Do You Watch Videos ? : Know How YouTube Works

Aditya Krishnan
3 min readDec 7, 2020


Image Credits : Influencer marketing hub

Videos have become an important channel to engage & connect with users in the digital era . Just as users search for information w.r.t any specific topic on search engines similarly popular platforms such as YouTube are expected to provide them with content of their choice & intent .

How does the YouTube Algorithm Work ?

  • Many aspects determine the ranking of videos in YouTube search however the most important factors are relevance and performance
  • Relevance is equated with title, description, and content of a video in accordance to the user’s query
  • Performance is related to which videos users chose to watch after conducting similar queries with topical relevance
  • Engagement metrics are also considered such as how long and how much part of a video users choose to watch
  • YouTube’s recommendation algorithm doesn’t focus on the subscription feed as a primary signal. Overall it depends on how well a video performs in a particular context
  • Ranking on the home page is based on how well a video performed when shown on other users’ home pages
  • Changing the way a title or thumbnail looks, as it can be an effective way to get more views . Algorithm then tracks and responds based on user behavior (CTR, dwell time per video etc)

Important Note : YouTube’s search results are not a list of the most viewed results for a particular search query. It is mainly about the videos that are the most relevant and those which a user is most likely to watch

Facts & Observations

  • There is no specific criteria that a video has to achieve inorder to be shown as a recommended video
  • Some videos can gain popularity or traction even after weeks or months based on trends, interests which vary over time : Recommended videos or the ones which feature on the home page need not be the latest ones based on publishing date ( exception could be specific channels which may be subscribed to)
  • Creating separate channels for each language is considered as a best practice unless the target audience can speak and understand multiple languages
  • The engine pulls videos and ranks them for users based on what they’re most likely to watch. Performance matters ( If some subscribers are not engaging with the respective channels , YouTube can accordingly amend the list of videos for them with content from different channels )

I have presented the insights in a simple manner which will help you to decode the world of YouTube . At the end of the day it is all about knowing the pulse of viewers to maximize revenue :)

Thanks for reading . Please feel free to like , share and comment .

About The Author :

Aditya Krishnan is a Digital Strategist & Consultant with 10+ years of experience across different sectors and practices . He has managed business transformation engagements ranging from setting up digital platforms , designing marketing strategies to leading analytics projects . He has authored several publications on various topics across portals and shares his views regularly on latest trends in the digital / marketing space .



Aditya Krishnan

Sr Digital Strategist & speaker on trends in marketing, technology . Author of the book " A String Of Pearls" .