Wondering How YouTube Algorithms Work? People all over the world watch more than 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day. They watch everything from cat videos to videos about cats. The YouTube algorithm is the system that decides which videos to recommend to the more than 2 billion people who use YouTube (and untold numbers of feline users).
This raises an important question for marketers, influencers, and creators alike: how do you get YouTube’s algorithm to recommend your videos and help you get more likes?
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what the algorithm is (and isn’t), go over the most recent changes for 2022, and show you how the pros use YouTube’s search and discovery systems to get videos in front of people’s eyes.
The YouTube algorithm before 2022
A few times in its history, YouTube has made big changes to its algorithm. Because of this, these changes directly affected the videos that were posted and how users found them.
2005-2011: Clicks & views
In YouTube’s early days, it was all about how many people were looking at a video and how many clicked on it to watch it. In 2006, Nike’s ad with Ronaldinho was the first video on YouTube to get 1 million views. The Evolution of Dance was the first video to get 100 million views in 2008. But because clicks and views were so important, clickbait videos took over the platform and turned people off.
2012: Watch time
YouTube announced in 2012 that they would use a new metric called “Time Watched” in their search and “Suggested Video” algorithms. YouTube decided that the videos that people watched for longer should be given more weight in its algorithm.
2015-2016: Satisfaction & personalization
In 2016, YouTube put out a paper about the algorithm it uses to make recommendations. The paper says that the user’s watch history, search history, and history of finishing videos all helped make recommendations that were more tailored than ever. Also, the company used surveys to find out what its customers liked and disliked.
2016-present: Demonetization & policy updates
Even though demonetization has been in place since 2012, the platform didn’t start telling content creators they were breaking rules until 2016. Many big companies stopped advertising because their ads were running next to videos that were offensive or violent. YouTube changed its algorithm even more to have stricter rules about ads and to make it harder to join the Partner Program.
How does the YouTube algorithm work today?
YouTube explained its algorithm and how its recommendations system works in more detail in 2021. Most of all, YouTube wants people to enjoy the videos and spend as much time as possible on the site.
YouTube makes personalized suggestions based on three main categories:
Personalization: user watch history and action
Performance: interest in watching the video, length of time spent watching, and satisfaction
External factors include current events, how well your competitors are doing, and how relevant the topic is to the current season.
The algorithm affects seven different parts of YouTube. Let’s look more closely at what each of these means.
1. YouTube Home
Home is the first page people see when they open YouTube, and it’s one of the best places for most channels to get traffic. The more you use YouTube and comment on videos, the more your Home will look like you. Here, you can also see the channels you’ve signed up for.
2. Suggested Videos
When you’re watching a video, the sidebar will show you other videos that you might like. If you let the video you’re watching play to the end, a suggested video will play next.
3. YouTube Search
The search engine on YouTube is very good. After all, Google owns the platform. Keep in mind that search results aren’t just based on videos with the most views, so learning YouTube SEO can help you rank higher.
4. Trending Videos
The Trending tab on YouTube shows the most popular videos right now and shows which creators are becoming more popular. These results are based on where the user is from and try to be both popular and new. For example, the “Creator on the Rise” and “Artist on the Rise” sections are updated every day with new channels.
5. Subscribers & Subscriptions tab
Subscribers are people who have chosen to get more of your content. When someone subscribes to your channel, your videos show up in the “Subscriptions” tab of their YouTube account. Subscribers are your biggest fans and the people who watch your videos the most. On the Home page, you can also see if you have any video subscriptions.
6. YouTube Notifications
Notifications are alerts that are sent to a user by email or push. By default, notifications come from channels you subscribe to or frequently watch. The subscribe button lets users change how often they get notifications.
7. YouTube Restricted Mode
You can use YouTube’s “Restricted Mode” to filter out content that might be too mature for kids. This mode won’t work unless it is turned on. To find out if your videos are in Restricted Mode, you’ll need to turn it on and go directly to your videos.
Conclusion on How YouTube Algorithms Work
Even though the YouTube algorithm is not completely clear, there is still some information about how it works. We know that the algorithm has changed over time, from putting more weight on the number of views to making the home feed more personalized. We also know that it affects different parts of YouTube, like the Home page, the Suggested page, the Subscriptions page, and more.
Now that you know how the YouTube algorithm works, the next big step is to figure out how people use social media and how you can stand out.