YouTube recommendations are videos that YouTube selects based on your interests and offers them for viewing. They are similar to those you have already looked at or searched for. Getting into the recommendation gives channel owners an influx of additional traffic, and free, because their video is promoted by the video hosting itself.
This article will explain how YouTube recommendations work and how to understand if videos from a channel fall into this section. We’ll also give you some tips to help you promote your videos in recommendations.
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What are YouTube recommendations and how they work
Recommendations are displayed differently on PC and mobile devices.
1. At the top of the main page, the section is called “Recommended”.
PS Refreshing the homepage will change the selection of featured videos.
2. Videos come across in the right column when another video is open.
The YouTube gadget app does not have a dedicated recommendation section. Such videos are only in the list of similar ones – you need to open any video and scroll down, the list will contain videos with the words “Recommended for you”.
Recommended and similar videos are about the same (the promotion algorithms are identical), but the recommended ones are usually labeled “Recommended for you.”
Another difference between recommendations and similar videos is that they are selected more carefully and there are fewer such videos in the right column than just similar ones.
Each user sees their personal recommendations, selected by video hosting algorithms based on behavioral factors.
What an ordinary user sees in the recommendations:
- videos from a channel that he has already visited or subscribed to;
- videos that he has already watched or opened, but did not finish watching;
- videos that are relevant to your interests (for example, if a user often watches videos on a political topic, YouTube will recommend such videos to him);
- videos of competitors of the open video (may contain similar keywords).
Understanding how recommendations work will help you better prepare your content for promotion.
How to know if videos are in recommendations
Information is located in the “Analytics” section, the “Views” subsection. Traffic source types have a line “Recommended videos” – it shows the percentage of viewers who came from recommendations as a percentage.
You can view the data for a specific video, for this you need to open the section with all videos, select the desired video and click “Analytics”.
The video statistics also contain “Views” and “Types of traffic sources”. If the video was included in the recommendations, and this gave views, the data will be displayed in statistics.
How to get featured on YouTube recommendations
What influences hit and retention in recommendations:
Number of subscribers and video views – the more subscribers and views, the higher the chance of getting into the recommendations. This indicator also affects where exactly your videos will be shown – opposite the video of small channels or opposite the video of million-plus channels.
Example: at the time of writing, several recommended videos were studied – the number of subscribers on the channels whose videos were recommended by YouTube – from 57 thousand to 2.8 million. That is, YouTube prefers medium and large channels. This does not mean that videos from a small channel do not fall into the recommendations at all – the number of views and subscribers is far from the only factor affecting getting into this section.
Audience retention… If the video is watched to the end, interact with it, and switch to other videos of the author, YouTube realizes that the content is interesting and begins to promote it. If a video gets featured but shows low depth of views and few interactions, YouTube will stop recommending it.
Video optimization… How well the title was chosen, what keywords are in the title and description of the video, are there any tags and hashtags?
Tips for getting into recommendations
1. Prepare your video for promotion. YouTube needs to understand what criteria are used to select your video for promotion in recommendations. Proper optimization plays a huge role – keywords in the title and description, relevant tags and hashtags.
These articles will help you optimize your videos:
Example – video found in recommendations. There are hashtags and a long description under the video with keywords inscribed in the text (only part of the description in the screenshot).
2. Make an engaging preview. It’s not enough to get into the recommendations – you also need to make you want to open the video. One way is to make an attractive cover.
3. Create interesting content. This rule echoes the previous one – if your video will be closed almost immediately after the start of viewing – YouTube will understand that it is not interesting to viewers and will stop recommending it.
Important: YouTube is committed to ensuring that viewers stay on video hosting as long as possible and promotes videos that help achieve this goal.
Example: there are two videos, 10 minutes long, both were included in the recommendations. But users watch video # 1 to the end and then move on to other videos, and video # 2 is closed after 4-5 minutes or even leaves YouTube after watching this particular video. The first video will be included in the recommendations more often, the second – either less often or will not be displayed at all in this section.
4. Analyzewhat videos are most often included in the recommendations and why. How to see the general statistics and for a separate video, wrote above. We also have a detailed guide to statistics – how to analyze it, what to look for, what sections it contains.
5. Study your competitors… Open a video with a lot of views and see which videos drop out in recommendations next to it.
Example: we opened a video with the title “INCREDIBLY thoughtful odnushka! Overview of a one-room apartment. Interior design of the apartment. Room Tour 247 “. The video has 673,142 views, the channel has 361 thousand subscribers. In the recommendations next to this video there was a video with the title “Anapa – high-quality apartment renovation | OVERVIEW – 2 bedroom apartment in Anapa, Kavkaz residential complex! ”, Which has 5,730 views, while the channel has 4,021 subscribers.
Output: Recommendations for a large channel may include videos from small channels (up to 10 thousand subscribers), but this recommended video has been properly optimized – there are keywords in the title and description, and there are also hashtags. We have not previously visited this channel.
Shoot videos based on trending news stories… As soon as a hot topic appears, shoot a video on it. Of course, taking into account the topic of the channel. This approach can lead to explosive growth in traffic.
Fact: In the summer of 2020, the hottest topics are coronavirus, riots in the USA, protests in Belarus. According to Yandex.Wordstat, news with the word “coronavirus” was searched more than 33 million times in August. Considering that YouTube is perfectly indexed by search engines, trending topics make it possible not only to get into recommendations, but also to advance in search.
Getting featured on YouTube is a free way to grow your reach and gain additional subscribers. Using the tips from our articles, you can increase the chance of getting into this section.
After reviewing a few of the recommended videos, we noticed that most of the time YouTube recommends:
- Videos from subscriptions;
2. Videos from channels that were previously visited (but not subscribed);
- Videos that are similar in topic to those that are most often viewed.
At the same time, videos from the first and second groups are leading in terms of quantity. From this we can conclude that most often YouTube recommends your videos to subscribers and channel visitors, which means you need to direct efforts to attract the attention of this part of the audience.