Insider Tips: Understanding YouTube’s Recommendation System and How Underperforming Videos Affect Channel Performance

“, What’s up Insiders, it’s Rachel here and I’m a product manager on YouTube’s recommendation system. This is a series where I talk about how our recommendation system works. Today, I am going to cover 10 frequently asked questions about our recommendation system, as well as some tools and analytics that you can use to analyze your performance, Let’s get to it. These are 10 of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from creators about our discovery system or the algorithm.I often get asked if underperforming videos will hurt a channel’s future performance. This is unlikely because our system learns from how each video performs when it’s recommended to viewers. Our system relies on video-level signals to match viewers to videos. Therefore, one video underperforming is unlikely to hurt the future trajectory of a channel. Another important point is that videos would never go viral if we only looked at a channel’s previous performance to indicate future potential.

Changing Video Appearance May Affect Rank, But Won’t Make a Difference: YouTube’s Algorithm

Individual video performance is what’s most important. Moving on I’ve covered this before, but does changing a video’s title or thumbnail re-rank a given video in the algorithm. Yes, it might happen. However, it’s not because our systems identify that you’ve changed your title or thumbnail. It’S because they learn from how viewers interact with a video in recommendations. So if you change the way your video looks, viewers will interact with it differently. .” “ And if you change your title and thumbnail to attract more viewers, your video could rank higher and receive more impressions. However, if you change the way your video looks and fewer viewers choose to watch, it may rank lower. So changing your video’s appearance, such as your title or thumbnail, may affect its rank, but the act of changing it probably won’t make any difference. This topic has been controversial and we’ve discussed it before. If you take a break from uploading, will it hurt your channel’s performance?

Encouraging Breaks for Creators: No Correlation Found Between Break Length and Viewer Retention

We absolutely encourage creators to take breaks because we found no correlation between break length days between uploads and changes in views after the break. What this means is that there’s no consistent drop in viewership for channels that take a break. However, this is not a guarantee that a channel won’t drop after taking a break Channels, may increase or decrease, and what really influences whether or not a channel takes off after a break is two factors. First, what’s happening with their audience during that time span. Do their interests change, or do they start watching more of other content? Second, how good is your content when you come back? Sometimes it takes viewers a little bit of time to get back into the habit of watching something?

Understanding Low Video Views: Outranking and Comparing Your Performance on YouTube

If you think of your favorite TV shows that have gone off for a season and a new season comes out, sometimes it might take you a few weeks to start watching it again, because you were watching something else: .” “, And so when you take a break, a lot of things happen with your audience, but most creators cannot keep producing at the same level without feeling burnout at some point. Therefore, breaks are absolutely essential for your own well-being and maintaining your creativity. Your viewers will be happy if you’re happy too Okay. This one is about my video views or impressions being low, but it looks like viewers are engaging with my video just the same, My click-through rate and average view duration are totally typical. What’S going on Now, the most common scenario here is when your video is being outranked by other videos outside your channel on YouTube When you compare your own performance within analytics you’re, comparing against yourself.

YouTube’s Recommendation System Explained: How Video Ranking Works and Why Monetization Doesn’t Impact Discovery

However, the way our recommendation system works is by ranking videos relative to all other videos on YouTube that a viewer might watch. So if this ever happens, which is fairly rare, most of the time it’ll line up with your own performance. But if your click-through rate and average viewer duration look high and your views and impressions are still low, the majority of the time other videos outside your channel are ranking even higher. For those viewers Does monetization impact video discovery. No, our recommendation system does not know which videos are monetized and which are not. However, both our advertising and discovery systems pay attention to the maturity of content. So does your video contain racy or sexual content, profanity or graphic violence? Those signals are often used to inform whether a video is relevant for a given viewer and appropriate for them. Monetization is not used by our system.

Video Performance and Recommendation System: Timing of Uploads has No Impact on Long-Term Results

Our recommendation system is just focused on the long-term and recommending videos that viewers find satisfying. This is another common question: .” If I upload my video as unlisted and later make it public would that affect its performance? No, it won’t. Our recommendation system learns from audience behavior on public videos when they’re recommended So feel free to use the unlisted feature. What matters for our recommendation system is how your video performs when it is offered to viewers in recommendations. Okay, it’s time to publish. Is it better to post earlier in the day or late at night? When should I publish my videos, The publish time is not known to impact a video’s long-term performance. The way your recommendation system is designed is to match viewers with the videos they’re most likely to watch, regardless of when they were uploaded.

Focus on Title, Thumbnail and Description for Viewer Retention, not Upload Time or Tags

However, it can matter for live streams and premieres when you need your audience to be on YouTube to watch it, because it has a limited timeframe For that. We recommend using the “. When is your audience online” card under the audience tab of YouTube analytics? If you go to your homepage today, you will notice that many of the videos may be weeks months or even years old, We’re looking for the most relevant and best recommendations, regardless of upload time. What about tags? Are they important Not really What’s most important is what viewers use to decide whether or not they want to watch a video which is the title and thumbnail? So if I’m going to say all the things that creators should spend time on, it’s the things that viewers make decisions based on such as the title and thumbnail and then your description Spend minimal or no time on tags. We mostly use those to correct common misspellings.

Maximizing Viewer Retention: YouTube Analytics and Best Practices for Channel Location and Upload Frequency

What about channel location, Which location should I set my channel in That, is not used to inform recommendations So use whatever country you want. That’S not going to inform which viewers are recommended, your videos. Finally, what about upload frequency? How much do I need to upload “, You shouldn’t feel pressured to upload daily or weekly. Again we conducted numerous analyses and found that views growth is not correlated with the frequency of uploads. Therefore, upload as many videos as work for you Different audiences have varying demands for different quantities of content, but it is not necessary to upload daily or weekly to be recommended. That concludes the FAQ section. If you have learned anything from this section, focus on your audience and the algorithm or our recommendation system will follow, We have a viewer-focused system designed to do just that. The YouTube analytics features that I want to highlight to help you focus on your audience.

