checklist, which can be useful, especially for newer users who may not be used to all the steps that uploading a YouTube video requires.

For all the useful functions of VidIQ, we still prefer TubeBuddy when it comes to uploading videos. Not only does it also suggest tags and a checklist, but it can also help with a thumbnail generator and some additional tips for "best practice".

Overall, we'd recommend TubeBuddy one if uploading YouTube videos and following all the requirements of SEO is something that you struggle with.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Tag Management

Tag Management:

We've already mentioned that both browser extensions can help you generate tags when uploading a new video. But there's also a lot more they can do which is often a neglected component of YouTube SEO. Tags help to get your YouTube video picked up by the algorithm, and can help to make your video appear in search results, even if its title is different from what the user typed in. 

With the premium version of both extensions, you'll be able to gain access to a full list of alternative tags that are ranking well in your niche.
These are often long-tail keywords that you wouldn't be able to find yourself.
Additionally, you'll be able to see which ones are the most competitive, versus which are the most accessible to new and less established YouTubers. 

With both extensions, you are not only able to choose the best tags when uploading a video, but also of revising the tags that you used on previous videos.
We don't have a preference for extensions, but if tags are an aspect of your YouTube SEO that you are trying to improve, we recommend that you get the premium version of either one of those extensions.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Demonetization

Demonetization Prevention:

While monetization is often the dream of every new YouTuber.
Demonetization is the greatest fear of all.

YouTube's constantly shifting algorithm targets videos that may be considered spammy, bad quality or offensive and demonetizes them. The logic behind those actions is that advertisers don't want their ads to be displayed before videos that are against their principles, or particularly controversial ones. So, as a preventive measure, YouTube chooses to demonetize videos that it judges "risky".

What constitutes a "risky" YouTube video?
That's the hardest part to found out! 

VidIQ suggests keywords for your videos based on your topic, but will also suggest keywords to avoid. Those are words that are related to your video, but may also have controversial connotations that you should stay away from. 

TubeBuddy goes further by showing you not only risky keywords to avoid but also by showing you what videos of yours have been demonetized. Once you have found that out, you'll be able to adjust your keywords and ask YouTube to remonetize the video. 

So, VidIQ vs TubeBuddy for demonetization prevention, who wins?

TubeBuddy is a clear favorite for us, with features that can help you both avoid being demonetized, and remonetize old videos.For YouTubers who are generating an income from their channel, it can be an invaluable tool.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Video information

Additional information on Videos:

It's no secret that YouTubers tend to be obsessed with their statistics.
They spend hours upon hours analyzing who is watching their video, where they come from, what there are range is...

The good news is that VidIQ and TubeBuddy give you even more information on your videos, including more statistics and scores that can help you know where you stand. What we love most is that it works on your videos but also on those of your competitors. So whether you're trying to find out how you're doing, or how your competition is managing their SEO, you can gain insights to help you do better on YouTube.

Here's how both extensions do:

With VidIQ, you'll be able to see how popular your video is in terms of the number of views, the number of views per hour, the engagement rate, the percentage of likes as opposed to dislikes, and how many people subscribed to your channel from this video.
Taking all of this into consideration, you'll get a VidIQ score out of 100, assessing how well your video is doing. Regularly checking the VidIQ score of your videos could help you improve your SEO over time, and be more receptive to the content that works, and to what doesn't.

TubeBuddy doesn't provide quite as many metrics.
You'll only see the total views of your video, the number of likes and dislikes, and the number of comments. In terms of SEO, you do get a few interesting metrics! For example, how many suggested videos are also from your channel, and how many search result tags you have for your video.

Overall, we think that VidIQ does better on that one, with the helpful SEO score that can help you figure out what you're doing right, and what needs improving on each video.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Channel Information

Additional information on Channels:

As well as information on individual videos, the TubeBuddy and VidIQ extensions can give some insights into the health of a YouTube channel and its development.
Both extensions are particularly useful YouTube SEO tools to figure out how well you are ranking compared to other YouTubers in the same niche.

With TubeBuddy, you can see how competitive channels are gaining subscribers and how the growth of your channel compares. While this is a useful metric, especially for advanced YouTubers, it could be anxiety-inducing for people who are newer on the platform. Remember: YouTube SEO is not built in a day, and it's normal for older channels to be gaining subscribers more rapidly than you are. Don't get bogged down by this fact, and only let it inspire you to keep on creating content and working on your SEO.

VidIQ has an even more global outlook on the health of a channel, providing you with a ranking of the most popular channels on your niche, and what kind of videos they are uploading. This can help you pick up rapidly on new types of videos that do well with viewers or help you avoid making videos that have already been done a thousand times this month. We like this feature and find that it can really help those looking to go viral by releasing a special kind of video at a given time. 

