How You Can Get the Best Out of the YouTube Algorithm Functioning

As per the statement from YouTube CPO, Neal Mohan, people spend more than 70% of their time watching recommended videos on YouTube, with the mobile viewing session being approximately 60 minutes. Four-hundred hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube each minute. So, if you want to see a growth in your business, gain more real YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, as well as find a way to maintain the interest of your existing YouTube subscribers, it’s worth learning about the YouTube algorithm.

The YouTube algorithm doesn’t just guide the viewing behavior; it also affects decisions you need to make about the video content, length, the timing of uploading the video, use of keywords, as well as the inclusion of a Call To Action, all of which ultimately determine the success of your YouTube marketing strategy.

Algorithm changes over the years

Before 2012, the number of YouTube views a video received is what determined video ranking, resulting in people using clickbait titles to gain a higher view count. Complaints were raised as these clickbait title videos didn’t deliver what they promised, resulting in an algorithm change in 2012, where watch time and session time were used to rank content. Even then, creating longer videos helped to gain higher rankings through an invariable increase in watch time and session time, but this put a strain on YouTubers.

AI and machine learning were added to the YouTube algorithm in 2016, changing the kinds of video being uploaded. In 2019, algorithm changes were made to ban “borderline content.”

The main aim of the YouTube algorithm is to provide viewers with the type of content they want to watch while maximizing viewer engagement as well as satisfaction in the long term. Before jumping into how your business can benefit from the YouTube algorithm, you need to understand how the algorithm works in the first place.

How does YouTube algorithm work?

The YouTube algorithm provides users of the platform with content they’re most likely to be interested in and engage within different sections of the platform- channel subscriptions, search results, trending streams, notifications, homepage, and suggested/recommended videos. Viewers stay on the platform and are encouraged to visit regularly as they are being provided with videos they’re most likely to enjoy.

The algorithm functions to encourage uploading videos that viewers will engage with more as opposed to focusing on measures like the number of YouTube views/clicks. Factors that influence video rankings by the YouTube algorithm include:

  • Click-through rate
  • The type of content people watch
  • Watch time for your video
  • Other videos from your channel that users have watched
  • Growth of the video’s popularity (view velocity)
  • The novelty factor of a video
  • Frequency of uploading videos
  • Users’ session times
  • How recently a video on the same topic was viewed
  • Viewer engagement in the form of likes, dislikes, shares
  • ‘Not interested’ feedback
  • User location and demographic details

Here’s a breakdown of the YouTube algorithm functioning on different sections of the platform:

Search results

The factors that affect the search rankings of your video on YouTube the most are keyword usage and video relevance. Videos are ranked in search results based on how closely the metadata, such as titles, keywords, and description, match the search query.

Relevance is also measured in terms of the extent to which your video has already engaged users in terms of likes, YouTube views, and watch time. Search results are also affected by the number of your channel’s videos users already watched, as well as when they last watched a video on a similar topic as your video.

Homepage and suggested videos

YouTube’s algorithm works to keep users on the platform for longer, thereby, being able to get them to see as many ads on the platform as possible. Content is suggested for users based on past user activity, and the type of content users already engage with. Videos are ranked based on the engagement they’ve generated for similar users, frequency of video viewing on a particular channel by viewers, videos on similar topics, as well as the number of times each video has already been shown to users. Diversification of their suggested videos on feeds and homepages is also done as viewers are more likely to watch content for which they receive recommendations from several channels.


YouTube’s trending page has a balance of new as well as popular videos from the country the user is in. To maintain a balance between popularity and novelty, the view count, as well as the rate of growth of YouTube views, is considered for every ranked video.


Your YouTube subscribers can find all your recently uploaded videos on the subscriptions page, where they can also see videos from other channels they’ve subscribed to. View velocity is the metric used by YouTube for subscriptions to determine platform rankings. With view velocity, the number of your YouTube subscribers who watch videos as soon as they’re uploaded is gauged so that videos with a higher view velocity will gain higher video rankings. The number of real YouTube subscribers you have who actively engage with your content is also taken into consideration while determining video rankings.

Improving your organic reach on YouTube

Now that you know how the YouTube algorithm works, here are some ways to increase the organic reach of your videos so that you get more YouTube views as well as YouTube subscribers.

Optimize your videos for search using the right keywords

Make sure you’re using the right keywords, and there’s clarity in your metadata, including the video description, tags, and caption. As far as descriptions are concerned, draw your reader’s attention with the first few lines, packing them with relevant keywords without overdoing it. Remember, though, that using longer descriptions will mean that the most important information should be made visible to viewers before the “Show More” is displayed.

Analyze search traffic sources

The Search Report of your channel can provide valuable information about the search terms being used by people to find you. Make it a point to use more of these terms in your video titles, keywords, and descriptions so that you can see a growth in the number of your YouTube subscribers and YouTube views.