Unlocking Audience Insights: Utilizing YouTube’s Interest Cards for Increased Engagement

Are the audience interest card which shows what videos and channels your audience is watching? This can help you identify title and thumbnail ideas, collaboration opportunities and figure out what types of videos your audience likes and how their interests change over time.I know that many creators do not have enough data to access these features, and I want to clarify the eligibility criteria. If you have a channel that makes content for kids, you will not see any results, because that data is protected. Additionally, if you do not have over 50 overlapping viewers with enough videos or channels, you may not be shown in some of these cards, We want to ensure that we have enough significant data to share so that creators can act on it. If you do not yet have access to these cards, I suggest searching for similar content that you produce on YouTube, looking at what content is receiving more viewership and seeing if you can learn from your peer channels or similar creators.

Maximizing Viewer Retention: Strategies for Engaging New and Returning Audiences

Finally, let’s talk about new and returning viewers, .” “, So these are the two new metrics we have launched that tell you whether you have an audience of similar viewers coming back to your channel, to watch more or a more casual audience where viewers come in and out of your channel and watch some of your Videos I wanted to clarify the kind of content strategies you can use based on this data. The first one in purple represents returning viewers who are not new to a channel. They have watched the channel before The turquoise line represents new viewers who are watching a channel for the first time in the past year. If your channel receives most of its viewership from returning viewers and few viewership from new viewers. In order for this channel to grow, you will have to pivot your content to appeal to a new audience outside of your core Some ways to do that are trying to collaborate or experimenting with a new topic or format.

Maximizing Viewer Retention: Tips for Branching Out and Managing Transitions

For example, if you have a gardening channel, you could try some adjacent topics like experimenting with houseplants or beekeeping, because they are slightly similar to what your existing audience would be interested in. But branching out into those new topics might help you build a larger audience In the middle. If you have a decline in returning viewers, the purple line drops a little bit at the beginning of the chart. This often happens when you change a favorite host. That may be presenting on your channel, like you have a personality that people grow to love and they watch them all the time and then a new face shows up. Sometimes it takes viewers a little bit of time to adjust. It also happens when a series might end like a popular series, that’s going on, and then you release the last episode. .” Sometimes viewers may have only watched you for one series and then moved on.

Maximizing Viewer Retention: Tips for Retaining Existing and Attracting New Audiences on Your Channel

If this happens, you should focus on retaining your existing audience or re-engaging people who previously watched your content. Think about why these viewers started watching your channel in the first place and what you can do to keep them coming back for more.

You may consider developing a fresh lineup addressing a comparable subject matter, albeit in a newly invigorating arrangement that piques your enthusiasm. The opportunity to act with the greatest effect and thrill is when you encounter a surge of novel spectators. Should this occur, produce a video relating to the subject that drew them to your channel.In the first place, For example, if you had a viral video about European history, make a series about European history. If your channel gets an increase in new viewers focus on retaining your new audience, We have also launched channel comparison features in analytics which allow you to compare all your videos at the same age and make a fair comparison Check out our video on this topic.

Effective Strategies for Analyzing Video Performance and Improving Audience Retention on YouTube

In the description below So when comparing videos within the first 24 hours, you can choose to look at the first seven days or the first 28 days. This will give you an idea of what content is working on your channel. If your content is broadly appealing make more of it Analyze the groups of videos that aren’t receiving as many views and impressions and ask yourself if they are more niche interests or if there is a smaller audience for them.

As a marketer or content creator, one of the most important aspects of your role is to ensure that your videos are being viewed by as many people as possible. To accomplish this, it is important to constantly analyze the performance of your videos and identify any trends or patterns that may be hindering their success.

When analyzing the groups of videos that aren’t receiving as many views and impressions, it’s important to consider whether they cater to niche interests or if there is simply a smaller audience for them. Niche interests can be valuable, as they can attract a dedicated and passionate audience; however, it’s important to ensure that these interests align with the overall goals and objectives of your brand.

On the other hand, if the videos are not receiving views due to a smaller audience, it may be necessary to reevaluate your targeting and distribution strategies. This could involve identifying new channels or platforms to share your videos on, or refining your targeting to reach a more specific segment of your audience.

Ultimately, by analyzing the groups of videos that aren’t receiving as much attention, you can gain valuable insights that can inform your content strategy moving forward. This could involve doubling down on the content that is resonating with your audience, or experimenting with new topics or formats that may better engage them. Maybe there is something in common about their title and thumbnail styles that you could improve on Comparison. Tools like this are really good to get an idea of what’s working and what you can improve on over time. If you’ve watched all of the episodes in this series about how the recommendation system works, I want you to leave knowing three things. First, focus on your audience. That is the key to success on YouTube. If you know what viewers like and you adjust your content along with their interests, recommendations and impressions will follow.

Constant Experimentation: A Key Strategy for Sustaining Viewer Interest on YouTube

Second, it’s always crucial to keep experimenting over time. If you make the same thing forever at some point, viewers’ interest will change, So constant experimentation is essential to sustain your audience’s interest over time. The last thing we covered is about new and returning viewers. If you want to build an audience on YouTube, you have to do two things: attract new viewers and retain the ones you have. We covered a lot in this series, but if you have any questions that I did not address or answer in these videos, please drop them below and I’ll try to incorporate them into future videos, As always keep it real.

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