How to put a tag on a YouTube video?

Youtube algorithm: it is important to know what’s new in order to know how to have more view.

More than 70% of the time spent on YouTube is dedicated to viewing the content recommended by the algorithm, according to Neal Mohan, company product manager. In addition, the algorithm is very powerful for knowing the tastes of users, so that on average mobile device viewing sessions last 60 minutes.

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However, the YouTube algorithm does not just guide user behavior, it also significantly affects video creators. The subject of your video, its duration, the time of publication, the keywords that make up your metadata, and the purpose of your calls to action — all of these influences not only the performance of your video, but also the success of your entire marketing strategy on YouTube.

This article brings together the latest information about the workings of YouTube, so your videos can claim their right place among the 400 hours of video uploaded every minute.

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Timeline of the evolution of the YouTube algorithm

Before 2012: number of views

Until 2012 (when users watched only 4 billion hours of YouTube content per month, instead of a billion per day), YouTube ranked videos according to a unique setting: the number of views .

While this method was aimed at rewarding the best quality videos and placing the most popular in front of the audience, it instead resulted in a clickbait problem (click trap). If the title of a video is misleading, it may prompt the user to click on it, but the video will quickly end to its viewing. This strategy therefore had a negative impact on quality, and therefore for advertisers, and therefore, for the platform itself.

2012-2016: Viewing Time and Session Time

YouTube has reworked its algorithm to focus on viewing time as well as the time spent on the platform in general (in other words, session length ). Again, users have resorted to painful strategies to counter the algorithm, such as taking as much time as possible before tackling the point of the video expected by everyone. (Even though, to be honest, YouTube has never hidden that sneaky optimization practices do not guarantee any results, and has always encouraged creators to focus on the quality of their content.)

In parallel, the algorithm rewarding videos that manage to captivating viewers longer (what some creators interpreted as “longer videos” and which may not be the case), creators had to reduce the time they spent on each of their videos. They could no longer afford to offer high-quality, long and worked videos at regular intervals. It’s not surprising that five of the top ten YouTube names in 2018 have climbed to the top of the leaderboard while filming themselves playing video games.

2016: Machine Learning

Then, in 2016, YouTube published a white paper explaining the role of deep learning and machine learning in its recommendation system.

We couldn’t make any clearer:

A source: Deep Neural Networks for YouTube Recommendations, 2016

I’m kidding. We obviously learned a lot about the algorithm, but it still keeps many secrets.

Moreover, it is not perfect. YouTube has been subject to some criticism over the past two years. Some technology theorists have called its algorithm a “disinformation engine” and a “tool of radicalization” because of its tendency to highlight videos on conspiracy theories, fake news or other ever more troubling content. According to one study, the YouTube algorithm holds the same share of responsibility as those of Facebook and Twitter in creating the filter bubble that influenced the US presidential election of 2016.

Thus, YouTube continues to make changes to its algorithm, employing more human moderators, by removing the videos reported by journalists “watchdog” English), and demonetizing channels with shocking content.

2017: quality

In 2017, YouTube supposedly improved the quality of the new videos highlighted, in order to reduce the visibility of “provocative religious and supremacist” content.

2018: monetization

In early 2018, the change in YouTube’s monetization policy (which was not well received) reduced the number of content creators under active monitoring of the platform. However, just a few months later, CNN said it discovered that advertisements from 300 major brands, including Adidas, Cisco, Hilton and Amazon, appeared on channels promoting supremacist, Nazi, pedophile and extremist discourse. The brands therefore had no guarantee that they would not be associated with content that tarnishes their image, even by choosing the “brand-safe” option when buying advertising space.

2019: Prohibition of “Limit Content”

In early 2019, YouTube announced that its algorithm would no longer recommend “limit content” that could harm or greatly misinform viewers.

It remains to be determined whether these changes will relieve advertisers, but first, let us look at what we know about the current operation of the algorithm.

How does the YouTube algorithm work?

YouTube informs us that “YouTube’s search and detection system has two objectives: to help people find the videos they want to watch, and to foster interaction with viewers and their long-term satisfaction”

Algorithm influences the six locations to which your video may appear on YouTube:

• In the search results

• In Recommendations Feeds

• On the YouTube homepage

• In trend streams

• In channel subscriptions

• In notifications

Youtube algorithm filters recommendations

With the 2016 white paper we mentioned earlier, we know that YouTube’s algorithm (or its AI, if you prefer) tracks perceived user satisfaction to create a personalized and addictive recommendation feed.

To summarize, an artificial neural network filters videos to determine if they could be selected to appear in the “To follow” section of the user (based on the user’s history and content viewed by similar users).

At the same time, a second deep learning network classifies videos by scoring them. The factors for determining this score remain secret, at least in part: we know that the degree of novelty and frequency of publication of a channel are part of it.

