Why does YouTube keep changing its algorithm?

The YouTube algorithm: a curse and a blessing at the same time

The YouTube guru and algorithm expert Matt Gielen tries, like all of us, to understand the YouTube algorithm in order to produce even better and more successful videos. Interesting results came about, which we have prepared for you in a compact form. The content is based on Matt Gielen's highly recommended articles on the algorithm on YouTube.

Matt Gielen's articles

  1. Reverse Engineering The YouTube Algorithm Part 1
  2. Reverse Engineering The YouTube Algorithm Part 2


Matt Gielen's latest article: Cracking YouTube in 2017

The algorithm explained step by step in video form: Kwink explains how the algorithm works in a way that is understandable for everyone!

The most important points in a nutshell:

  • The new minimum for a good channel rating is 2-3 video uploads per week (generally: more videos = more views)
  • an average viewing time of 5-8 minutes for a video is the optimum
  • if the views are very strong in the first 7 days, the algorithm promotes the video for up to a month
  • Myth destroyed: There is no verifiable relation between title length, description length or number of tags and the views. The only thing that counts with metadata is RELEVANCE (i.e. correct title, tags and description = content via form)
  • All this means that nothing is and remains as important as the thumbnails, title and subject of a video in order to create a good click-through rate, which (with good content) favors the video in the algorithm
  • In addition, playlists seem to be becoming more important again - you should definitely sort your channel sensibly and put EVERY video somewhere

Start of a video series about the algorithm: Crack the YouTube algorithm as a fire!

  • In 4 videos we explain step by step how the algorithm works
  1. That makes the beginning optimal channel maintenanceto play into the hands of the algorithm. Our Head of Content Kwink explains in this video which simple tricks you can use for one noticeable success of your YouTube channel can apply.
  2. In Part 2 of our series, Kwink brings you the great algoversum closer, shows how exactly the Watchtime defined and why Subscribers on YouTube are a false promise.
  3. Kwink shows you in part 3 of our series what the YouTube algorithm and its pitfalls for your channel and yoursInfluencer campaigns mean and like youproceed optimallyto accommodate the algorithm.
  4. In the last part of our series, Kwink mainly explains what the Watchtime in combination with your YouTube Channel and how you set up your channel of watchtime accordingly and Schedule videos.

The summary of the YouTube algorithm articles 1 and 2 by Matt Gielen

Watch time above all

  • No matter how often the algorithm changes daily, it always aims at the watch time
  • The watch time is made up of:
  • Views: shows how often your video is viewed
  • View Duration: means how long a viewer watches a specific video
  • Upload Frequency: means how often you upload a video to YouTube
  • Session starts: shows how many viewers start their YouTube visit with your video
  • Session Duration: means how long your viewers stay on YouTube, both during and after your video
  • Session Ends: means how often viewers end their YouTube session with or after one of your videos
  • If over 50% of your subscribers see your new video in the first 72 hours, this has a very positive influence on the video within the algorithm
  • YouTube seems to reward channels that appeal to their core audience, i.e. their subscribers, and punish those who don't
  • The view duration determines how long a viewer watches a certain video. Longer videos (10 minutes and more) usually have a better view duration and the audience's performance increases
  • Promoting the algorithm: It is better to upload a longer video than several short ones

The algorithm in detail

  • Note: The YouTube algorithm advertises channels, not individual videos, but uses individual videos to rate channels!
  • The algorithm consists of:
  • The algorithm doesn't look at your videos, but at the ones that are being watched
  • It is programmed to only advertise videos that bind the user to YouTube for a longer period of time
      • Candidate Generation: Means that the user's YouTube activity is being used. This also includes what similar users have seen. To get through this filter, the video must be relevant (i.e. it must match the videos already watched)
      • Ranking: The algorithm uses a lot of information to "rank" videos (i.e. to assess them and to sort them into a list from "suitable for the user" to "unsuitable"). Only videos with the highest rankings are suggested to users. The watch time is one of hundreds of points that the algorithm takes into account. New uploads are also included in the calculation. The click through rate is also included, for which thumbnails are very important
      • In order to pass the algorithm through, the Specialization in a certain content crucial. Experimenting with content and videos is not exactly beneficial
      • Promoting the algorithm: Find a special niche to produce content forThe videos have to pass two filters in order to be advertised
  • The fact is, nobody knows exactly how the YouTube algorithm works and is structured in detail, even YouTube employees are often overwhelmed. It also changes too often for this to ever be able to say exactly which data from videos it classifies as relevant. The observations that Gielen made and passed on to us as tips are pointers that should be given special weight when optimizing your own YouTube channel. Ultimately, watch time is the currency on YouTube that counts and that you should keep an eye on when it comes to the economic factor. First and foremost, however, you should stand behind your own content and not just jump on topics that are not of interest to you but that get a lot of clicks. YouTube also has a lot to do with credibility, and content creators quickly lose that credibility when viewers notice that they are not passionate about their videos.