When it comes to the channel metrics, VidIQ vs. TubeBuddy, we prefer the competitive-focus of VidIQ and its ability to pick up on videos by your competitors that are gaining quick traction. That being said, the two also have many of the same features.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy comments and canned responses

Sorting Comments:

One of the keys to improving your YouTube SEO is to get an excellent engagement score; that means responding to comments, engaging in discussions with your subscribers.
In short, you have to be there for those who watch your videos.
But as soon as your channel begins to get famous, things get tricky.
You'll get thousands of comments on each video that can be hard to sort through, With that in mind, both TubeBuddy and VidIQ have features that help you sort out and manage comments to automatize some of the work of engaging with your audience.

Here's how it works: 

With both browser extensions, you'll be able to program "canned responses" for comments that you get frequently. Look for specific keywords or phrases, and come up with a sweet or witty reply that will be sent automatically.

Canned responses can sometimes come across as insensitive, especially if your audience realizes that they are generated automatically.
So use that tool with caution.

VidIQ also lets you add canned responses, but also helps you answer comments in person. By activating VidIQ in the comments section of one of your videos or of another YouTuber's, you'll be able to filter out comments.
Do you want to start by responding to comments that contain a question?
Or to comments that contain a specific relevant phrase? The ability to filter out comments can make it easier for you to know when to start with feedback, and take care of the more important ones first. After all, as your channel grows, you won't be able to answer all of them. So a tool that can help you focus on the more important ones can save you a lot of time and help maintain a high level of engagement with minimal effort. 

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy Analyzing Likes

Analyzing Likes:

Experienced YouTubers know that it's impossible to create a YouTube video that pleases everyone. There are bound to be haters, those who thumb down your videos out of pettiness. But since your like to dislikes ration matters to the YouTube algorithm, it can be well worth investigating where you lose your likes.

VidIQ has made it especially easy by providing you with a ration of likes to dislikes that shows up under each one of your videos. This makes it easy to see, for example, that one of your videos got 70% like ration when almost all others get way over 90%. You can begin to ask yourself, did I do something special on that video? Was I controversial? Could I have offended some people? This is arguably not the most important of YouTube SEO tools, but we do appreciate how easily manageable VidIQ it makes.

TubeBuddy, on the other hand, is still lacking in that category, only providing you with the number of thumbs up and thumbs down on a given video. 


For those who live and breathe their YouTube channel, being able to check on it with an app can be immensely valuable. As of yet, TubeBuddy is the only one of the two who came up with a mobile app for iOS and Android.

However, it's also relatively easy to check out your VidIQ stats from your mobile by adding it to your mobile browser. 

Comparing the extension specifics of
VidIQ vs TubeBuddy

We've compared VidIQ vs TubeBuddy on the things that matter...
Now let's compare them on the stuff that doesn't. Joking!

But there are a couple of miscellaneous perks that each extension offers which the other doesn't that could sway the scales for you one way or the other.

Here is a closer look at them:


Best Time Of Day Feature:

With the "Best Time of Day" feature, you'll be able to see what time you should post your next video to get a maximum of engagement in the first few hours.
In turn, this will help your video to rank higher on the algorithm and make it more likely that it'll gain traction.

Influencer Discovery:

This is VidIQ feature that only comes with a premium version. It analyzes your audience and lets you know what other channels your subscribers are subscribed to. In other words, it lets you know who your main competitors are...or maybe your next collaborators. This is a feature that can be very useful if you are trying to link up with other YouTubers to create content together. 


Thumbnail Generator:

We're sure you already know how to create a thumbnail with programs or apps like Photoshop, Gimp or Canva. So TubeBuddy's thumbnail generation tool is nothing revolutionary...but it certainly is very useful.

Not only does it make it easier than ever to create a thumbnail, but it can also help you to create several, similar-looking thumbnails at one time, improving your brand recognition.

Emoji Advice:

With hundreds of videos released on any topic any day of the week, standing out is hard. Still relatively underused, adding emojis to your YouTube video titles or descriptions is a great way to do so. That's why TubeBuddy offers an emoji picker feature, which suggests emojis that would go well on your video games and help your video get noticed.

Auto Translation:

With a premium TubeBuddy account, you can activate auto-translation.
This will automatically translate the title of your videos and their descriptions into other languages so that even people conducting searches in a language other than English can find them. If you are also adding subtitles to your videos and translating them, this can help drastically improve your viewership by reaching far out of the English-speaking sphere. 

Should you use both
VidIQ and TubeBuddy
extensions at the same time?

Now that we've had a closer look at what both extensions offer, you may be wondering why you shouldn't just use both at the same time.

After all, it's a pretty easy way to make sure that you get access to all the best features of either one. If you are opting to choose a premium plan (which we discuss more in detail later), we would advise you to stick to either VidIQ or TubeBuddy alone.

If, on the other hand, you are planning on sticking to the free version of the extensions, then using the two together can be an excellent way to get the most out of them. 

