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What role do you THINK the YouTube algorithm plays, and what do you WANT it to play?

epedersen

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Hi! We are a team of researchers at UC Berkeley researching content creator’s perceptions of the YouTube algorithm. We’ve created a poll with roles the algorithm plays that we’ve heard people talk about. We’d greatly appreciate if you could vote on which roles you think the algorithm takes on most and add any that we’ve missed. We will be publishing results of this research in leading conferences where the designers of these algorithms will be present. Please help us represent your voice!

Please complete the poll here: http://www.allourideas.org/YTalgrole

Also, as content creators, what roles would you WANT the algorithm to play? Please comment below. Thanks!
 

Dutchie Abroad

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I've added my suggestion. I see the algorithm as an AI mathematical formula that decides which videos will be displayed to the broader public of Youtube. The drugdealer one made me chuckle :p But as far as I am aware, the algorithm does separate things for viewers and creators.

For viewers it is there to determine what type of video the person is watching and finding more content like that. It prefers content that is highly rated by other viewers (which is represented by a high watch time, views and retention time). It prefers long watch time, so it wants you to watch the complete video you're watching, but also wants to keep you on the platform, so recommends more alluring content right beside the video that's already playing.

For creators the algorithm is there to determine is a) your video is appropriate for the platform (as in scanning it for harmful content), b) assessing its performance (again watch time, views and retention time, but also tags, title and category) and deciding if and where it should be recommended (front page, trending, sidebars) and c) scanning it's SEO (title, description, tags) to assess where it should rank in the search engine of Youtube.

Want I want the algorithm to do, is do this fairly. It's quite obvious Youtube is preferring the big TV and Hollywood names over it's original content creators (minus those that are already big and even then sometimes they don't). It's been said on this forum a lot that the company is trying to take the You out of Youtube. They want to compete with TV and thus bank on big names and big companies, forgetting the roots that they came from: The Orginal Creators.
 
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I've added my suggestion. I see the algorithm as an AI mathematical formula that decides which videos will be displayed to the broader public of Youtube. The drugdealer one made me chuckle :p But as far as I am aware, the algorithm does separate things for viewers and creators.

For viewers it is there to determine what type of video the person is watching and finding more content like that. It prefers content that is highly rated by other viewers (which is represented by a high watch time, views and retention time). It prefers long watch time, so it wants you to watch the complete video you're watching, but also wants to keep you on the platform, so recommends more alluring content right beside the video that's already playing.

For creators the algorithm is there to determine is a) your video is appropriate for the platform (as in scanning it for harmful content), b) assessing its performance (again watch time, views and retention time, but also tags, title and category) and deciding if and where it should be recommended (front page, trending, sidebars) and c) scanning it's SEO (title, description, tags) to assess where it should rank in the search engine of Youtube.

Want I want the algorithm to do, is do this fairly. It's quite obvious Youtube is preferring the big TV and Hollywood names over it's original content creators (minus those that are already big and even then sometimes they don't). It's been said on this forum a lot that the company is trying to take the You out of Youtube. They want to compete with TV and thus bank on big names and big companies, forgetting the roots that they came from: The Orginal Creators.
This are really a lot of insights Dutchie, it's always great to read from more experienced one than us, but i have one or two questions,
A- According to you, what are the best ways to get at thee top of the ranking of this algorithm, using the tags, seo, and other tools when we are a tiny channel like mine?
B- Do you think teaming and featuring with other youtubers to produce some contents can be a good way to get better ranking?
Thanks.
 

Dutchie Abroad

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This are really a lot of insights Dutchie, it's always great to read from more experienced one than us, but i have one or two questions,
A- According to you, what are the best ways to get at thee top of the ranking of this algorithm, using the tags, seo, and other tools when we are a tiny channel like mine?
As a small channel you need to use EVERYTHING that is at your disposal. Look on Google Trends to figure out what to best name your video (for example; is 'coloured pencils' or 'colored pencils' more looked at?), check your tags with Tube Buddy, follow trends on Youtube and your specific niche (for example, one of our forum members got a huge boost by doing Apex tutorial videos, that's a new game and well sought for).
Everything works in conjunction with each other. You can have the greatest tags in the world, but if your thumbnail and title aren't appealing, people still won't click. And if people do click, but your actual video isn't engaging, they will leave, hurting your retention and watch time.
My biggest tip is: ignore big channels. They already have an established fanbase, so it matters less to them when and what they upload. Have a specific niche, offer value (either informative, entertaining, etc) with your video, have an upload schedule, interact with your audience (heart comments, respond). There's a lot to think about :p

B- Do you think teaming and featuring with other youtubers to produce some contents can be a good way to get better ranking?
I wouldn't know about ranking, but it is a terrific way of finding a bigger audience, especially if the channel has equal or more subs then you. However, this is why it is important to collab with creators that have a similar niche. Collabing with a gaming channel while you are a beauty channel is fun and all, but your target audiences are completely different, thus you won't get a lot of subs from that. Collabs also need to be genuine, establish a friendship with the Youtuber in question, instead of just having an exchange of videos and viewership.

With all that being said, though collabing is a proven way of growing your channel, it is FINDING those collabs that is the hitch. I've been doing Youtube for 1.5 years now, lived in England, the Netherlands and Australia and still haven't met any other Youtubers n.n" Even went to Summer in the City in London and came back empty handed. So if you have someone to collab with, certainly do so :p
 
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As a small channel you need to use EVERYTHING that is at your disposal. Look on Google Trends to figure out what to best name your video (for example; is 'coloured pencils' or 'colored pencils' more looked at?), check your tags with Tube Buddy, follow trends on Youtube and your specific niche (for example, one of our forum members got a huge boost by doing Apex tutorial videos, that's a new game and well sought for).
Everything works in conjunction with each other. You can have the greatest tags in the world, but if your thumbnail and title aren't appealing, people still won't click. And if people do click, but your actual video isn't engaging, they will leave, hurting your retention and watch time.
My biggest tip is: ignore big channels. They already have an established fanbase, so it matters less to them when and what they upload. Have a specific niche, offer value (either informative, entertaining, etc) with your video, have an upload schedule, interact with your audience (heart comments, respond). There's a lot to think about :p


I wouldn't know about ranking, but it is a terrific way of finding a bigger audience, especially if the channel has equal or more subs then you. However, this is why it is important to collab with creators that have a similar niche. Collabing with a gaming channel while you are a beauty channel is fun and all, but your target audiences are completely different, thus you won't get a lot of subs from that. Collabs also need to be genuine, establish a friendship with the Youtuber in question, instead of just having an exchange of videos and viewership.

With all that being said, though collabing is a proven way of growing your channel, it is FINDING those collabs that is the hitch. I've been doing Youtube for 1.5 years now, lived in England, the Netherlands and Australia and still haven't met any other Youtubers n.n" Even went to Summer in the City in London and came back empty handed. So if you have someone to collab with, certainly do so :p
Hey Dutchie i definitely had a lot from these messages of yours, and sure i'll try everything i will have at my disposal and grow the channel while trying to build up an engagement, and surely i will get back to you with what i'll get from all these. Thanks a lot.
 
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