Transcribe and translate your video

Adding subtitles is a great way to make sure viewers will continue watching your videos even if the sound is off. While you can make use of auto-generated captions in different languages, your search ranking can be improved if you choose to upload closed captions/subtitles on your own for your video, as then the file is also indexed for search.

Translations of your video titles, subtitles, and descriptions make it possible for your videos to reach audiences who speak different languages.

Customize thumbnails

Ninety percent of YouTube’s most popular videos make use of customized thumbnails as opposed to auto-generated ones. Customized thumbnails have greater attractive value and can boost your number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views by getting people to click on your content. Close-ups of emotive faces/action shots work well in thumbnails. Make sure to utilize the “rule of thirds” for your thumbnails as it helps to reduce the time taken for the brain to process an image.

The addition of text to thumbnails is also very important as most users watch YouTube videos today on their phones, which means that the thumbnail is going to stand out in comparison to the title. Make sure the text you use communicates what the video relates to, without viewers even having to read the title to find out.

Branding your thumbnails can also be a great way to direct attention to your video. Maintaining consistency in the format on your YouTube channel with branded thumbnails can help viewers spot your channel from among several suggested videos with similar-looking thumbnails.

Encourage your viewers to finish watching the video

Grab your viewers’ attention from the very beginning and select your video length by paying attention to analytics. Use jump cuts if needed in your videos so that viewers don’t have to look at one shot for long. For longer videos, include interruptive moments to help viewers re-focus their attention.

Encourage binge-watching of your videos

The most important aspect of encouraging binge-watching of your videos is to have a focused premise on your YouTube channel. Other methods include directing viewers to other videos on your channel using cards, end screens, and watermarks, and linking your latest video to a playlist of your videos.

Focusing on making a series instead of a one-off is also a great way to naturally ensure your videos pick up where the previous one left off so that viewers are encouraged to keep watching.

Help viewers subscribe to your channel

With more YouTube subscribers, your videos can achieve a greater reach organically, so convince your viewers to subscribe.

Promote on other platforms

Make sure you cross-promote your videos on other platforms, including blogs, email marketing, and other social media platforms. Growing your YouTube subscribers and optimizing your content for search engines is crucial information used by the YouTube algorithm to suggest videos to users.

Monitor analytics

Evaluate what’s working and what isn’t for your YouTube marketing strategy through analytics, which can provide you with information about viewer drop-off, peak posting time, and subscriber behavior, allowing you to adapt your strategy accordingly.

YouTube Marketing Tools You Won’t Regret Using for Your Business

Achieving business growth on YouTube isn’t as easy as popular YouTube channels make it seem. With competition at an all-time high and content being uploaded on YouTube every minute, you need to step up your game to get noticed on YouTube. Seeing a growth in the number of your real YouTube subscribers, as well as YouTube views requires some effort and YouTube marketing tools can give you the additional support you’re looking for. Whether for keyword research, promotions / analytics, or content creation, these YouTube marketing tools can help you grow your YouTube subscribers and accelerate your business growth.


SubPals, a free marketing platform for YouTube, can give your YouTube channel the perfect boost to help you gain more YouTube subscribers, YouTube likes, YouTube shares, YouTube views, and YouTube comments. It’s simple to use and offers free and paid plans to help you grow your YouTube channel. You can now connect with the YouTube community and get assistance along the way in a safe manner. You can even see the results of using the platform daily through an increased number of free YouTube subscribers and YouTube views.


TubeBuddy allows for automatic YouTube integration and can help you improve your channel’s functioning to gain more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views by offering tests for tags, descriptions, titles, and thumbnails so that you know which works best. It also allows you to schedule your content for YouTube beforehand, whether for uploads or any video deletions you’d like to make at a particular date and time in the future. Bulk update of videos and rank tracking is offered, as well as a competitor analysis regardless of the type of user you are: network, brand, creator, or agency. You can now get more real YouTube subscribers and even reach the YouTube subscribers you have on several other social media platforms.

BirdSong Analytics

Competitor analysis can be a valuable source of information that can further your own business growth and BirdSong Analytics can help you do just that. The pay as you go tool allows you to get access to information on competitors by just entering the name of their channel. With BirdSong Analytics, you can find out the best time / day that competitors receive most likes / comments for their uploaded content, the impact of video duration on engagement and YouTube views, words most commonly used in captions of competitors. You even get to access an Excel spreadsheet that lists all pertinent details of competitors’ uploaded content and engagement rates with BirdSong Analytics, providing you with some insight that can inform your own content marketing efforts on YouTube.

Tube Toolbox

Tube Toolbox helps to create a community sense by sending friend requests to those in your niche as well as subscribing to the channels they’ve subscribed to. The friends made end up adding to your YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, promoting channel engagement that raises your YouTube SERP rankings.

Keyword Tool

Keywords are crucial to help you reach out to a wider audience and contribute to channel growth. With Keyword Tool, you can receive suitable keyword suggestions to include in your tags, titles, and descriptions not only for YouTube, but also for optimizing search engine results for Bing, Google, Amazon, as well as other search engines, allowing you to receive a higher channel ranking. Long-tail keyword suggestions are also offered along with the generation of country – specific popular keywords, making it easier to find your content via organic searches.

