How the YouTube Shorts Algorithm Works in 2024?

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Ever heard of YouTube shorts? It’s been a hit since 2021, and there’s a whole new world waiting for you to explore. The YouTube shorts algorithm works differently compared to other social media platforms, each with its unique ranking criteria. Knowing these ins and outs is key to nailing your content game.

Now, I get it. Juggling timely content creation with maintaining quality can be a challenge. Exhaustion can be a real creativity killer.

Those moments of feeling lost with a looming deadline? We’ve all been there. Consistency is tough in those situations. That’s when a social media management tool becomes super helpful, lifting that burden off your shoulders.

Now, being a YouTuber doesn’t mean escaping challenges; it means embracing them with every video you post. Your audience expects top-notch content when they hit that subscribe button, and even though you might be delivering killer long-form videos, there’s a whole audience out there with an attention span shorter than a goldfish.

This is where YouTube shorts come in. They help you capture the fleeting attention of the scroll-happy audience, and every post is a chance to push your creative boundaries.

In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions regarding the YouTube shorts algorithm. Let’s take a look!

What Is the YouTube Shorts Algorithm?

As marketers, we have delved deep into the YouTube algorithm. Essentially, the YouTube algorithm for views serves up videos it thinks you’ll love. It first analyzes your past watches, searches, and likes to predict your taste. Then, it matches that to video details like title, tags, and content. Videos with high engagement (watch time, likes, comments) and relevant to your preferences get boosted. It’s a constant learning loop, aiming to keep you glued to the screen.

YouTube shorts operate on a similar mechanism. YouTube shorts are 60-second videos that creators post on their channels. These can be new content or repurposing of older, longer videos.

For instance, let’s take this example. The creator has extracted a longer video of a dance cover to create a more engaging short.

YouTube’s algorithm works almost the same for long videos and shorts, but it’s not exactly the same. There are differences that you should be aware of. The platform also keeps updating algorithms, hoping to improve the user experience.

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Now, let’s get to the point and discuss how the YouTube shorts algorithm actually works in 2024.

How Does the YouTube Shorts Algorithm Work?

Suppose you want TED Talks and motivational speeches to find their way to your recommendations on YouTube. In that case, you have to make YouTube think you are intellectual, not a kid into teenage YouTubers making prank videos (joking).

So, if you’re wondering, ‘How does YouTube Shorts recommendations work?’, then the answer is simple. YouTube Shorts algorithm primarily leverages two key data points: your watch history and engagement metrics.

Firstly, the algorithm analyzes your past viewing habits, specifically focusing on the Shorts you’ve watched and the channels you’ve interacted with. This provides a foundation for understanding your general preferences and interests. So, if you’re wondering, ‘Are YouTube Shorts based on what you watch?’ The answer is yes!

Secondly, the algorithm considers engagement metrics such as watch time, likes, and comments. By analyzing how other viewers interact with different Shorts, the algorithm identifies content that is likely to resonate with you based on your similar interests.

So, if you’re planning to create Shorts, here are five things you need to consider:

  1. Viewed vs. Swiped Away

    The easiest way to understand your audience and see how well your YouTube shorts perform is by checking the viewed and swiped-away metrics. It hits the ball right out of the park by telling you whether your videos are compelling enough to hold the audience’s attention amidst their perpetual thumb-scrolling.

    YouTube shorts play on a loop, so if your viewers are watching it till the end, the video will start again. This causes the viewers to watch videos on a loop, thereby increasing your view count. However, if you want your Short to be watched on repeat, it needs to be super engaging.

    Take this video as an example; I bet you will watch it at least twice!

  2. Watch History

    Like any other social media platform, YouTube wants you to stay on its platform. To make this happen, it ensures that you are treated well and are rewarded with the type of content you like. The platform takes every measure to ensure you don’t have to look elsewhere for it (just like a healthy relationship should be).

    Your audience’s watch history is vital in determining what shows on their recommendations. If your viewers are into fashion-related videos, videos on fashion, style, and similar trends will find their way to their recommendations.

    YouTube pays attention to the type of content you have consumed in the past to recommend similar content. Even if YouTube’s algorithm changes, your content is always considered a crucial element.

  3. Relevance

    Imagine you’re tuning into your favorite book review channel, excited to hear about that new thriller everyone’s raving about. But instead, you’re met with a heated political debate. Talk about a jarring switch!

    That’s exactly how your loyal audience will feel if your content takes a sudden, drastic turn away from what they signed up for. Sure, jumping on trend or mimicking competitors might snag a few new viewers, but it risks alienating your core base.

    The key is to keep things fresh while staying true to your niche. Explore different book genres, get into author interviews or host book club discussions. Variety is key, but always within the realm of what your audience expects and enjoys.

    This way, you’ll not only keep your existing fans happy but also attract new viewers who share your passion for the written word. Remember, the algorithm loves consistent engagement, and when you deliver content your audience craves, it’ll naturally favor your work.

  4. Engagement

    Even if your Shorts aren’t exploding with comments and fire emojis, they’re doing something crucial – building bridges to your main channel.

    Sure, engagement is awesome, but the ultimate win is drawing viewers deeper into your content. And that’s exactly what Shorts can do. Think of them as trailers, appetizer plates, or sneak peeks. They hook viewers with a taste of your magic, then send them craving the full feast on your main channel.

    So, while you might not see a like-fest on your Shorts, celebrate the silent migration happening. Are those viewers clicking through to your longer work? They’re the real prize! Remember, every view on your channel, whether from a Short or a full-length masterpiece, counts towards your growth!

  5. Video Length

    There’s no hard and fast rule regarding the length of your YouTube shorts.

