How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work? (A Beginner’s Guide)

September 12, 2020
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Youtube is an essential platform if you want to establish your brand in this era. People are shifting towards this platform because it is easy for them to consume video content rather than text.

This is why you need to know how this platform works and how the YouTube algorithm works.

This will help you in gaining a better understanding of this platform and have access to a better reach. 

Here’s the kicker in all of it!!!

In this review, you will be able to know all the details regarding the YouTube algorithm and how you can gain benefits from it.

We will give you assistance and tips for maintaining a better reach on Youtube. This can only be done if you understand the YouTube algorithm completely. 

So, let’s get straight towards the informative part, shall we?

We will take you straight towards the best collection of information regarding the working of the YouTube algorithm.

You will get to know every aspect of the YouTube algorithm without wasting any more of your precious time.

ut before we move on to the main thing it is important to know a brief history of the YouTube algorithm.

A Brief History of the YouTube Algorithm:

YouTube Algorithm

The first video of YouTube was uploaded in 2005. Since then people are uploading the videos on YouTube almost every minute.

Today, after 15 years it is estimated that almost 500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

So we can say that YouTube is a sea of videos so it becomes difficult for the users to find this specific video that they want from this sea.

It is difficult for 2 billion users to find what they want. YouTube has tried to solve this difficulty by using the ways which are changed over the years.

The details are as follow:

2005-2012 (Clicks)

In this period, the videos which got the maximum clicks were rewarded, rather than the ones with which the users got engaged.

But with this system people got a lot of clickbait, misleading titles, and proliferated thumbnails.

People got annoyed when they feel tricked and not getting what they exactly want.

Then YouTube realized to change the way.

2012 (View Duration)

Then YouTube updated the system to identify the videos which people want to watch. It did it by prioritizing the videos which hold the maximum view duration.

But this system was also discouraged when people started to make lengthy videos without valuable content.

YouTube always wanted to support the videos which people want to watch so so it changed this way as well.

2016 (Algorithm)

Then YouTube released a white paper in which the role of deep neural networks and machine learning was described by the product engineers.

It proved an impressive and valuable way. It is difficult to understand but you can get it from your smart friend. It’s difficult to know the details about what is under the YouTube algorithm hood.

But we can surely say that it received the viewer’s satisfaction by giving them an addicted and personalized stream of recommendations.

2016-2020 (Demonetization, Brand Safety, and Borderline Content)

YouTube algorithm was faced by several questions for the past few years.

YouTube is working hard to balance a broad and fair range of opinions by making sure that dangerous information does not separate.

Since the YouTube algorithm was made, many upgradations have been made in it to make it more accurate. Development is ongoing day by day for the creators and the advertisers.

The YouTube algorithm is upgraded and designed in such a way to protect the brands by demonetizing the borderline content.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work

The YouTube algorithm is a real-time feedback loop. This feedback loop trailers the videos according to the interests of different viewers.

This YouTube algorithm decides which video should be suggested to the individual users according to their interests. 

The YouTube algorithm determines that what people watch on YouTube most of the time. Most of the YouTube users watch videos that are recommended by the algorithm.

If you are a creator and are working for getting more and more views, then a complete understanding of the YouTube algorithm is very important.

There are two main goals of the YouTube algorithm which are:

  • To find the right video for each viewer
  • To make the views Keep watching the video

So the YouTube algorithm closely watches the behavior of the user. It has a very high impact on the trending results and the search results.

Both of these are described below:

Trending Results Algorithm:



This algorithm provides you the videos that are new and popular in a specific country or the country in which you live.

These videos are not sponsored, which means that the uses do not have to pay for these videos to be shown in the trending results. 

Some of these videos on the trending list are expected. This includes videos like a new song or which have emerged to be viewed most in recent days.

If you want to rank your trending section, then all you have to do is to make the widely relatable and broadly appealing videos.

These videos will be easily shared so that they can get more and more views. If you do this, these videos will reach tons of different audiences besides your subscribers.

Search Results Algorithm:


When you search for a specific term on your search for then the search results algorithm appears.

For example, if you are searching ” how to bake cookies” then you will be provided with many results in many pages.

But it is the search results algorithm which helps YouTube to choose which we did use should get to the first page.

It does it by comparing the relevance of your videos to the user’s search. It compares the keywords which are used in the description and the title.

Then according to the YouTube SEO, the most relevant videos appear at the top.

You must make sure to write extended descriptions for your videos If you want to rank in the search results.

You must make sure that you should not write the content in the description that isn’t relevant to your video.

How Does YouTube Determine the Algorithm?

