How to Beat the Youtube System

When uploading to Youtube it’s important that you understand the algorithm- when you put things on the web, it is important that you make it appealing to the viewer, creators always do this. But sometimes people forget that machines also read the information. There are certain pieces of information that the machine takes in about your video on Youtube such as metadata that all gets put into an algorithm. An algorithm tells the machine what to look at and how, and how to weigh the information provided that the machine is able to read. So what kinds of things do the machines look for? Here’s how to take advantage of the algorithm to earn more views.

To start with, the tags, title, description, and thumbnail need to attract viewers and be descriptive including keywords that don’t just help users find it, but also help the Youtube algorithm to know what your video is about. After that, you really should give your video subtitles, because those can be used as keywords for searching and the algorithm as well. Get it?


Also, when you tag your video on your social media, don’t just write about it and then copy and paste the page’s address at the end- instead, hyperlink the video into the most important or descriptive word or short phrase of your post, that way, Google and Youtube will know that your video had to do with that word. It is like a tag.
Another factor the Algorithm looks at is what percent of your video is viewed. This is to say that if someone clicks on your video, but click away after only a few seconds, it will not count as a view (except maybe if your video is only seconds long). It is therefore important that your video is not too long for people to want to watch the entire thing. It will likely help if you stay on topic throughout the video on the topic carefully and accurately tagged. People don’t typically like to wait before the actual video for announcements on upcoming videos and events if it takes too long; and they certainly won’t want to wait around after the video. Youtube will promote your video if it entices people to watch more videos, which is why your channel should consist of a particular theme or set of related topics so that people always know what they are about to watch. Don’t even try to make separate videos that have announcements, people may click and then click away once they see what it is. Make a separate account for all of that.

Because video retention is valued so much on Youtube, it would be best to make sure that your videos are not so long that people might be discouraged from watching the whole thing. Shorter videos are good for this. On the other hand, some of the videos that do the best on Youtube are longer videos. But then again, because longer view sessions means more promotion, one view on a 20 minute video is worth more than one view of a three minute video. Youtube weighs a view of a long video more, which is why they removed the 15 minute limit on length of videos back in 2011. (youtube Engineering Director, Christos Goodrow (video below))

Because the algorithm also likes total watch time per session, scripted, acted videos that require your attention can only be watched for some time before the viewer must do something else. Videos such as letsplays and vlogs do not require your full attention and people can watch them while they do other things. they can have hours of retention, and usually do. These videos are also relatively easy to make because they don’t require much editing, and therefore the Youtuber can upload more per week and allowing hours of retention at a time.

But hold on now, don’t just go on uploading videos every couple of hours- if youhave too much content and people don’t have time to watch it all, they will skip some of your videos for those on other channels. Every time someone skips your video, the algorithm tells them that they don’t like your stuff, and your videos will be removed from that viewer’s stream, even your own subscribers will not se your videos or your channel on their subscriptions page.

Perhaps the most important thing that you can do to increase viewership is to post your videos while you are on vacation. Youtube promotes videos by region, if you live in Wisconsin, your videos will mostly be viewed by people in Wisconsin and the Midwest. If you vacation to NYC, the viewership of your channel suddenly expanded. If your video gets enough views, you went from a Wisconsin channel to one that broadcasts throughout the United States. Some of the most successful channels include Vsauce, CGP Grey, and Pewdiepie- all of them were relatively small channels until the uploades moved to different countries, and the channels grew exponentially.



Matpat (The Game Theorists):

How PewDiePie Conquered Youtube

Yes, PewDiePie, Youtube is Broken

Computerphile: Youtube’s Secret Algorithm

MamaMax: Life Sucks-The youtube Algorithm

TEDx: Why Do We Ask Questions…


SocialBlade: Top 100 Youtubers

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