Common Reach and Algorithm Distribution Queries: YouTube Provides Some Answers

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Social Media Today reveals that YouTube just addressed several questions in a video that relate to video distribution. Here are some of the answers, and there is a link to the video in the original article.

If a video is not performing well, will updating the thumbnail improve performance?

"Changing the way your title or thumbnail looks is a really effective way to get more views, but in general, we only recommend making changes when your video has both a lower click-through rate, and it's receiving fewer views and impressions than usual. When you change your title and thumbnail, you may notice that your video starts getting more or fewer views, and that's generally because your video looks different to viewers and that's gonna change up the way that people interact with it when it's offered to them in recommendations. Our systems are responding to how viewers are interacting with your video differently, not the act of changing your title and thumbnail. There is no trigger if you change your title and thumbnail that will cause our systems to increase or decrease impressions, it's all about the audience."
Does your video's click-through rate among your channel subscribers impact the likelihood of it being recommended?

"Our recommendation system doesn't really focus on the subs feed as the primary signal. In Discovery, we focus on how well the video performs in the context that's shown. So ranking on 'Home' for a given viewer is mostly based on how a video performs when it is shown on 'Home' - so, do viewers click-watch and enjoy the video when it's offered to them on their homepage?"
How does YouTube's algorithm determine the order in which videos appear in relation to a search query?

"Just like Google, search on YouTube has a similar goal where we wanna' show the viewer the most relevant results for their search query. Search is not a list of results of the most viewed videos for a given query, it's very much the most relevant, and the videos that we think you're most likely to watch."
If YouTube doesn't show your videos to all subscribers (based on, for example, subscriber inactivity), why is this a relevant metric?

"Our recommendation system doesn't actually push out viewers to anyone, but actually finds or pulls in videos and ranks them for viewers when they visit YouTube based on what we think they're most likely to watch. We did actually run experiments where we prioritized videos from subscriptions above all recommendations from all other channels, but in all of those experiments, it dramatically reduced how much viewers watched and how often they came back to YouTube. So for that reason, we really focused recommendations on videos that viewers are most likely to watch and enjoy, and while subscriptions are used to inform that, the data shows it's not always the most highly predictive factor about what videos people want."
If you upload several videos at once, but keep some of them as 'unpublished' till you choose to activate them, will that reduce your video reach

"What matters is how viewers respond to your video after it's been published. That's what a recommendation system is learning from. So if you set a video as scheduled or unlisted and you flip it to 'Public' later on, no impact. Don't worry about it."
Does uploading videos in two different languages impact content/channel performance?

"Uploading in two different languages can sometimes confuse your viewers, unless your audience is mostly multilingual and they can enjoy videos in both languages. We often recommend spinning off into multiple channels per language if you're catering to your audience. You can imagine if you're subscribed to a channel and you're seeing videos that are, for example, in German and English, but you only speak one of them, you're gonna ignore the one that's not in your native language. If you have a mostly multi-lingual audience, then keep your channel that way. If your channel is designed around the specific type of viewer, probably we recommend separating them or spinning them off."
Does it take a certain amount of hours of watch time before a video is highly recommended?

"A lot of viewers don't watch videos in chronological order or decide what they wanna' watch based on when a video is published. If you go to your homepage today, you might notice that a lot of those videos were published weeks, months, sometimes even years ago. If you're showing more interest in an older video, it could be that the topic that your video is about is increasing in popularity, a bunch of new people discovered your channel and they're going back and watching more, or a few other reasons."
#algorithm #answers #common #distribution #queries #reach #youtube
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