How does the Youtube algorithm work?

How does the Youtube algorithm work?

Youtube application

Every day, approximately 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are seen by individuals all over the world, ranging from travel vlogs to funny cat videos. The YouTube algorithm is an algorithm that decides which videos are recommended to YouTube’s 2 billion+ human visitors.

This poses a difficult question for marketers, influencers, and content creators: how can you persuade YouTube’s algorithm to recommend your videos in order to help you earn more views?

In this blog post, we’ll go over what the algorithm is (and isn’t), the most recent updates for 2021, and how YouTube’s search and discovery features are used by pros to push videos in front of viewers.


Algorithm Focus Areas

You should take note of these key areas that have been identified as key signals that the algorithm considers in terms of viewers:

  • Which videos viewers actually spend time watching.
  • Which videos viewers do not watch
  • Includes videos that viewers click and then leave – they actually affect your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) a lot
  • How many minutes your viewers are watching
  • The longer viewers watch, the higher your CTR
  • How many likes and dislikes the video attains
  • Viewers’ demographic and geographic information
  • Videos get suggested by this information
  • Viewers’ history videos
  • If a viewer watched videos similar to yours, you have a better chance of being recommended
  • Viewers’ Search History 
  • Using a highly searched keyword in your videos will be beneficial
  • Consistent uploads on a channel
  • The algorithm recommends content from active channels
  • How long a video has been online
  • New videos will be recommended to subscribers or viewers with similar interests.
  • A video’s rate of growth 
  • Essentially suggesting whatever is strendy
  • Video engagement (likes, dislikes, comments, shares)
  • Engagement proves that there’s an interest in your videos therefore the algorithm will suggest it more often


3 Key Algorithm Areas to Watch

There are certain factors that you can try to control, and these are the ones to focus on while using YouTube for your brand.

  1. Video Click-Through-Rates (CTR)

CTR refers to the chances that a viewer will actually click on your video after seeing it. 

  1. Watch Time

Analyze how you can increase your videos’ watch time by engaging with the audience. Make your videos in a way that your viewers would stay and not click out.

  1. Subscriber Loyalty

Encourage your viewers to watch more of your videos in order to gain a following and consistent engagement.

Your YouTube Analytics will provide you with valuable information about how your visitors engage with your channel. Consider these factors and keep track of which videos do well on your channel.

If a specific video performs well, produce more of them. And, if you want to try something new, YouTube invites you to do so as well. You’ll be able to figure out what works and keeps visitors coming back for more.


YouTube Search Algorithm – Ranking Signals

YouTube is currently the second most popular search engine, trailing only Google, its parent corporation. YouTube receives more than three billion monthly searches than Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and combined.

Understanding the newest YouTube trends and developing SEO best practices is critical for increasing brand visibility and driving interaction. Here’s how YouTube’s search engine results page (SERP) ranks videos, as well as how artists and companies can optimize their films for YouTube SEO.

Ranking Signals

The two crucial SERP ranking signals for YouTube are:

  1. Metadata-based keyword relevance (Title, description, and keywords)
  2. Metrics of engagement (Watch time, likes, comments, etc.)

Your titles, descriptions, and content are evaluated on how closely they fit a user’s search query on YouTube.


In terms of engagement metrics, view time and recency are two of the most important criteria in video SERP ranking. Viewers’ viewing history is also taken into account by YouTube; how many videos have users viewed from your channel, and when was the last time they watched videos on the same topic?

Overall, YouTube’s ranking system will reward videos that answer users’ inquiries and keep viewers’ attention.


YouTube SEO – Video Optimization

Creators and brands must improve metadata to make the most of YouTube’s SEO system. The title, description, and tags of your movie are all part of the metadata.

Videos with keyword-rich titles and descriptions are more likely to appear in relevant searches.

Create a one- or two-paragraph description that “gives an overview of your video in regular language—not simply a torrent of keywords,” according to YouTube. In the opening paragraph of your description, include the most important keywords, and in the title of your video, include your main keyword.

The description area allows viewers to find your video and decide whether or not they want to watch it. The first few words of your description will display in the SERP and on the video page before the “Show more” link. You may add additional information below the “Show more” break (including keywords).


The title and thumbnail of your movie might also have an influence on your placement. More people will click on your video from the SERP if it has a good thumbnail, which increases views and informs YouTube that your video is relevant to the query. Your thumbnail should correctly reflect the content of your video; otherwise, it might harm your rating.

Tags can also be added to your videos. Tags aid in the finding of your material, although they play a little impact in the discovery of your video. When it comes to SEO and attracting traffic, your video’s title, thumbnail, and description are more significant bits of information.


YouTube Suggested Videos 

Users can find videos under the “Suggested Videos” sidebar on the right side of the watch website, below videos on the mobile app, and as the next video on autoplay on YouTube.


How does YouTube determine the videos to recommend?

YouTube “tries to match each viewer to the videos they are most likely to watch and enjoy,” according to the company. The objective is to keep viewers on YouTube as long as possible, which inevitably leads to more advertising being shown to them.

This is when the previously discussed deep learning algorithm comes into play. The system rates videos depending on how well they perform, then links them with potential viewers based on a variety of variables. Consider it a matching game that tries to match each viewer with the information that best fulfills their search intent and keeps their attention—it needs to be more than just a nice thumbnail!


Factors that influence recommendation include:
  • The user’s previous viewing history: What subjects, videos, and channels have they previously viewed and interacted with?
  • Videos that are topically relevant
  • Other videos that other viewers are watching at the same time as the current video: What do users who are similar to you watch?


YouTube suggests the following to enhance the chances that a viewer will watch more than one of your films in a row:

Encourage people to watch another of your videos at the end of your video.

  • Recommend suitable videos to viewers, use playlists, links, cards, and end screens.
  • Create a video series.

Look at the “Traffic Sources” report in your YouTube Analytics dashboard to discover which videos attract people to your channel from “Suggested Videos.”


The YouTube Algorithm can be extremely tricky but with constant analyzing and reviewing, you will soon be familiar with the way YouTube works.