YouTube Answers Some FAQs on Its Algorithm and Video Distributions

On 2 July 2020, YouTube released a video answering some of the frequently asked questions on how its algorithm works. This algorithm is what highlights particular videos for each user, and video metrics on their own do not necessarily reflect how well or how badly a video is doing.

Two of YouTube’s product managers, Rachel and Patricia, put up a new video on the Creator Insider channel to talk about two of the metrics that content creators check out the most: the click-through rate (CTR) and the average viewer duration (AVD). They discuss in the video how YouTube uses these metrics to influence the rank of videos.

YouTube recently released that it will be providing analytics insights, which will allow content creators to see their average CTR and AVD. These metrics would provide a deeper insight as to how their content is performing on YouTube. However, these are not the only factors that performance is based on. 

Click-through rates are not that easy to understand. Patricia and Rachel discuss that the most successful videos, or the videos that have the most views, are those that are most likely to have the lowest click-through rates.

According to YouTube, this is because videos with high distribution are shown to a wider range of audiences and they are often shown to users who may have not seen or heard of that content creator’s videos or profile. This leads to a lowered click-through rate. Less known content may even have a higher click-through rate because they were not distributed to a wide variety of audiences. 

To be able to measure how well a channel is doing, YouTube suggests that creators need to analyze all available metrics and compare them with one another. Doing so would give a better understanding of a channel’s performance – as opposed to relying on one metric to do all the talking.

YouTube also clarifies that it analyzes performance based on the context that a video is shown (e.g., “Home” or “Watch Next”). This means that these tabs have varied ways of analyzing which videos to suggest to users. The “Home” feature takes into consideration all of the videos a user has watched on YouTube, while the “Watch Next” feature bases its suggestions on the video that was watched most recently. AVD is one of the factors that come into play when it comes to the system putting out suggested videos in a user’s home feed. 

According to YouTube, the new analytics display discounts CTR and AVD for the “Home” and “Watch Next” features for content creators to get a better grasp on their channel performance. 

Another thing that YouTube addressed was how AVD tends to vary among videos with longer and shorter durations. They again highlight the importance of cross-referencing in analyzing metrics, and AVD is indicative of a user’s interest in a particular video. 

Overall, YouTube stresses the importance of gauging channel and video performance holistically – there are tons of factors that come into measuring a channel’s performance. Three of the most important considerations are as follows: competition, topic, and seasonality. These three factors are big indicators on how well a channel would do, and they vary at different points in time.

Currently, YouTube seeks to expand its available tools to allow content creators to better analyze their insights and metrics to better market their channels. They aim to soon launch a feature that allows content creators to test the effectiveness of their video thumbnails in getting attention and another feature that allows users to compare their channel’s performance to another channel.

Implications for Marketers:

YouTube is an effective platform to introduce and promote brands to a wide range of audiences. A clearer description of what its metrics will be able to explain and identify would give marketers an idea of how to properly conduct its marketing strategies via YouTube. It would also be able to better explain what a channel’s performance is based on.

Watch the full video here.

Reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-EbO-092I0
https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/youtube-explains-some-common-algorithm-and-video-distribution-queries/581002/