Keyword Density Tool

Keywords aren’t just for your title. It’s crucial to include your keyword throughout your content for SEO, but you don’t want to overdo it. Keyword Density tool makes sure your keywords aren’t excessive so that your channel can be found via organic searches and you don’t lose your ranking or worse, end up getting banned from search engines.

Tubular Labs

Tubular Labs makes use of big data analytics to provide you with access to information on YouTube views and engagement across countries as well as numerous languages. You will be able to identify opportunities relating to video ad content, conduct keyword research for your content, identify the type of content that generates most YouTube views, locate suitable YouTube influencers who can promote channel growth, post at the right time, make use of real time audience engagement analytics, and learn how best to act on the data to grow your real YouTube subscribers.


With Snappa, you can create thumbnails that are sure to attract YouTube views even without being a professional designer. It has beautiful templates that provide you with ample options to choose from, which can be customised in a step by step process to help you get the output you’re looking for.

YouTube Marketing Tools You Won’t Regret Using for Your Business


With Blender, you have a host of editing tools at your service by which you can add 3D, animation, VFX, rendering, and modelling to your videos, as well as apply filters and transitions and trim your videos. Now add video, audio, and image files to the timeline of your video or mix audio files with Blender. Your YouTube views and real YouTube subscribers can be increased considerably by making use of the live preview, histogram displays, and vectorscope features that Blender has to offer.


DrumUp, a paid tool, allows you to schedule your videos’ promotion on several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You’ll be able to get more YouTube views by customising your message, allowing for an easy, auto-posting solution that’s intuitive.


vidIQ can help you market your content to the needs of your YouTube subscribers by analysing data from your channel and offering comprehensive reports of it, along with SEO tools. You can locate key influencers, identify high functioning keywords and tags, compare your channel with that of your competitors and even manage the comments on your channel. With the insights generated from the data through vidIQ, you can make changes to your own marketing strategy to promote growth.


GoAnimate is an animated videos creator that’s cloud-based for those who can’t afford a bigger video marketing campaign. It’s perfect if you want to create business intros, promo videos, tool tutorials, cheeky ads, onboarding videos, and online courses. You get to benefit from quality content that can boost your YouTube views and YouTube subscribers without needing to depend on a massive design team to make it happen.


Long, messy links can turn some people off your channel and affect the number of your YouTube views and YouTube subscribers. Promoting your channel on multiple platforms requires you to post links to your channel and videos and Bitly helps to maintain the tidiness of these links by making them short and can also help you keep track of any leads by using UTM parameters.


Canva is an easy to use graphic design tool that can, among other uses, help you create the perfect video thumbnails to attract more YouTube views and YouTube subscribers. With Canva, you have access to numerous free stock photos, illustrations, texts, backgrounds, and shapes to choose from. Your content can be optimised for search engines with several template formats from Canva, 1280 x 720 video resolution, standard PNG or JPG format for videos, and file size of less than 2MB.


Using RankTrackr, you can find out your rankings on popular search engines as well as run an analysis on competitors and keywords usage. Keywords can even be tracked by city or zip code and for mobile devices in particular. You’ll be able to access your performance history, detect any problems, and use SERP backtracking for historical data that’ll inform you of where you rank on search engines in comparison to your competitors. With such insights, you can work on developing your marketing strategy to experience continued growth and stay ahead of the competition.


Your chances of getting noticed on YouTube and getting more YouTube subscribers as well as YouTube views depends largely on whether or not your content grabs the attention of viewers and what better way to make sure it does than to base it on something that’s already trending on YouTube? With BuzzSumo’s social search, you’ll be able to find out what’s trending on YouTube of late in order to be able to make sure your content can grab viewer attention too.


eClincher offers a host of features that make it possible for you to benefit from its intelligent social dashboard, analytics, content curation, unified social inbox, keyword tracking, publishing and automation. You can keep control of content, schedule / publish your content, and be notified on the performance of your content. By giving you insights into trending topics, eClincher can help you plan your YouTube marketing strategy efficiently and ensure you get more YouTube views and real YouTube subscribers.

YouTube Studio

YouTube Studio is a must have if you’re a creator on YouTube. The tool makes it possible for you to be able to manage your channel remotely, irrespective of where you are. In this digital age of cut – throat competition, you can’t afford to look for a computer whenever you want to manage your channel’s content. With YouTube Studio, you can monitor your channel’s performance, get real time analytics, and even respond to comments or filter them. YouTube Studio offers flexibility in operations, allowing you to manage monetization settings, update your channel, set required thumbnails, and schedule content for your channel directly through the tool instead of having a time or location constraint hamper you. Consistency on your channel is crucial and mobile access to channel management is a great way to ensure you’re not compromising your YouTube views or the number of your YouTube subscribers.

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