YouTube Explains Its Algorithm
The video platform is seeking to help its creators by sharing answers to frequent queries regarding its algorithm and video distribution. In a recent video on the Creator Insider channel, YouTube product managers Patricia and Rachel discussed how creators can gain insights into how their content is performing. They delved into topics such as the impacts of click-through rate (CTR), average viewer duration (AVD), and the effects of lower average view time resulting from external links.
The product managers are keen to indicate however that the metrics are not always enlightening when viewed in isolation. As per a spokesperson, “click-through rate is a really tricky metric to understand. So, for a lot of creators, if you look at your most successful videos, the videos with the most views are actually the most likely to have the lowest click-through rate.” The key to understanding these discrepancies is theoretically to consider the various analytics which the platform gives users access to in conjunction with each other – this will enable a better perception of a creator’s overall performance and help with the tracking of relevant trends.
YouTube has also offered advice to creators whose videos have good click-through rates and impressive average viewer duration but still find their content underperforming. “CTR and AVD are among dozens of signals that we use for search and discovery – but there are also a lot of other factors that are going to influence how many impressions your videos will get, and how many people watch them.”
The company specifically highlighted the following considerations as ones to bear in mind: topic interest (some subjects are simply more popular than others), seasonality (certain content performs better or worse at different times of the year), consistency (channels with a clear focus and ‘brand’ often result in loyal audiences), competition (even if a video ticks all the boxes, sometimes it simply won’t gain significant traction with so much content available), and the importance of thumbnails and titles (these are what encourage viewers to watch the videos).
Though some of these technical points are rather confusing, there are some valuable insights here. The video on the Creator Insider channel has aimed to address common algorithm queries, and these notes may help creators better understand YouTube’s internal processes.