The new YouTube algorithm changes what shows up in the suggested sidebar of a video and in the trending section of YouTube. What does this mean for the future of your channel?
The good news is that if you don’t have millions of subscribers, then the new YouTube algorithm is a good thing. If you play your cards right, you could multiply your YouTube subscribers in a matter of months.
Why Did YouTube Introduce a New Algorithm?
Although YouTube’s new algorithm isn’t “official,” creators, viewers, and marketers have detected the difference. Because of this, we can only guess as to the reasons behind the YouTube algorithm 2017.
First of all, this new algorithm opens up equal opportunities for all channels, new and old, small and large. YouTube stars are practically celebrities in our society. Some channels dominate their market with millions of subscribers.
With the increased competition, starting a new channel and earning views isn’t as easy as it used to be. This new YouTube algorithm isn’t intended to maliciously throw off big-name channels. However, it will certainly level the playing field as startup channels like yours learn how to navigate the new algorithm before larger channels catch up.
Furthermore, this change increases viewer satisfaction with YouTube. Many viewers have resented the commercialization and monopolization of YouTube over recent years. YouTube’s algorithm change may be an attempt to appease viewers and show that YouTube is still the place where dreams are made.
Finally, brands like YouTube are always switching things up. Companies that update their digital systems and brand design every once in a while paint themselves as modern, forward-thinking, and trendy. YouTube is definitely a leader in innovation and it has to stay true to its name.
This event shows the importance of being digitally self-sufficient–not relying on third-party platforms to build your following. For instance, creators who put all their trust in Vine, without promoting their social brand on other platforms, ended up losing everything.
Instead of relying on a single platform, build your brand across the web. Preferably, start your own website and email list to secure your audience.
2017 Changes to the YouTube Partner Program
In addition to the algorithm changes, YouTube has also altered its Partner Program. The YouTube Partner Program initially allowed any YouTube channel to make money by signing up and uploading content. However, many channels would not upload quality videos–they would monetize copyrighted-infringed content.
As of April 2017, the Partner Program requires channels to reach 10,000 lifetime views. This will help weed out the creators who are actually contributing to the online community from those who are just in it for the money. YouTube’s shift toward quality content means only the best–not the biggest–channels will thrive.
Now, let’s move onto these six practical steps you can take to optimize your channel for the new YouTube algorithm.
1. Know the factors.
The goal is to work with the new algorithm on YouTube to move your channel’s videos onto the Trending section and Suggested sidebar.
You can accomplish this only by understanding what factors influence whether a video shows up in these areas. Lucky for you, YouTube does not practice favoritism. Any channel has a chance to make it in the big leagues.
The three main factors YouTube lists for the Trending section are:
- View count
- Rate of growth in views
- Where views are coming from
As for the Suggested column, videos that show up here are based on their:
- Similarity to the video being played
- Relevancy to the viewer
Let’s dive into the significance of these factors.
2. Make your video clickable.
The more sidebar clicks your video regularly receives, the more it will show up in the sidebar. This is because the entire purpose of YouTube’s recommended feed is to get users to stay on the website. If your video does a good job of retaining visitors, the algorithm will reward you accordingly.
So how do you make videos that people want to click on? The question essentially answers itself: choose an eye-catching thumbnail and an intriguing title. Of course, the key to increasing view count at this point is to follow up with content. Don’t promise an appealing and worthwhile video with valuable content without providing it.
3. Shoot for quality, not quantity.
The new YouTube ranking algorithm represents a shift from quantity to quality. When in doubt, focus on improving the quality of your videos before moving onto increasing the numbers.
Even without the YouTube algorithm change 2017, the equation is pretty simple to follow. Quality content leads to viewer retention and satisfaction, which generates likes, shares, and subscriptions, which leads to even more views. Poor content, on the other hand, only spawns quick click-aways.
4. Don’t rule out your Trending potential.
Many small YouTube creators doubt their chances of ever making it onto the trending section, but this thinking is flawed. Although the majority of videos in YouTube’s Trending section have tens of thousands to millions of views, view count is only one of several factors of the YouTube trending algorithm.
If you can nail the other factors, you have just as much of a shot as bigger channels in making it onto the Trending section and earning even more views.
In other words, promote your content at the right times and on the right platforms to promote quick growth rate in views. Furthermore, attempt to situate your video on authoritative websites and popular social sponsors.
5. Grow your authority in a niche.
As with choosing the right keyword, your videos must be niche-specific to conform with YouTube’s algorithm. The more relevancy your videos have to a specific niche, group, topic, or viewer, the more likely they are to show up in the suggested sidebar of similar videos.
If your videos are broad (and lacking in views), YouTube won’t value them. The competition is too high to attempt to create a broad-spectrum video (such as “How to Apply Eyeliner” or “Top 100 Movies of All Time”) for the Trending section.
6. Increase viewer loyalty.
Your new YouTube channel must start out the way everyone else’s did: small. Growth isn’t so much about marketing as it is about increasing viewer loyalty, subscriber by subscriber.
Again, quality versus quantity plays into this. If you provide relevant content, then viewers will want to subscribe to your channel. Once you have secured a solid following, then you can expand into more advanced marketing efforts.
Don’t attempt to convert viewers into buyers if your channel only has dozens of subscribers. Instead, focus on becoming friends with your subscribers and new viewers. The new YouTube algorithm won’t work in your favor unless you work from the grassroots up.
Wrap Up: The New YouTube Algorithm
The key takeaway from this article is to take advantage of the change. If you own a smaller YouTube channel, you have the opportunity to catch onto this new YouTube algorithm and move up in the ranks before your competitors.
Again, quality over quantity will be a major factor of your success. High-quality content demands high-quality transmission. In other words, video and audio quality is just as important as content quality.
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