How YouTube’s Algorithm Really Works

March 6, 2024

Welcome to Stream Report, a newsletter from Gaming Careers covering important news and updates in streaming and content creation.

In this issue: We decode the mysteries of YouTube's algorithm with insider insights from Todd Beaupré, revealing what truly influences video success on the platform.

Understanding YouTube’s Algorithm

Understanding YouTubes Algorithm
Understanding YouTube’s Algorithm

In a recent YouTube video, the head of YouTube‘s Growth and Discovery team, Todd Beaupré, shared some secrets about how the platform’s algorithm works. Here are the key takeaways all creators should know, sprinkled with direct insights from the algorithm guru himself.

Can a bad video hurt how the algorithm sees a channel?

A less successful video won’t doom your channel. The algorithm assesses each video independently, so a great video can still shine after a not-so-great one.

Equally, an off-topic viral video doesn’t skew the algorithm’s perception of your channel. YouTube focuses on individual video performance rather than averaging channel performance.

Does the algorithm push videos for some creators?

YouTube doesn’t “push” videos to viewers. Instead, it “pulls” videos based on what the viewer is likely to enjoy at the moment they log in. It’s viewer-centric, not creator-centric.

“What triggers a viewer seeing an impression of your video isn’t some YouTube plan… It’s at that moment that the recommendation engine is engaged”

Todd Beaupré

Does the algorithm ever give up on videos?

The algorithm doesn’t give up on videos, and neither should you. Long-term performance matters; your video can gain traction weeks or months later.

If your video isn’t performing as expected, it can be worth experimenting with a different thumbnail or title to see if that increases the click-through rate.

Does upload cadence matter to the algorithm?

The algorithm aims to avoid drawing incorrect conclusions based on historical data. It’s designed to focus on current video performance, not past performance or upload frequency.

Your upload frequency doesn’t box you into a corner. Instead, focus on the quality and reception of each video as they stand on their own merits.

Do I have to upload Shorts to succeed on YouTube?

The algorithm follows the audience’s preferences. As a creator, it’s crucial to understand and adapt to these preferences, whether embracing short-form content or sticking with long-form if your audience enjoys it most.

Just like any business, it’s essential to consider your content strategy in the context of market demand and competition. Look for unserved audience needs you can fulfill or ways to improve upon what you’re already offering.

Does the algorithm favor some creators or videos?

The algorithm doesn’t play favorites. It doesn’t favor certain creators or videos; it’s all about connecting the right content with the right audience.

To gauge why a video might underperform, check its performance in the subscription feed. This can offer insights into whether the issue lies with the content or its packaging.

Remember that the YouTube algorithm is complex, but at its core, it’s about serving the right content to the right viewer. Stay true to your craft, keep an eye on audience trends, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Watch Video

🔥 Pete’s Content Corner

Delve into my weekly selection of content creation highlights—handpicked videos, podcasts, and tweets that promise to captivate, educate, and entertain.

  1. MrBeast shared a tweet encouraging YouTubers to slow down, prioritize storytelling, and let videos breathe. Moving away from the always hyper-fast jump cuts that many associated him with.
  2. YouTube‘s Create app, rivaling TikTok’s creative suite, extends its reach to 13 additional markets, including Australia, Brazil, and Spain, enhancing the mobile editing experience for content creators globally.
  3. Twitch is now accepting applications for its Ambassador Program, although currently to Twitch Partners only.



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The founder of Gaming Careers with a borderline unhealthy obsession for cameras, microphones, and all things streaming. He gets mistaken for Stephen Merchant at least 5 times a day.

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