How Does The YouTube Algorithm Work in 2023?

youtube algorithmYouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine used these days besides being a video platform. People search for anything and everything on YouTube making it a go-to shop for any solution besides entertainment. Therefore, YouTube comes out as an opportunity for anybody and everybody to grow and become famous.

While Youtube has opened a tremendous opportunity in front of every person, it isn’t easy to grow on YouTube and become a fan-favorite personality. In this article, you will get to understand how the YouTube Algorithm works and how it is not something to be afraid of even though the algorithm is pro-user and not pro-creator.

How Has The YouTube Algorithm Evolved?

It is quite evident that Youtube’s algorithm has become ‘tougher’ to crack but in reality, it has become more streamlined and easy to understand. The fun part is that it wasn’t the same always. So before we get into the deep analysis of what the algorithm is now, let’s understand its past first.

The algorithm has evolved in stages, all of which include the following:


This is the year or should we say, the era of the emergence of YouTube in the world. This is the time when YouTube was the most vulnerable and easy to be manipulated.

The new product as it was, YouTube was pretty naive and followed the concept of click-through rate only. This meant that a simple click on the video was enough for the algorithm to count as a view.

The more clicks on a video, the more views but this concept brought the problem of clickbait itself where people posted misleading thumbnails that made people click on the video but didn’t give value to the viewer.


The problem of clickbait was taken into consideration and dealt with in 2012 by announcing a feature called Watchtime which was used to determine the user’s time spent watching a video on your channel and the time spent on your channel. While watch time helped in improving the situation, it still wasn’t enough for the algorithm to eradicate clickbait.


This is the point in time when YouTube and its algorithm started taking bold steps in dealing with the problem of clickbait. 2015 is the time when Youtube’s algorithm was changed and enhanced to become more personal to the user.

This meant that the goal of the youtube algorithm became to find the right and apt video for each viewer and this system is being followed by YouTube ever since then.

Which Metrics Matter to The YouTube Algorithm?

As Youtube’s algorithm has evolved and become more personal to a user, it is vital to note that this is not done by a human being at YouTube’s headquarters. Rather Youtube Algorithm is a crawler or a robot that decides what content is good for what viewers.

To do so, it relies on many metrics used by youtube to determine what it needs to show to what viewer. All these metrics involve:


Click-Through-Rate is the ratio of viewers that click on the video versus the number of viewers that see the video on any discovery system. A better CTR generates a better watch time.

Click Through Rate

Watch time

Watch time refers to the total amount of time that the viewers spend on your video or channel. Higher Watch Time increases conversion rates and audience retention.

Amount of Videos Watched

Youtube also calculates the number of videos a viewer has watched on your channel. Based on this, the Youtube algorithm determines which channel to promote more over the other to a viewer.

Similar Videos

Similar videos to the video(s) you make the matter a lot to Youtube since it tries to push your video to the audience of the other channels that make similar videos.

Watch History

Watch History refers to the videos that the viewer has watched in the past time. This helps the algorithm to determine the interests of the viewer so that similar or related content can be promoted to the viewer.

User Demographics

While it sounds absurd but the demographics and location of the viewer matter to the algorithm as well since it helps the algorithm to promote the right region-based content to the viewer that matches the type of content he/she consumes.

How Does The YouTube Algorithm Work?

Before we finally dive into the way of YouTube Algorithm, it is very important to note that the Youtube algorithm is not designed to work for the content creator but to promote the content that individual viewer wants to watch to keep the viewer on the platform as long as possible.

To make this happen, YouTube has designed the algorithm to work significantly for all three discovery systems on the platform which are:

Home Page

This is the first page that appears in front of the viewer whenever the youtube application of the website is opened. This page makes the most difference to a viewer since this is where the journey of the viewer begins. Ranking on the homepage follows two criteria.


Performance is determined by how much the viewers enjoy the video. This should be the key target of any content creator – to create videos that are enjoyed by the audience.

To determine the performance of any given video, the algorithm relies on CTR, Average View Duration (to understand the behavior of a viewer on the video), Average Percent Viewer (how many people want to watch the video), likes, dislikes, and viewer survey.


With the help of all the metrics discussed above, youtube searches for the viewers that are interested in watching the type of content created by you and then pushing it out to them. With personalization, youtube shares the video with the relevant audience.

Suggested Videos

Suggested Videos are another discovery system that plays a vital role in providing video to the viewer that matters. Suggested videos are the section of youtube that consists of all the videos that are usually watched together with the current video, videos on similar topics, and videos that have been watched by the viewer in the past.

The suggested videos appear below (on a mobile device) or on the right-hand side (on a desktop) of the youtube video player where the current video plays. Suggested Videos similar to Homepage follow performance and personalization criteria to determine the ranking of a video but it also follows two more criteria of their own.

Similar Videos

Similar videos are videos that are created on a similar topic that the viewer might be interested in watching. The suggested videos section promotes it based on the niche the viewer follows.

Watch History

The watching history of a viewer matters as well since it allows the algorithm to promote either the videos watched in the past or the videos that match the past videos.

Watch History


Search is the third discovery system that matters to algorithms as well but this concerns more with SEO on Youtube since it has become the 2nd largest search engine in the world.

Because SEO is what matters when it comes to Youtube searches, the algorithm targets keywords in the content created which it fetches from the metadata of the video that includes titles, meta descriptions, and the words you use in your video. All these metrics are analyzed by the algorithm to rank the video on Youtube’s search results.


By now, you must be very clear about how the youtube algorithm works, what matters when it comes to the algorithm, and how you can manipulate it to your benefit. Although it has become easier than ever now to become an influencer using youtube, it still is vital to take the right steps.

Before, we end the discussion here, do note that the algorithm needs to understand the video you have created to rank it as best as possible at all the discovery systems so consider all the points discussed in the blog. Also, note that a budding new youtube channel must not rely primarily and solely on the search to grow.

Instead, you must strategize your content in a way to rank it better on the home page and suggested videos.