YouTube algorithm

YouTube Q&A algorithm

Probably every creator who wants to appear on YouTube asks himself numerous questions related to the way the YouTube algorithm works. We will try to answer some of these questions based on the knowledge that platform engineers share with us.

There are many more or less true theories about how the algorithm works, which is why YouTube employees from time to time try to reveal the secret to the creators, explaining what is true and what is a myth. And this is the knowledge we want to share with you in the form of the "questions and answers" article. Let’s go!

1. What factors affect whether a video is recommended to other users?

We can mention three such factors. The first is the personalization of materials, based on the analysis of the user's viewing history. Another factor is the reception of the published material by users - views (whether the topic is potentially interesting for viewers), viewing time (whether the material meets the viewers' expectations, which makes them willing to watch it after clicking play button) and satisfaction (the number of likes of the material, comments). The last factor is the so-called external factors, such as seasonality of certain themes, competition in the market (a video may be well received, but others on the same topic may be received even better) and thematic connections (if you are a viewer of cooking programs and the algorithm detects that food fans are happy to watch e.g. reviews of mobile phones, YouTube may recommend you movies with phones, although you have never looked for them yourself).

2. Does changing the metadata (title, description, thumbnail) position the material anew?

The YouTube algorithm reacts to the behavior of users towards a given video. Changing the metadata itself does not reposition the material, but it can translate into a change in the behavior of viewers who come across your video.

3. Does a longer break in the publication of videos on the channel cause new content to perform worse?

YouTube employees conducted an analysis of channels that had a break in uploads and "no correlation" between the length of the break and the results of views of new materials.

4. Statistics show that my video is eagerly watched by users and well received by them, yet I do not see it being promoted. Why?

Probably, materials on this subject on the channels of other Creators are doing even better and they are being recommended.

5. Are materials from monetized channels positioned better than videos on channels not participating in the Partner Program?

According to YouTube, the algorithm does not know which videos are monetized and which are not, therefore this factor has no influence on the behavior of the algorithm towards the video.

6. Are the tags relevant?

According to YouTube, tags play a secondary role. Their main function is to correct common spelling mistakes. It is therefore worth thinking about how Internet users can "quickly" search for given materials and what typographical errors they may make while doing so.

7. Does setting the channel location to a specific country make the channel more promoted in that country?

No. Channel location is not taken into account by the recommendation system.

8. Does setting a video as "unlisted" before proper publication have a negative impact on its success?

No. What matters is the behavior of YouTube users toward your video after it has been made public.

9. Does the time of video publication affect its success?

According to YouTube, the time of publication (e.g. morning vs. evening) is not a factor in the long-term success of a video, as the algorithm's job is to deliver the right content to YouTube users regardless of when they visit the platform and when the material was published. However, for our part, according to the principle that "happiness needs to be helped", we recommend that you consider publishing new materials at the time of the highest traffic on the channel.

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