    Need to explain a life hack in 30 seconds? Go for it! Got a dance routine that explodes in 15? Boom! But if your comedic genius unfolds best in 50, embrace it!

    Remember, the sweet spot (around 50-60 seconds) shines because viewers grasp the whole message. But don’t stretch your videos just to hit that mark. Always be sure to prioritize quality over quantity. YouTube doesn’t want to waste its audience’s time, so make sure you keep your content focused. Let’s have a look at this example.

Related Article: How to Make a YouTube Channel in 5 Easy Steps?

How to Optimize Content for YouTube Shorts Algorithm?

While creating content on YouTube, always remember that you are doing it for the audience and not the algorithm. Once you have this sorted, you can optimize content for YouTube shorts using the following.

  1. Be Entertaining

    When creating content, always think about your audience. They’ve weathered daily battles, from traffic jams to deadlines, and now they’re seeking refuge on your YouTube channel. They deserve a break filled with pure entertainment!

    Forget long, snooze-inducing lectures. The short-form revolution of TikTok and Instagram Reels proves it: attention spans are shrinking faster than laundry in a dryer. So, make their precious minutes count! Infuse your Shorts with humor, intrigue, and unexpected twists. Deliver mini-explosions of joy, not drawn-out snooze-fests.

    While creating consistent entertainment is easier said than done, you must always ensure the quality of your content is never compromised. This will keep your audience hooked to your channel.

    Here’s one example from the countless entertaining videos on the platform. This is the quality you have to meet!

  2. Make an Impressive Start

    It takes 3 seconds for an average viewer to decide whether to continue watching a video. You will fail to keep your viewers engaged if you don’t have an interesting hook. Try to say something that would immediately catch their attention, but make sure it is related to the content of your video. For example, if you are not going to share a cooking recipe in your YouTube short, don’t say, “We’re diving into the flavors,” or “It’s time to bring out the inner chef.”

    Here’s an example of a short with an exciting hook line.

  3. Use CTAs Smartly

    You need to know the science behind CTAs. You might add a call to action, thinking it will be effective, but in all honesty, it’s not always effective.

    If you are selling something or creating content for an ad, a CTA would be a good call to direct people to the website or help them purchase what you are using. However, if it is not an ad and just a video for entertainment, nothing would annoy your audience more than a CTA. It is essential to pinpoint what you are aiming for with your audience. So, only place CTAs when it’s necessary.

  4. Follow the Trends

    Trends are meant to be followed— period!

    If you want to get new viewers and increase engagement, you need to be up-to-date with the trends and jump on the bandwagon at the right time. Celebrities and influencers are mainly responsible for starting new trends on social media platforms.

    Let’s say an artist has released a new song, and everyone is making dance videos on it— show off your skills a little bit.

    Here’s an example.

Is the Algorithm for Long YouTube Videos the Same as the YouTube Shorts Algorithm?

When we talk about the differences between YouTube shorts and long-form videos, one thing remains constant: the need to deliver value to the audience. Whether you post long videos on your channel or engage your audience with shorts, the algorithm wants you to offer value.

While YouTube shorts have become more popular in recent years, audiences still prefer long-form videos, but if you ask me, shorts are more effective if you wish to give a small message and bring attention to your content.

It is also much easier to create short-form videos and schedule them for your audience. It’s more appealing for the viewers to watch shorts because they don’t have to spend several minutes on it. The algorithm also suggests your long-form videos to the audience if they have previously connected with your shorts.

Despite being monetized on YouTube, YouTube shorts still haven’t started generating revenue for the creators. But don’t worry! It won’t be long before it starts making money, as the algorithm is continuously changing to improve the experience for the audience and creators. So, if you consider the YouTube Shorts algorithm broken, it’s still fine and will continue to be!

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In Conclusion

Getting views on YouTube is always an achievement, and we always appreciate creators who manage to maintain dedicated viewership through all their content (long and short). It is a challenging journey with YouTube shorts algorithm change, but it’s not impossible.

Creators have yet to explore all the benefits and value YouTube shorts have in store for them. Since the algorithm is experimenting with new things, we can only predict a smarter platform. I hope this blog helped you understand the YouTube Shorts algorithm better than before so you can leverage a YouTube scheduler to create better content for your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is There an Algorithm for YouTube Shorts?

Yes, YouTube shorts use an algorithm to determine which audience sees your content. The algorithm recommends content based on the user’s watch history and interest.

2. How Do I Increase YouTube Shorts Views?

Create engaging content, start with a unique hook, provide value, optimize it for the search engine, diversify your content type, and implement storytelling techniques.

3. Is There Any Trick to Viral YouTube Shorts?

Going viral on social media platforms happens organically, but using relevant hashtags is a good strategy to make your content more visible. You can also create content on trending hashtags.

4. How Do YouTube Shorts Get Noticed?

Be consistent with your content and use hashtags in the caption so the algorithm can recommend your videos to the right audience. You can also collaborate with other creators to diversify your audience.

5. Why Are My Shorts Not Getting Views?

If your YouTube shorts are not getting views, it can mean either of two things.

  • Your audience is not finding your content engaging.
  • You are not using the right strategy to reach your audience.

6. How Many Shorts Should I Post a Day?

If you want the maximum growth on YouTube, posting two to three times a day is recommended. It increases your chance of going viral with your content.
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Afirah Shaikh

I am a part of a #Champfam designated as a content writer who strongly believes that everything has a story to tell. When I'm not lost in the world of words, you will find me indulged in K-dramas, and manifesting my life to turn into one (a romcom). You can ping me at [email protected]

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