Why You Must Unlearn What You Know About the YouTube Algorithm

Once in a blue moon, I see a presentation at an industry conference and hear a still, small voice that whispers, “You ought to unlearn what you’ve discovered about the YouTube algorithm.”

Well, I’ve just seen such an uncommon presentation. It’s officially titled “Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies to Dramatically Increase Video Views,” even though the whole slide simplifies that to “How to get your movies found in seeking.”

It turned into Justin Briggs, the Founder and CEO of Briggsby, at VidCon London on February 15.

Now, I don’t know about you. However, I don’t love it when someone I’ve never met shifts my paradigm. So, my initial response changed to impeach the technique that Briggs had used to give you his counter-intuitive know-how of how the YouTube set of rules works.

But, lamentably, I located that he had looked at three—to 8 million statistics points throughout 100,000 movies and seventy-five 000 channels.

Using a keyword sample that contained a spread of named entities (humans, locations, matters, and many others.) and questions (how, why, and so on.), he checked the scores for the first 20 outcomes and fetched a wide array of statistics through the YouTube API, scraping, and further evaluation.

Damn, I can’t find fault with that.

So, I subsequently did what YouTube professionals do when they analyze that the entirety they know about video search engine optimization is incorrect, incorrect, wrong: I transferred my annoyance and inflammation from the messenger to the supply.

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Hey, it might be quality if the arena’s 2nd largest search engine would replace their YouTube author playbook for brands, which became posted in October 2015, or had a person like Google’s John Mueller, who would share a strategic insight each fortnight with video advertising professionals.

But, the most effective legit declaration that I’ve stumbled throughout currently is this one:

“The desires of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to assist viewers to locate the movies they need to observe and to maximize lengthy-time period viewer engagement and delight.”

Thanks a bunch for this cryptic message.

Then, I was given my arms on a copy of Briggs’ presentation at VidCon London and wrote this submission. Now, there have been 77 slides. So, I can’t percentage them all right here.

However, I have diagnosed and analyzed the seven most tremendous findings that dramatically overturn conventional expertise.

1. The Value of Optimizing Metadata Varies

I had a peculiar feeling of déjà vu when I first saw this slide.

What Briggs calls “Basics of Keyword Targeting” seems like a slide presented by Greg Markel, the founder and CEO of Infuse Creative, during the video SEO panel at SES San Jose 2008.

I remember it because I also changed into a speaker on the panel and told myself on time, “Damn, I desire I’d created that.”

Then, Briggs slapped a pink warning signal throughout this slide, reinforcing that it represented a “constrained view of video search engine marketing.” At that point, I thought, “Damn, I’m satisfied I hadn’t created that.”

Next, Briggs blew me away with the slider underneath that proclaimed, “Keywords Matter Less Once YT Has Watch Data.”

You ought to have knocked me over with a feather. When YouTube replaced “perspectives” with “watch time” in its algorithm returned in October 2012, I mistakenly assumed that “relevance” became a much less important thing – even for brand new motion pictures.

However, Briggs discovered that “relevance” is the most critical element until a video accumulates enough “watch time.” So, video search engine optimization isn’t dead! It’s a dozing.

You shouldn’t bypass the details on the first slide above. What Briggs calls “basics” are nevertheless “basics.”

So, let’s take a 2nd to have a look at it because YouTube is still the world’s 2nd-biggest search engine, and it continues to apply metadata to index your video correctly and rank it, to begin with.

To maximize your presence in YouTube search and advised films, you must optimize your metadata nicely. This consists of your video’s title, description, and tags.

When optimizing your name, position your keywords near the beginning, hold it to less than 50 characters lengthy, and make it attractive for a high click-on-via charge (CTR).

When optimizing your description, keep it from 50 to 150 words lengthy, use your keyword in 1 to three instances, and decrease using boilerplate.

When optimizing your tags, use your goal keyword first, then others in order of importance, maintain them tightly focused on a subject, use 1- to 5-word terms, and retain them one hundred to 300 characters long.

Yes, all this on-video textual content will become much less vital once your video has gathered a lot of watch time. However, it’ll not try this if YouTube’s search and discovery gadget doesn’t assist visitors in finding your video in the first vicinity.


I have been working in the field of SEO and content marketing since 2014. I have worked with over 500 clients and more than 100 websites. I started blogging in 2012 and have now made my first steps into the world of freelancing. In my spare time, I like to read, cook or listen to music.