The work of transparency on the functioning of the ranking system in Youtube algorithms continues: after clarifying how to do SEO for videos and the mechanism of the platform recommendation system, the Creator Inside team now goes on to debunk three myths on Youtube Trending, providing interesting and useful guidance to those who produce videos and try to intercept trends to earn traffic and audience.

What is and how works the YouTube Trending

The video first describes the Youtube Trending feature, which is a separate and specific section of the Youtube website and app, accessible from the main navigation menu.

Its goal is to provide a range of videos that can be attractive to a wide range of audiences and that have certain features and requirements, such as:

  • show the diversity of the platform;
  • have “exceptionally good” performance compared to other videos on the platform (or other videos on the channel);
  • do not be clickbait, misleading or sensational;
  • be indicative of the culture and trends that are popular on the platform at that time.

Youtube Trending is one of the few areas in which users can discover new videos that are not customized based on the history of views: in contrast to the suggested and subsequent videos, in fact, in this case the algorithm is “customized for the country” and the viewing location.

In practice, it can be said that the entire geographic area of the user “sees the same list of videos in Youtube Trends”.

In addition, to ensure that there is some “freshness” in the videos, the list is not static and is updated about once every 15 minutes, so as to show the constantly changing nature of the platform.

Debunked myths on YouTube Trending

Getting a featured video in the Trends section is a way to gain great visibility and new audience, and it’s no surprise to find that video creators have “developed their own theories about why and how videos are chosen” in such a coveted and desired space.

Very often, however, these theories have no reality and are misleading: for this reason, the Youtube team has decided to clear the field from any “myth” and to refute some of the most common speculations on the operation of Youtube Trending.

Criteria for Trending, there is no preferential treatment nor payment system

The first “myth” states that the only way to appear among the trends is essentially to “pay Youtube or meet some employee of the company”.

That’s not true, of course: “Youtube does not accept payments for placement in Trends nor does it have any favoritism when considering eligibility to appear in Youtube Trends,” the video clearly says.

Instead, there are well-defined criteria that determine the possibility for a video to be considered for the Trending section:

  • Views counting
  • How fast the video generates views
  • Source of views (also off Youtube)
  • Video age
  • Video performance compared to recent uploads from the same channel

Moreover, filters exist to ensure that certain types of video are not displayed in trends and, in particular, videos with excessive vulgarity, extreme violence, adult content or content that denigrates others are excluded.

Youtube combines all these signals “to produce a list that showcases the culture and trends about what is happening on the platform at that time”. For this reason, it is not obvious that the video that has the highest number of views will be placed first, since “it is actually possible that the top video in the Trending section may have fewer views than the one found in the following positions”.

Finally, in order to prevent creators from posting advertisements to bring a group of viewers to their videos and encourage presence in trends, Youtube excludes from the eligibility criteria any paid viewing.

YouTube Trending does not favour big creators

The second common opinion that is denied is that Trending brings out “only hosts of late night talk shows or great creators”: in fact, the team reveals, “Youtube even ensures that at least half of the videos on Trends come from local creators.

In addition, as evidence of the absence of prejudices and favouritism towards a particular type of creator, the Trending tab has specific sections for “rising creator” and “rising artist”, which put on display a smaller channel for an entire day.

There is no such thing as the perfect time to publish

The third and final myth discussed concerns the time of publication of the video: according to a widespread thesis, there would be a “right time” that would increase the chances of being present among the Trends.

Actually, and as already mentioned, the list of videos in the Youtube Trending section is updated every 15 minutes, and therefore every quarter of an hour “there is another possibility of appearing among the Trends”.

More generally, when it comes to publishing time the advice is “to release videos when it is more likely that your specific audience will watch them”, concludes the team of the platform, recommending then to base their assessments on questions such as “when is most of your audience awake? When are they most likely to look at the content? What are their expectations?”.

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