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'The Algorithm' – How YouTube Search & Discovery Works



Welcome to this series of videos on how YouTube’s search & discovery system works. In this first installment, we talk about how our ‘algorithm’ follows the audience.
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With over 400 hours of video uploaded every minute, that can be a challenge. YouTube’s recommendation systems provide a real-time feedback loop to cater to each viewer and their varying interests. It learns from over 80 billion bits of feedback from the audience, daily, to understand how to serve the right videos to the right viewers at the right time. Our goal is to get people to watch more videos that they enjoy, so that they come back to YouTube regularly.

Creators often ask, “What kind of videos does the algorithm like most?” Our systems have no opinion about what type of video you make, and doesn’t favor any particular format. Rather, it tries its best to follow the audience by paying attention to things like:

• what they watch
• what they don’t watch
• how much time they spend watching
• likes and dislikes
• ‘not interested’ feedback

Instead of worrying about what the algorithm likes, it’s better to focus on what your audience likes instead. If you do that and people watch, the algorithm will follow. So, which videos do they enjoy most? How often do they like to watch your channel? Check your YouTube Analytics to answer these questions.

Whether you’re pursuing a passion or a business, we strive to give every video a chance to reach its potential audience. We realize however that YouTube has a lot of features, and it can be easy to get confused. Keep watching to learn about six key places where your videos appear, and what you can do to improve your chances for success: Search, Suggested Videos, Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and Notifications, in no particular order.

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