For some options, however, things might get a little bit tricky. For example, if both extensions are active when uploading a new video, you may find that there are too many functions popping up that do the same thing.

So we recommend getting used to switching VidIQ and TubeBuddy on and off so that you can have one on at any time, and change it for the other one when you want to use other special features. 

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy VidIQ Pricing
VidIQ vs TubeBuddy TubeBuddy Pricing

Premium versions of
VidIQ and TubeBuddy

So far we've discussed the main features that both apps have in their free versions, as well as a couple of things that you can expect with the premium version.

But what exactly will change when you upgrade and are the options worth it?!

Let's have a look:

Pricing - The different plans.

This is where things start to get a little bit complicated.
Both extensions have a confusing number of plans, with a couple of extra options.

TubeBuddy offers four different plans, going from free to /month.
The free plan has all the main features but some limitations, such as a limited number of suggested tags. 

The pro plan, which priced at /month, lets you search for additional keywords, add more tags, and gain access to more SEO tools. It also has a few members perks.
For example, getting a TubeBuddy account could get you discounts on other technology and SEO related programs like Filmora film editing, and you'll gain free access to AudioHero music and other similar tools.

The star plan, at $19/month, can help you to bulk process your videos, whether that means changing descriptions, updating tags, or responding to comments.
It's a useful plan if your channel is rapidly growing and you're looking to spend less time on marketing and more on content.

Finally, the so-called Legend plan is priced at $49/month and has a lot more precise and sophisticated analytical SEO tools. It's mainly used by massive channels that have a lot to gain from comprehensive market analysis. 

One thing that we like about TubeBuddy is that it offers exceptional discounts for smaller channels, for people with several channels and nonprofits. So if you're starting and have fewer than 1000 subscribers, a pro membership could be as cheap as $3.60/month for you. 

VidIQ also has four plans. The free program gives you fundamental functions, including some SEO help, market analysis, and necessary keyword help. 

The next plan, which priced at $7.50/month, brings you about the same benefits as a TubeBuddy pro plan, namely more precise analytics and a more extensive range of keyword and tags suggestions.

The most expensive plan for individual YouTubers is the Boost plan, priced at $39/month. It provides a lot of advanced analytical tools, some special SEO tips, and checklists, as well as help on generating long keywords that rank high. As with the TubeBuddy Legend price plan, it's mainly aimed at massive channels that have a lot to gain from small tweaks to their YouTube SEO.

Finally, VidIQ also has a unique plan for private companies. It is significantly higher priced but can cover YouTubers who have more than a few different YouTube channels.

Is it worth it for you? 

Is getting a TubeBuddy or VidIQ membership worth it for you?
It all depends on your goals for your channel, and on your budget.

We suggest that you start by using the free version of the extension you like better (or of both!) and try it out for a couple of weeks.

If you find that it helps you improve your ranking and SEO, it may be time to move on to a paid-for version that will benefit you with more precise analytics and keyword suggestions. 

Of course, this is assuming that you are very active on YouTube. If you only post a video once every couple of months, it's unlikely that getting the premium plan for these extensions will be very useful for you. 

As to the more expensive plans, we don't recommend dishing out for them unless you have spent a few months on the pro plans and have got significant results from them. 

Final Words
VidIQ vs TubeBuddy

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are both handy tools for YouTubers, offering a ton of YouTube SEO Tools, personal analytics, and help for ranking higher in the YouTube algorithm. But which one of the two should you get? It's going to depend a lot on what you're looking for. Here is what each one is especially good for: 

VidIQ is a great browser extension that we love for its ease of use.
Overall, it has fewer features than TubeBuddy.

But it's VidIQ score that gives each video based on several SEO considerations is a genuinely fantastic tool that makes it worth it for us. Here are the other things that it does very well and that help it stand out:

  • shows like percentages
  • better for managing comments and sorting them
  • the best time of the day feature
  • influencer discovery feature

TubeBuddy is by far the more multi-faceted of the two. It boasts an impressive number of features, which could be useful, or completely overwhelming, depending on how familiar you are with YouTube SEO. Its thumbnail generator function is a large part of its appeal, and chances are you've already heard about it for that device. Here are a couple more things that are unique about it:

  • compatible with more browsers than VidIQ
  • language integration
  • functions more effectively against demonetization
  • mobile App available
  • a vast range of member perks (benefits and discounts on other programs and SEO/editing tools)
  • discounts for smaller channels

So, our winner?

TubeBuddy for its versatility, its extra perks, and the more flexible pricing options!

That being said, VidIQ is a great contender, that some people prefer for its ease of use and a narrower range of options. And remember: nothing is stopping you from using both at the same time, so long as you remember not to activate both at once! 

We hope that this article has been helpful and has helped clear some of your questions on the VidIQ vs. TubeBuddy debate...

Now good luck, and may your channel prosper!