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Part 1 YouTube algorithm – a reliable governor?

The YouTube algorithm is often criticized for being unfair, biased and weighted in favour of ‘clickbait’, is this an objective description? Or is this belief flawed due to a misunderstanding of the algorithm?

YouTube Algorithm

YouTube Algorithm – Facts & Fiction

Numerous Youtube content creators, both paid and unpaid, consider the YouTube algorithm a complete mystery—a supreme authority governing their view counts, promoting their videos or condemning them to obscurity. Leaving the content provider, either pleased or feeling impotent and helpless.

Many will change their content to become more excited, sensational or extreme to appeal to the algorithm. As a result, transparency, credibility and the fundamental core of the message become lost.

The vast majority of content providers are unpaid, unacknowledged and highly criticised. Whilst new content creators will not receive any financial support until they increase their subscription and viewer numbers.

Several Crypto content creators rely on YouTube either directly or indirectly, from advertising revenue, to financially support themselves and their channel. They spend a small fortune in upgrading their video and sound equipment, even going so far as to create filming studios in their own homes. Therefore an unbiased judgement by the algorithm is paramount.

In 2019 Emily Pedersen (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences University of California at Berkeley) published a report entitled,

My Videos are at the Mercy of the YouTube Algorithm”:
How Content Creators Craft Algorithmic Personas and Perceive the Algorithm that
Dictates their Work.

Ms Pedersen’s research examined the priorities of YouTube content creators whose subscriber counts were below 1 million.

The research indicated that YouTubers presume that the algorithm prioritises clickbait and spectacular content. However, watching the ‘clickbait’ video or ‘mind-blowing content’ suggests to the algorithm that the video is not clickbait. The viewing audience determines the success of a channel, regardless of the mind-numbing pap that the ‘video farms’ produce.

Getting Seen

Fundamental to success is understanding a few things about the working of the YouTube algorithm, and this will change as the algorithm develops.

YouTube recommendations look at several factors; the most important is a combination of the click-through rate and the watch time. Next to these is the regular viewer count which is the number of videos a viewer watches on a specific channel.

The Marketing of a YouTube channel by using an app such as keywordseverywhere and social media is a useful way of promoting YouTube videos. However, a big misconception is that optimising for click-throughs will get a channel banned. Although false advertising is frowned upon by the YouTube Algorithm, so long as viewers follow through by actually watching the video, the content is safe.

Capture and Captivate

Firstly grab the attention of the viewer with clickbait. The thumbnail is sometimes deceptive and may not accurately describe the video content. But if the video is sufficiently captivating and engages the interest of the viewer regardless of the subject matter or accuracy, then the algorithm will ignore the misleading publicity. Therefore optimisation of the videos should be for both click-through and watch time.

To maintain viewer engagement videos should be visually entertaining, merely sitting in front of the camera does not produce a marvellous video. Movement or animation can be visually stimulating and therefore help retain viewer interest. Also, as people are naturally attracted to faces, disembodied voices should be avoided wherever possible.

Monitor Progress

YouTube Analytics provide tools to monitor the success of a YouTube channel. Analytics can help YouTube creators to investigate areas of strengths and weaknesses to optimise the potential of their medium. Cathrin Manning has an excellent video on very basic Youtube analytics that can help clarify their use.


The number of subscribers can give a false impression of popularity because most people stay subscribed to channels long after they cease to watch the videos.

Although the total number of subscribers can encourage others to watch a video, YouTube analytics are only interested in live subscribers, those that view a new video soon after it gets released. Therefore subscribers must click the ‘All’ option on the notification bell and watch the video as quickly as possible for the channel to rank higher.

Coming soon – Part 2 Crypto YouTubers

We take a look at the 44 Crypto YouTube creators on to find out how they match up to the ideal YouTube algorithm. Consider if their subscriber and viewer numbers merit their ranking. And we will find out if any underrated gems could skyrocket if they optimise the channel to appeal to the YouTube algorithm.


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