Understanding how the YouTube algorithm works can be a particularly daunting beast. Seemingly ever-changing, it can be hard to know what content will work. It’s especially soul-crushing when a video on which you’ve worked really hard goes live and completely tanks. We’ve all been there.
Understanding how the YouTube algorithm works is the key to success on the platform. The algorithm influences everything from your YouTube homepage, the trending page, your subscriptions, and your notifications. It’s important you get to know how it works for long-term success. Once you know the ways to play the game, you’ll start to notice a real difference in your analytics. Below, we’ve broken down the key aspects of how the YouTube algorithm works in 2021.
According to YouTube themselves, the algorithm is “a real-time feedback loop that tailors videos to each viewer’s different interests.” In other words, it’s deciding which videos will get suggested to each and every user. But how does it do this?
Firstly, the YouTube algorithm ranks videos by assigning them a score based on performance analytics data. This might sound a little intimidating so let’s break it down.
Once the algorithm has ranked a video, it looks to match the video to a potential viewer via personalisation. It does this by analysing the following data points:
The YouTube algorithm isn’t necessarily looking to identify "good" videos. What it’s looking to do is match viewers with videos that they want to watch. Ultimately, the goal of all of this is that the viewer spends as much time as possible on YouTube. The longer the time spent on the platform, the more adverts are served to them.
Now that you know how the YouTube algorithm works, here are a few top tips on how to improve your video rankings.
We hope this helps you on your YouTube journey. The algorithm doesn’t have to be as complicated and scary as it’s sometimes made out to be. With the right knowledge and understanding, you can make the algorithm work for you. We look forward to watching your YouTube videos soon!
Josh is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, and storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK). He’s really passionate about travel and documents adventures and stories through his films.