YouTube algorithm – Here’s how it works!

Since the advent of YouTube in 2005, the video bible has grown exponentially by achieving immaculate milestones over the last 15 years. YouTube has now become one of the leading tech giants, giving young talent the opportunity to have their fair share in the drastically growing industry of digital marketing and visual content. The Marketing Heaven has made the careers of so many famous people we know of, today. From over the top and absolutely fabulous make-up artists to music neophytes turned aficionados and celebs, YouTube has changed the dynamics of visual content and digital marketing alike. But how does the YouTube Algorithms really work? Here’s what we know as of yet – Let’s get into it!

How does the algorithm really work?


The Al generated and controlled search algorithms work in a constantly subjective yet highly versatile way. The search results and recommendations are subjected to the type of content, users generally indulge themselves into. At the beginning of 2012, YouTube would rank and market videos, based on the amount of views it had received. This became very easy to tackle with an influx of Click Bait videos uploaded on YouTube every day. The problem with this algorithm design was that unnecessary and ghost content started to get registered as the top most viewed content creating a diverse range of quality and control issues for YouTube.

Watch Time

Soon YouTube was able to redesign their algorithms and introduced a new mode of marketing and content visibility, tailored to the users watch time and session time habits. Now YouTube is able to optimize search results through recommendations, search bar and home updates, notifications and trending streams using the data collected through the targeted user.

Session Time

Watch time and Session Time play an integral role in the process of tailoring content for particular users. For instance a regular user on average invests around 60 minutes to 90 minutes watching a video, especially on their phone. Using this data analysis YouTube is now able to design and tailor content for their users according to their respective session and watch time.

One great example of strategically channeling this algorithm for content marketing came out with the advent of Game reviews and playbacks on YouTube. Gamers and reviewers took this chance to gain exponentially high views and subscribers by recording themselves playing games, strategically reviewing and discussing game plays, features, cracks and much more. These video game enthusiasts churned up sufficient six figures by simply recording long – good quality yet easy to film videos and used the algorithms productively to increase the percentage of views and subscribers.

Quality and the length of the video

Post 2015 YouTube has upgraded its algorithms to mark content as highly recommended by considering the quality of the video as a ranking standard. This means that apart from your personally tailored YouTube recommendations, videos and visual content shows up on your homepage and Search bar based on the quality of the content uploaded on YouTube. Producing and uploading impeccably shot or informative and visually saturated content will allow your video and content to gain higher recommendation credibility on the YouTube algorithm.

Subjective Content

The recent upgrades in the algorithms allow YouTube to personally tailor content and target individuals using their search history. For instance if you watch a lot of indie Music videos you will notice a diverse array of new Indie Artists showing up on your Homepage and recommendations. This happens because YouTube uses your search history and habits to meticulously curate recommendations and filters that are specifically tailored for you to indulge into similar content. The algorithm works in an interesting manner. Using a kind of referral technique to generate views and redirect users to similar yet interesting content.

Upload consistency and Popularity time

The sneaky brains at YouTube also take the upload consistency of a channel into specific regard when tailoring recommendations and content leads. If you have been consistently uploading quality content on your YouTube channel you might be able to collect a higher amount of views and rank higher in the YouTube Recommendation algorithm. Consistency and the average time it takes for a video to gain enough popularity plays an integral part when it comes to optimizing YouTube search ranking.

Al based Search results

Since 2017 YouTube has introduced human hosts and quality analysts, in order to further optimize and scrutinize the quality of content posted on the billion dollar platform. Especially after stories of using ghost content on social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, used inappropriately to rig the 2016 US elections, surfaced. YouTube introduced human hosts in order to properly scrutinize visual content for hoax and misinformation in order to improve the quality and credibility of the content.

How to improve your search ranking on YouTube

There are a couple of ways you can improve your search ranking in the YouTube Search Engine. Some of them include

  • Using accurate and essential Keywords in your Metadata: when uploading titles, target specific keywords and hooks in the description.
  • Use interesting and attractive titles in order to gain attention.
  • Use highly engaging thumbnail photos. You should always prefer selecting thumbnail images yourself. Usually before uploading videos on YouTube an automated thumbnail suggestion would be provided. It is always advisable to choose this personally since a lot of the times users and viewers engage with videos and content that have exciting thumbnails.
  • Use specifically targeted and strategically placed Click to Action buttons/markers on your Videos. You should also make sure that these markers appear on your visual content usually near the end. You can redirect viewers to your channel by carefully placing these markers on your video.

While YouTube is highly saturated with visual content it can be tricky to have your videos stand out from the rest of them. It is essential that you produce original and exciting content in order to engage viewers successfully. Work with cool editing’s and make sure to use the right keywords and metadata descriptions in order to increase your views exponentially!