The idea is not to identify “good” videos, but to offer videos that match the desires of users, the ultimate goal being that they spend as much time as possible on the platform (and therefore view as many ads as possible).

In 2018, the American research center Pew Research inferred that the more time users spend on YouTube, the longer and popular videos will be offered by the algorithm.

Youtube algorithm classifies search results

Search results on YouTube depends on two main factors (and a multitude of more mysterious ones):

• if the metadata of your video (title, description, keywords) match the user’s request

• the commitment rate already recorded for your video (likes, comments, viewing time)

However, “the search results do not match the list of the most watched videos for a certain query,” insists YouTube (finally, we emphasize it).

What factors influence the YouTube algorithm?

According to YouTube, the behaviors of the users listed below influence the choices of the algorithm:

• content users are watching or not watching (i.e. impressions vs. readings)

• the time users spend to watch your video (viewing time or retention)

• how fast a video increases in popularity, or not (speed of change in the number of views, growth rate)

• the degree of novelty of a video (new videos can be promoted to allow them to gain popularity)

• how often a channel publishes videos

• the time users spend on the platform (session duration)

• Likes, I don’t like, shares (commitment)

• “Not interested” (ouch) notices

That being said, remember that the algorithm is complex, constantly evolving and for its most part, incomprehensible (especially if you are not working at Google).

Although there is no warranty other than (repeat with me) create entertaining and quality content, here are some proven best practices to help you get your channel on the path to success.

13 tips to improve your natural reach on YouTube

1. Use relevant keywords in titles to optimize search

This applies to all of your metadata: description, subtitles, and tags of your videos. (Tip: this doesn’t mean you can just grab a hodgepodge of unrelated words. Your human audience must be able to read text that makes sense.)

2. Take advantage of the full potential of your description

Write intriguing and fair first lines, while taking care to use relevant keywords. YouTube prefers long and detailed descriptions, even if only the first lines are visible, unless the user clicks “More”.

3. Use your traffic sources to define which keywords to use

Take advantage of your channel’s search report to find out what terms users already use to find you. Make sure you use the same terms in the titles, descriptions, and keywords associated with your videos (as long as they remain relevant: Encouraging users to click on your video will only compromise your ranking if they end viewing after a few seconds).

4. Use your traffic sources to create new videos

If users find you using a keyword that you are not using for your videos, ask yourself if this might not be an angle of approach to consider for your next content in order to enjoy this niche.

5. Transcribe your videos

It is common for users to watch videos without turning on sound, especially on their phone, so talk to them by incorporating subtitles. Automatically generated subtitles are available for some languages, but if you import your own subtitle file, it will also be indexed in search engines to improve your ranking in results.

6. Translate your video

Your potential audience includes users who do not speak your language. YouTube encourages creators to expand their audience by offering translations of their videos titles, descriptions, and subtitles whenever they can. Translations are also indexed in search engines.

7. Create Thumbnails

custom In addition to your title, the image you choose to represent your video plays a crucial role for the user in search of entertainment. Keep this in mind: ninety percent of YouTube’s most popular videos use their own thumbnail rather than an auto-generated image. Make it one of your priorities.

8. Convince your viewers to watch the entire video

Ideally, your video naturally has value and a captivating dimension, so viewers will watch it to the end. However, if you notice a decrease in viewing time, test different tactics to add value at the end of your video. You can also place links to strategic passages to redirect viewers to your other videos.

9. Do not neglect the final

Use sidebars, overlapping images, and end screens to guide viewers to other videos. These are clickable links that appear in your videos. Use it to direct viewers to your channel and your next video.

10. Convince your viewers to subscribe to your channel

Your subscriber count is not just to flatter your ego: the more subscribers you have, the greater the organic reach of your videos. Wait to make your request when they are most likely to be seduced: after a joke, a surprise announcement or a bounce. In addition, if these subscribers activate notifications, you won everything: they will be notified of each of your new videos. Check out this list of popular YouTube channels for inspiration.

11. Create series and not unique videos

By creating a series of videos related to each other, you encourage viewers to watch others of your videos. You can also group relevant videos into a playlist to play automatically one after the other, reducing the probabilities so that a user decides to go to another channel (or worse, to end their viewing session: remember, the total session time on YouTube impacts on the viewing time of your channel).

12. Promote your off-platform

Promote YouTube videos on your blog, social media, marketing emails, email signature, etc. Take advantage of every communication tool. To learn more about this topic, check out our list Complete tips to promote your YouTube channel.

13. Monitor your performance

Be interested in what works and what does not work, and the reasons for these results. Observe the viewing abandonment rate, subscriber behavior, and the most active publishing times. You can also identify which videos need to be updated or replaced. Take advantage of our comprehensive guide to YouTube Analytics.

Share your YouTube videos and schedule them to all social networks from the Hootsuite dashboard. Our secure platform allows you to analyze your performance, manage multiple YouTube accounts at once, moderate feedback, and more. Try Hootsuite for free today.

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