A platform within which an incredibly catchy children’s song racks up 9.3bn views and every content from unboxing to reaction videos receive huge impressions seems to be a great field of investment for marketers, influencers, and creators. Additionally, because YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and is a subsidiary of the first (Google), being spotted and growing a following on the platform can be highly beneficial to your brand. YouTube can also act as an alternative way of channeling visitors to your page or website and drive more traffic to them. All of these reasons should be enough at this point to realize the importance of being familiar with how the YouTube algorithm works.
It may have happened to you to sit at your computer and start looking for stuff to feed your pet and end up later watching hours of cat pranks without noticing. Studies show that 81% of American YouTube users regularly let the platform decides what they’re going to watch next. So, if you get to know the YouTube algorithm and get your videos recommended by YouTube, you can land higher in the search section, earn more likes and views, and eventually make exponential growth.
How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?
The algorithm is the last thing you should be concerned about on YouTube. Rather than looking for YouTube hacks, cheats, or shortcuts, try to cultivate audience loyalty. The only element that determines whether or not your videos are suited for the algorithms is the audience. The algorithm is the audience itself. And your mission is to build an audience who searches for your content and, most importantly of all, return to it.
YouTube has spent years perfecting its artificial intelligence. So, that it can track users’ preferences by looking at things they watch, they don’t watch, and the time they spend watching. Then it recommends the most appropriate content from among the 500 hours of videos published per minute.
Learn more about social media: Best Instagram Followers Apps
How Does YouTube Suggestion Work?
Recommendations are the videos, which are algorithmically offered up to the viewers. Unlike the Twitter algorithm, the YouTube algorithm is heavily based on suggested videos. YouTube is always trying to provide you with content that you are most likely to enjoy. The platform is constantly trying to serve you up with content that you’re most likely to watch and enjoy.
YouTube interface design also clarifies how recommendation matters for this platform. Your homage and alongside the videos you’re watching are always filled up with too many videos you may want to watch.
When you type YouTube.com into the search bar or open the app, you’ll be sent to the homepage. It’s a place where YouTube aims to make each viewer’s recommendations as relevant and personalized as possible. It’s also an excellent place for those who aren’t subscribers to find your content.
The videos displayed on the homepage are ranked by signals like:
- Behavior & History: What you watched, searched, or subscribed before
- Context: Your region and time zone
- Quality & Satisfaction: How well the content satisfies the individuals who share your taste in content, or if they watch it all the way through or not.
- Direct Feedback: The direct user feedback on the content by responding to the random surveys or reporting that.
You’ve probably experienced listening to a singer’s discography on YouTube using the suggestion feature and found songs that you’ve never heard about. The suggested videos are a bit narrowed down than the home page and are on the right of the viewing page, below the video currently watching on the app and the next auto-play video. YouTube’s AI tries to offer the best video if you’re most likely to watch it next. There are many strong signals for categorizing videos in the suggestion segment, such as:
- Videos are typically watched together.
- Relevantly related videos
- Videos from the viewer’s history
Learn more about social media: How to Share a YouTube Video on Instagram
How Does YouTube Search Work?
Over 60% of YouTube viewers are exploring the platform to solve a problem. The search function can give you views, subscribers, and huge earnings, especially when running a utility-based or educational channel. Also, Google supports you by gaining impressions from the search function because it owns YouTube. Now let’s take a look at the factors that influence YouTube search:
- Relevance: How well your titles, tags, description, and content match query.
- Engagement: Likes, comments, shares, real-time interactions (scrubbing, rewinding, etc.), CTR, audience retention, watch time, and average view iteration.
- Quality: Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a particular topic.
- Search & Watch History: The topics you searched for with your Google Account.
5 Tips to Outsmart YouTube Algorithm
We now have a few tips for busting the algorithm with the partial knowledge we achieved in the last part about how the YouTube algorithm works.
1) Niche Down on a Specific Topic
No matter if you’re teaching a foreign language, or recommending books, or even playing pranks, you need to narrow down on a specific topic to convince YouTube that you’re an expert, and as a result, build up trustworthiness around that particular topic.
Do not be afraid of competition over viewers if you find yourself an expert in a particular niche. Try to find the topic that you master, go deep on it and stay in your lane. Try not to make such excuses like the subject being saturated. Just try and create quality content with a touch of your creativity. Creativity helps your channel to stand out among the crowd. You can also back up your legit knowledge with humor and satire to engage your audience personally.
2) Master the Art of Metadata
YouTube is more of a search engine than a video platform. Therefore, by optimizing your SEO copywriting, you can feed the Google algorithms to help your video land higher in the search and recommend it to others. See the terms that people use to discover your channel in YouTube Analytics Traffic Sources. Include the most relevant search keywords for each new video.
- Do not blabber on the title. Keep it short, concise, and to the point. If you exceed 50 characters, it may truncate (being cut off) when mobile.
- Do not overlook how more extended tags can turn the game in your favor.
- Do not underestimate the importance of the content and words you put in your YouTube description (up to 5000 characters), especially the very first line because it shows up in the search.
- Consider using the translation tool for YouTube to reach an international audience.
Learn more about social media: YouTube Monetization
3) Make Enticing Thumbnails
Thumbnails are the teaser image that promotes your video. Humans are visual creatures, and their brain reacts to visual information in increasingly effective ways. You have a better chance of stopping scrollers and encouraging them to watch your video by including an intriguing, catchy, but not clickbaity thumbnail. Bear in mind that alongside being aesthetic, your thumbnails should accurately represent the content.
- Maintain a consistent visual style across your thumbnails.
- Avoid using misleading, deceiving, and clickbait thumbnails.
- Use easy-to-read fonts on your thumbnails.
- Do not use shocking, overly graphic, or sexually suggestive thumbnails to violate monetization policies.
4) Keep People Watching Your Channel
As mentioned above, a great deal of YouTube users let YouTube decides what to watch next. So, if you develop a topically related series of videos, you increase your chance of earning more views by trapping the audience in a loop of your content. It’s more likely that they watch a set of videos with commonalities in the same session.
- Make your CTAs strong enough to entice viewers to watch another one of your videos.
- Do not extend the endings of your videos and keep them short. Long endings may delay viewers from watching more.
- Do not miss any playlist, link, cards, and end screens to suggest the next video.
- Make videos about popular YouTube formats, such as lists of challenges.
5) Maintain Consistency
While you must constantly upload to meet your audiences’ expectations of seeing your videos, consistency is not just about frequency. In fact, it is about the integrity of your messaging, branding, videos, subjects, and so forth. When you achieve consistency, it improves your channel’s authoritativeness and trustworthiness in YouTube’s eyes. Therefore, you will be ranked up higher in the search section because of your quality.
Learn more about social media: 1000 Instagram Followers Free Trial
Final Words on the YouTube Algorithm
To encapsulate all the above information in one sentence, we can say:
‘Prioritize quality over everything on YouTube!’
Take your time strategizing your content and making it simultaneously better and different from your counterparts. A video of good quality will be evergreen, and a wise audience can locate that and return to that with the help of the YouTube algorithm, which praises quality.
People one day love you and hate you the next day. So, don’t let fluctuations and seasonality let you down and deviate you from your path. That is the way content marketing works.
Check out more of our content: