Unveiling the YouTube Algorithm

youtube algorithm

The YouTube algorithm is mostly responsible for what people watch on YouTube, around 70% of the time. A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that 81% of Americans reported that they watch videos recommended by the sophisticated algorithm of YouTube.

If you are a content creator and want to grow your viewership or a business looking to expand on the digital avenues, the recommendation algorithm will play a significant role. It would be best if you were looking to create quality content and optimize your channel to become the recommender’s best friend.

YouTube is known for being quite secretive about the factors that make up its algorithm. Let us look into the history of how YouTube decided what to pop out in front of users to watch. We will also determine how the latest algorithm works.

The YouTube Algorithm Through Time

The first-ever video was uploaded on YouTube back in 2005. A decade and a half later, 500 hours of video is uploaded to the platform each minute. What determines the 2 billion users should watch? This has dramatically varied over time. Let us look into the chronological changes that took place over the years:

Inception – 2012

In the initial seven years, YouTube upscaled the videos that got more user clicks rather than user engagement.

This system had a lot of loopholes. It tended to enthrall people with clickbait titles, misleading descriptions, and fake thumbnails. Users were tricked into clicking videos, which would ultimately result in disappointment, and they had to abandon it midway. YouTube took a lot of time to realize that their website’s user experience was abysmal, and they decided to take the alternate route.

View Duration (2012-2016)

In 2012, YouTube announced to part ways with the old system. They updated their discovery system to show people what they were genuinely interested in. YouTube wanted to prioritize videos that hogged the user-attention for a long while. By doing so, YouTube could pitch itself as a high-quality experience provider to the advertisers.

People started to manipulate this system, as well. Videos were made either too short to get a higher user-retention or very long to increase the watch time. YouTube encouraged people to make videos that people want to watch rather than just playing around with the recommender system.

The Rise of Machine Learning (2016)

In 2016, YouTube decided to embrace machine learning. It introduced deep neural networks to recommend the perfect videos to its users. This massive change was announced in a white-paper.

Although this white-paper is quite impressive, it does not spill all the secrets. It is publicly available, and even if you can decipher it, it is quite vague. It is just like if McDonald’s announced that its burgers are made up of bread and a few ingredients.

We do not know the extreme specifics of the overall working of the algorithm. Still, we are sure that it is based upon the users’ perceived satisfaction to create an attractive stream of video recommendations.

Current Age

For quite a few years, YouTube has been questioned about the videos that its algorithm promotes and those it doesn’t. YouTube is striving hard that false and misleading information does not spread through its platform. According to YouTube, the changes made in early 2019 to the algorithm have decreased the watch time of marginal content by 70%. Marginal content refers to videos that take advantage of the system’s loopholes to propagate harmful or misleading information.

According to the CEO, 94% of the videos that show up in the top 10 results are from credible and high authority websites. As a creator, you must always know that the content with increased visibility and ad revenue is regarded as long as it does not cross the line into something objectionable. YouTube will not take long to demonetize your channel.

How to Improve Reach on YouTube

Let us now discuss a few ways to getting more recognized on the platform:

Optimizing the Video Description

Although most people believe that the description is simply a place to list all social media accounts( although that is important too), it is much more than that. The description helps the algorithm bring out your video when a user searches for your topic. Make sure you target the right keyword and load the first sentence with it naturally.

Know Your Audience

Analytics plays a crucial role in determining the future of any channel. If you pay attention to what your audience is like and their distribution, such as demographics, you can make content targeted explicitly for them. Experiment with your content and make sure to adapt accordingly.

Keep Your Channels Busy

The number of videos uploaded and the frequency are essential for the YouTube algorithm and the home screen. You must, however, not lose quality. Increase the number of your videos only if you can maintain the quality. You can seamlessly introduce it into the regime. For example, you can set specific days for Question and Answer sessions or unboxing on a particular day of the week, etc.

Increase the User View Duration

One of the critical indicators for the algorithm is the view duration. You will find a lot of advice on making your videos too long or short to reach this feat. However, remember that the audience will only stick to your videos if they find them interesting Also You can give power by buy youtube views from https://buyyoutubviews.com. After you have taken the users to the very end, make sure to put play cards. Your followers are most likely to trust your recommendations rather than anyone else.


YouTube is one of the most popular video search engines to exist. The recommendation system has gone through many iterations and developments over the years. The top factor, however, to this day, remains to upload content with top-notch quality that understands the needs of your audience.

Scroll to Top