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YouTube Lets Users Override the Algorithm

YouTube algorithm

Are YouTube videos a major part of your online marketing campaign? Video content is powerful, especially considering how often people will share it. You may use the videos through your social media profiles or as stand-alone content to guide people back to your site. The trick, then, is to get people to discover that content. YouTube has long used an algorithm to predict what people want to see and to suggest new videos for them. While that won't change -- in that YouTube will still use it -- they are going to revamp the process a bit by letting each individual user have more control than they did in the past.

Overriding the Algorithm

Perhaps most importantly, they're going to add a menu option that says “Don’t recommend channel”. If a user gets a recommendation that they do not care about in the least, they can block it from ever appearing for them again. They could still seek it out intentionally, of course, but they can essentially override the algorithm so that it never recommends it, even if their viewing preferences otherwise make it look like they would enjoy that content.

What this means, more than anything else, is that quality content is going to be at a premium. No matter how promising the content looks, if the user does not enjoy it, they can block it with ease. In the past, channels were largely driven by how many subscribers they had. That still matters, but they also want to know how many people block the channel from getting recommended.

Picking Topics

Naturally, this change does not just focus on the negative, letting users dismiss what they don't want to see. It also gives them a chance to guide the algorithm. They can choose topics that they enjoy or that they would like to see in the future. These choices will then be factored into everything else -- like their viewing history and subscriptions -- to determine what content they may enjoy.

This feels like a straightforward change, and it takes some of the pressure off of YouTube to figure out what people like to watch or why. Each user can simply provide that information directly. It also gives people a chance to explore areas they have not before, as they can get recommendations for topics that they may have never considered. Their watch history won't reflect that interest, but their preferences will. There appears to be a wide range of categories, with three cited in the YouTube announcement being late-night TV, baking videos and favorite music genres.

Connecting with Users

As you can tell, YouTube is interested in making sure people view the actual content that they want to see. Again, that means quality is incredibly valuable. Make sure you understand how these changes could impact your online marketing tactics and the audience you can reach.

Jonathan Schlosser

Posted on 27th June, 2019 by Jonathan Schlosser

About Jonathan Schlosser

Jon Schlosser is a professional writer and SEO specialist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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