YouTube has released new information about how the video recommendation algorithm works. We know that clicks, watch time and likes or dislikes impact whether or not a video is recommended but there are other determining factors as well.

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    In a question and answer, a Youtube employee answered questions about how the algorithm works. They were asked questions about underperforming videos, content overload, inactive followers and external traffic.

    Underperforming videos are not likely to hurt your channel. YouTube is only interested in how users are responding to any given individual video. The algorithm is also not overwhelmed by content, there’s no such thing as too many videos per day or week. If your views go down after daily uploads, you’re likely exhausting your audience. Inactive subscribers don’t impact the recommendation algorithm. The algorithm follows the audience so as long as users are watching your video you aren’t negatively affected. External traffic does play a factor in the recommendation algorithm but that only gets a video so far. If it doesn’t perform well when it’s recommended then it won’t continue to appear. 

    Overall, the algorithm cares more about user engagement with individual videos than follower counts and external factors.