Top YouTube Algorithm Myths Every Creator Needs to Know Is Not True
Separating YouTube facts from a long list of YouTube myths is our aim here. We have all been victims of falling for YouTube myths at some point or the other. It’s time we separate fact from fiction to keep you on track.
Falling for YouTube myths can make you do ridiculous things. You can end up making only hour-long videos, or only 30-second snippets. Without understanding what works and what doesn’t, we would simply try every technique we know or hear about. While you would lose time, money, and sleep over these methods, they would mostly not do anything significant for your channel. Learn to be inquisitive and research a myth when you come across one.
Without wasting more time, let’s dive right into YouTube algorithm myths and misconceptions. But first, understand what the YouTube algorithm is.
What is the YouTube algorithm?
Anyone who has spent a sizeable amount of time on social media has come across the word algorithm. We hear it in the context of different social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. To put it simply, the YouTube algorithm is a complex recommendation system that decides which videos to recommend to each of those 2 billion+ YouTube viewers.
How does the YouTube algorithm work?
The YouTube algorithm has come a long way since it was first incorporated in 2005. Back then, the algorithm was pretty simple and straightforward to figure out, unlike now. Nothing apart from the number of views mattered for the old algorithm. The videos with the most number of views were recommended more often. It worked fine until clickbait videos appeared on the scene. Clickbait videos can garner millions of likes, yet they do not add any meaningful value to the viewer’s life.
To combat this problem, YouTube integrated watch time metrics into its algorithm. Now the algorithm preferred time spent watching a video. It was so because most of the times people would not finish watching a clickbait video once they realize what it is. However, they would spend more time on a meaningful video.
The present-day YouTube algorithm uses deep learning to predict and analyze a viewer’s interests. With this information, the algorithm can not only suggest videos related to the ones we usually watch but also videos we might like based on our past activities. In short, the YouTube algorithm has become smarter and more personal. It works differently for every user and targets our very specific interest areas.
Needless to say, it is more difficult to figure your way through this complex and intelligent algorithm. That is a primary reason most people fall for YouTube myths. Since they do not have an in-depth understanding of the YouTube algorithm, they believe in untrue propositions that seem easy to implement.
Let’s find out what are the top YouTube algorithm myths, and also discuss the facts behind them. If you have fallen for one or more of these myths in the past, it is time to educate yourself.
Myth 1: YouTube algorithm favors longer videos
The root of this myth lies in the fact that at one point, YouTube’s algorithm switched from using total views to watch time as the main metric for recommending videos. Some content creators thought that since watch time is the primary metric, a longer video will boost their channel. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
You can make YouTube videos as long as you want, but they won’t have an overall positive impact on your channel if people aren’t watching them. Sure, you can stretch a fifteen-minute video to a thirty-minute video, but does it really add value to your audience? People would rather prefer a short video if they are busy.
On the contrary, some topics demand a longer duration than others. You cannot talk about complex subjects in under five minutes. If you use YouTube for business, you might need longer videos to talk about services and products. In these cases, it is perfectly fine to make videos as long as you want.
The trick is to not fall for either myth. Do not make your videos short or long just for the sake of it. Give every video the time it deserves and needs. YouTube rewards you on the basis of how much value viewers are getting from your videos, not on their length.
Myth 2: There’s a single, unified algorithm
In popular culture, reference to the YouTube algorithm is done in a way that suggests a unified body controlling everything in YouTube. The reality, however, is different.
You can imagine the YouTube algorithm as a complex web of algorithms that constantly work with each other. There is not one algorithm. People often comment statements along the lines of ‘The algorithm has united us’. The sense conveyed from such comments is wrong. Every user has a unique recommendation system, with unique video recommendations. There is no single system that works for every user. YouTube engagement is different for everyone, the algorithm works accordingly.
As a content creator, you would often want to target a specific demographic. Even when you don’t, you would want a single method to work for all users. However, you cannot ensure your video gets recommended to all your target audience using the same method. The algorithm would work differently for every user.
The trick here is to not worry about each and every user who watches your video. Focus on the overall growth of your channel, and the algorithm will automatically work in your favor. If your videos can hold people’s attention, they will automatically get recommended all the time.
Myth 3: High-resolution videos get more traffic
While the quality of your footage does have an impact on how much your audience likes it, it does not have a set mandate. For example, you can create beautiful videos with a low-end camera, or give a bad cinematographer an excellent camera. The resolution of the videos does not have much to do with how often YouTube recommends it. The overall quality, however, does affect your channel’s growth. That boils down to your personal skills in the end. If you know how to work wonders with a basic camera, the algorithm won’t stop you.
You must understand that YouTube is a two-way street. If you are making a high-resolution 1080p video, your viewers also need the capability to watch it in its full glory. Unfortunately, it is not the case in most situations. People continue watching high-resolution videos in low-resolution modes. If you think of it from the viewer’s perspective, there’s no utility behind recommending high-resolution videos to casual viewers primarily using YouTube for recreation.
If you are too worried about the resolution of your videos, focus on their quality instead. When the video is made well, more people will engage with it and the algorithm will reward you by itself.
Myth 4: You can’t be successful with a small number of subscribers
If you mean success in the long run, then yes, you do need a substantial number of subscribers to be successful. However, on a macro scale, the success of your videos does not depend on how many subscribers you have.
YouTube reviews and analyzes every video as a single, independent entity. It is one of the merits of YouTube’s algorithm that it would not punish you for having few subscribers. If your videos are getting successful, they will continue to be so even with few subscribers.
If you want long-term success, you do not a sizeable subscriber base. Subscribers drive the success of any YouTube channel. However, that does not mean you amass a good amount of subscribers and then do not make any quality content to engage them. Such subscriptions won’t add any value to your channel.
The solution is to maintain a fine balance. If you feel you have too few subscribers, you can get free YouTube subscribers from trusted sources. With or without subscribers, quality content is essential for growth.
Myth 5: Hashtags don’t matter
If you use hashtags incorrectly, they would really not matter. But if you know how to use hashtags correctly, they can help you increase reach.
Hashtags are also a simple and neat way of organizing your videos. When someone browses through your channel, they will come across a neat organization and be impressed. Hashtags can also drive traffic when used correctly. The key is to use relevant hashtags without overdoing them. Too many YouTubers stuff their metadata and title with hashtags. If hashtags are not directly relevant to your video, they do more harm than good.
As you must realize after reading the article, YouTube can be a complicated maze. The sheer complexity of the platform can leave content creators perplexed. That’s the primary reason many successful YouTubers are now looking for professional assistance for growing their channel.
If you are looking for help with any aspect of your YouTube channel and videos, head over to SubPals. With SubPals, you get all that you could ask for. You will not only get services and products, but also insights on how to grow a YouTube channel. With some professional help and hard work, your channel’s growth will skyrocket in no time.
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