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YouTube Shorts Algorithm Explained


Although YouTube holds many secrets about the Shorts algorithm, they officially shared some of them. What a delight! Let me explain in detail what it means for us creators.
👉 All your other Shorts questions answered: https://youtu.be/UxArrvF8Hio

As I said, there are similarities to the Home algo. Here is how it works:

Lenny’s original video on the Creator Insider channel:

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– How does the YouTube
Shorts algorithm work? Well, to my delight, over on
the Creator Insider channel, They answered this important question. – How does the Shorts
recommendation system choose What videos to promote? – This is Lenny, a product
specialist from YouTube. So we are directly at the source. So what does the have to say
about the Shorts algorithm? – The Shorts recommendation
system’s goal is to match viewers With content they will
love and find valuable. – Duh, right? We, of course, know all about that. That’s the common thing
that all algorithms do, But he goes into much
more detail than that. – When viewers scroll their Shorts feed, Our systems include videos based On many different signals
personal to each user. – So, this is important. All viewers get different recommendations, Different Shorts listed in their feed. It’s a little bit like the Home algorithm, Or the Suggested Videos algorithm. But of course the big
question is, for us creators, How do we influence that? Well, Lenny lists these signals
that the algorithm takes Into account in order to
decide which videos to show. The signals are: – Such as watch history, videos
from channels they follow, Videos watched by similar
viewers, and more. – Okay, let’s go through them one by one. At first he says, watch history. So, basically, the algorithm looks At the watch history of
the individual viewer. What does this person watch usually?

Yeah, what is this person interested in? And then finds Shorts
that match that interest, Like similar topics, you know. And then he says channels
that the viewer follows, So subscriptions. It’s, of course, a good idea to ask people To subscribe to your channel. And third he says, videos
watched by similar viewers. That means that it is a good idea For you as a creator to
cover popular topics. Because for popular topics, You have a large viewer
base that all are interested In the same thing. So the chance is high
that those similar viewers Are all potentially
interested in your Short, When it covers that popular topic as well. By the way, very interestingly,
Lenny did not say Shorts, He said videos. So I strongly believe
that the Shorts algorithm Is highly influenced by everything else That you watch on YouTube as well. Everything that goes
into the watch history, What you search on YouTube and then watch, What you watch via the Home feed, What you watch via the
suggested videos, and so on. And, of course, you
might have already seen That even before you watched any Shorts, On the home screen here on mobile, You have this Shorts shelf. And I watched a lot of gardening videos As you can see here below, And suddenly it shows
gardening Shorts here as well. So this is the influence
that I’m talking about. All right, and now let’s
go much deeper than that.

Besides those signals
we just talked about, We can imagine the algorithm, As always, has this tricky situation That there are much more videos out there, Shorts out there that are all
interesting to that viewer. I mean, then the algorithm has to decide From all those videos, Which are shown first in
the Shorts feed, right? So there has to be some kind
of ranking of those videos. And Lenny has this to say: – These videos are then ranked
based on their performance And relevance to that individual viewer. – Okay, so the internals of this algorithm Is a multi-step process. As I said earlier, it
takes all those videos That are potentially
interesting to that viewer. And then next, he says, That it is ranking those Shorts
based on their performance. Yeah, so the more successful,
the more viral Shorts Show first in the Shorts feed. But then it also looks at what
is relevant to that viewer. And that sounds a lot
like the Home algorithm. By the way, if you want to
check out how that one works, Here you go. In short, YouTube also
shared the internals Of the Home algorithm,
and there, they explained That this algorithm has an
internal favorites list, So to say. We don’t see that list,
but for every viewer That algorithm has an understanding Of which channels they watch the most, And which channels they watch the least. And it doesn’t matter Whether you are subscribed
to that channel or not,

If you watch a channel very often, Then you get more videos from
that channel recommended, And that’s, I believe,
exactly the same for Shorts. So if you watch Shorts from a
particular channel very often, And I mean, it could
even be a small channel, Doesn’t have to be a large channel there, Then you get more Shorts
shown from that channel. So, when you have, as a small
channel, really big fans Then you can get ranked your Shorts Above those Shorts from
even larger channels. That’s good news, right? So it’s important that you
make really great Shorts In order to get ranked higher and higher, At least for those few fans
that you have in the beginning. And that will basically
get the snowball rolling. So, for you as a creator,
it’s quite simple in the end. First of all, make great Shorts, I will say a little bit
more about that in a second, And cover popular topics
with those Shorts. So the big question is what
is a great Short, right? Well, Lenny has this to say: – We recommend making
the first few seconds Of a Short captivating and
keeping content snappy. – Well, this sounds a lot
like watch time, right? And the importance here, he says That the first few seconds count. I mean, imagine that. A viewer scrolls through
their Shorts feed. They watch shorts, swipe up
next short, swipe up next short. Since they don’t choose
which Short to watch, Just the Shorts algorithm says What the next short should
be in the feed, right? All the viewers are deciding In the first few seconds
of watching the next Short,

Whether they want to actually watch it Or whether they swipe up
to just watch the Short That comes after it. So the first few seconds
are really important In which you have to explain properly, Give an indication
properly to those viewers What your Short is about, And that it is something
interesting worth watching. So make those first few seconds count. And of course, what he also
says with making it snappy, Compress the rest as well,
to make it intriguing, To make them glued to the screen so That they don’t have even
a second to think about Whether they still continue watching it. This way, you make them
watch as long as possible Get your average view duration
up as high as you can. And besides making great Shorts, I also said, cover popular topics, And you wonder how can
you make that happen? Well, you have to figure out
what other Shorts are produced In the niche that your
channel is in, right? So what you can do there is, If you don’t have a starting point, Just search for something on
YouTube and watch those videos, Scroll through your Home
feed, watch the right videos That you are interested
that are in the same niche As your own channel. And then you will quickly
see that, in particular, On the Home feed, this Shorts
shelf gets filled with Shorts That are related to
what you are interested, Your niche is in, right? And then you can start
watching the Shorts. For example, when I do gardening
or something like that, I click here and you will see

That you will get immediately
Shorts, recommended In the feed that are all about that topic. And if in between, there’s
now and again, some Short That is not about the topic
that you are interested in, Just swipe up in the first few seconds, Yeah, and continue watching. You will quickly see that
it learns to understand Which Shorts you wanna watch From a viewers point of perspective. And this way you will get
to see the right Shorts That are interesting to you. And you get to learn
which topics, apparently Obviously, right, are
popular in your niche. And based on that, you
can create your Shorts. And, of course, once you decided
on the topic of your Short, You probably have a few more questions About how to get it right, in particular, How to optimize your Short. Well, check out this video, In which I answer many different questions That all of you have about
getting your Shorts right. Cheers, my friends.

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