We will provide you all the different factors which are mentioned by YouTube in various public discussions about its algorithm over the years.

Whenever the YouTube ranks a video, the algorithm checks the performance of that video by the following factors:

  • How often the new videos are uploaded on this channel?
  • The video was watched in how much time? This is also known as watch time or retention.
  • How many comments or shares, likes, and dislikes this video got? This is also known as engagement.
  • How quickly this video gets popularity? This is also known as view velocity or rate of growth.
  • Whether this video was clicked by people? This is also known as impressions vs. views.
  • How new a video is as get extra attention?
  • How much time do people spend on your channel after watching this specific video? This is also known as a session time.

When YouTube matches a video to a potential viewer, then the algorithm checks the personalization by the following factors:

  • How much time do this and watching?
  • What they watch and what they don’t?
  • Which topics and channels have been watched by them in the past?
  • Which things have engaged them in the past?
  • How many times this video was surfaced in front of this person?

13 Tips to Improve Your Organic Reach on YouTube:

Your Organic Reach on YouTube

We will provide you the tips and the true methods with which you will be able to play very nicely with the YouTube algorithm.

These tips are listed finely and comprehensively. You will be able to get every essential detail out of them. 

All these tips are designed to help you gain a better organic reach for your content on a Youtube platform.

If you follow them accordingly then it is evident that you will gain remarkable and satisfactory results. You need to make sure that you follow these tips accurately. 

1- Optimize the Description Text of Your Video:

The text underneath your video is not just a place to link to other people but it is also a place that helps the algorithm to surface your video when it is searched for some topic.

This is the reason why your description text must be optimized. You should look for the right keywords for adding to the description of your video.

This can be a major factor in improving your organic reach and gaining a better audience.

If you add a better and optimized description then it is evident that your video will have a better reach and more people will be able to see it.

2- If Something Works, Rinse, and Repeat:

Growing your YouTube channel requires to pay attention to what your audience wants. The YouTube algorithm provides people with their favorite content.

So if something has worked in a great way then you must keep going and the same way.

3- Publish Often:

The number of times you upload your video on YouTube effects the YouTube algorithm a lot. But you must not compromise on the quality of your video.

This is why it is important to create good quality videos in a proper duration. The best way to do it is to plan for the whole month and should know when and where to put your content.  

When you have a planned strategy and collected the content for a month then the whole thing will become easy for you.

The more videos you publish, the better will be the chances of them getting popular.

So you must try to publish more and more videos.  It will give you better outreach without a doubt. 

4- Videos Must be Made Public When the Audience is Watching:

Recency is a very important factor to make something higher in rank.

So you must do analysis and pick up the optimal time of the day or the week in which the maximum of your audience is online and watching the videos.

You need to make sure you target the right audience at the right time. This is why find out the right time when your audience has the highest engagement rate.

After that, your video will not only get more engagement but also be relevant and trend better. 

5- Keep Viewers Engaged:

This is also an important factor in the YouTube algorithm. The length of your videos must be such that it keeps the view was engaged without making them bored.

If you create content that provides value to the viewers but is not fun then there is no way that you will get better engagements. 

If you want to keep the viewers engaged then make sure you find fun and interesting ways to convey your message for the viewers. 

6- Engage with your Community:

You can do this by replying to the comments and talking to the people and answering all of their questions.

7- Turn Viewers Into Subscribers:

Your subscribers give you many signals which help to dictate the success of your video.

If they love your content, then the algorithm will show your video to new viewers.

8- Add Accurate Closed Caption:

The auto-captions of YouTube are only 70% accurate. So it is very important to use accurate and closed captions. 

9- Using a Compelling Thumbnail:

Choosing the right video thumbnail is also very important. It makes a huge difference in the click-through rate. 

10- Use the video SEO Embed:

You can get more views on your video if you have optimized SEO Embed for Google as compared to optimizing it for just YouTube.

11- Title, Description, and Tags must be Keyword Optimized:

The title, description, and tags of your videos must be keyword optimized because it describes your video accurately.

 12- Translating Your Video Transcript and Providing Subtitles in Multiple Languages:

If you offer the subtitles in other languages, then it will further expand your audience because it becomes easy for them to access the video.

 13- The Target Keyword Must be Said:

The targeted keyword of your video must be shown in the title, description, tags, and the transcript of your video.

Wrapping It All Up!

After gaining all the information in this review all your doubts would be elevated. But if there is still something which is left unclear then there is no need to worry about it at all.

You can ask us anything that you find difficult in this review. We will provide you all the accurate assistance that you need to understand the YouTube algorithm. 


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