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What Are The Rules on YouTube? Popular Content Myths

16 Nov, 2023
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It's not news that most YouTubers live with pre-existing beliefs about creating content for YouTube. They often adopt them from other vloggers  in related fields or come across them in some insightful articles.


However, many of these beliefs are incorrect and mislead you and those around you, negatively impacting your content.

Let's discuss myths about promotion, boosting, copyright, and even optimization.

Subscribers and views matter most on YouTube

Today, algorithms work differently: if in 2014 it was easy to boost views, subscribers, and become popular, in 2023, engaging in such manipulations will result in nothing but a ban.

The number of subscribers affects the view count, making their presence crucial. With their growth, you can earn more from your channel. However, this connection is not direct. Numerous factors influence your content and earnings.

In 2023, the most crucial factor for your channel is watch time. This is the metric YouTube uses to determine if your content should be propagated in recommendations and search results. Only after achieving a solid watch time will you gain subs, views, and increased earnings.

Most famous vloggers promoted themselves or got very lucky

Only one in a million YouTubers becomes a sensation just because they're talented. Frankly, it's hard to believe even that, as no one reveals the truth behind their rapid rise. Usually, it involves money, advertising, and promotion.

There's often no talk of luck on YouTube. All top channels are set up correctly—optimized, a significant success criteria. It's not luck but a controlled, predictable outcome. 

You can not gain views and subscribers without releasing videos. There's no luck; it's a pure system. Whether you grow rapidly depends on various factors: niche, theme, audience, content quality, optimization, advertising budget, social media promotion, and much more.

Do you need to post several videos a day to become successful?

YouTube doesn't have restrictions on the number of videos you can recommend to a specific viewer from a channel in a day. Channel owners can upload as many new videos as they want, within the rules, meaning up to five videos per day.

However, the number of views for each video depends on viewer preferences. YouTube's recommendation system continues to suggest a video as long as viewers keep watching it. Therefore, there is no direct correlation between the number of videos per day and the popularity of the video itself.

YouTube evaluates each video individually. They either gain traction or they don't, based on whether viewers like them or not. If a channel uploads more videos than usual, and each video receives less and less views, it could be a sign that your audience is becoming saturated.

While the number of subscribers may be somewhat related to how well videos rank in search results, the number of videos per day is not a determining factor.

There was even a whole study from Briggsby, which showed that there is no clear relationship between the number of videos per day and the ranking of videos in search results and recommendations.

"We do not observe a strong correlation between the number of videos published by the channel and rating metrics. However, we do see that the quantity of videos interacts with the number of subscribers."

So, to monetize and start earning, it's not necessary to produce and upload hundreds of videos. The only advantage of uploading several videos a day is that it helps you learn quickly and improve your skills. However, this has little impact on channel growth.

The more videos on your channel, the more trust you gain from viewers. It signals that the channel is active, encouraging subscriptions.

The questionable benefit of this promotion method is a rapid increase in subscribers, views, and watch hours due to the high volume of videos in a short time. While it works, be cautious not to be disappointed later with this strategy.

Long videos will not be watched or short videos will not be accessed on YouTube.

Let's look at the research again. One of these shows some pretty interesting results:

  • The maximum engagement for videos is within the first two minutes. 
  • By the sixth minute, engagement levels stabilize, and viewers stop dropping off. 
  • From the sixth to the twelfth minute, viewer engagement remains consistent.

If it's crucial for you that viewers watch the entire 100% of your video, it's advisable to keep them around two minutes or less. However, there's no need to shorten a video just for the sake of shortening. You can create videos that are six or twelve minutes long, and viewers will watch them. Remember, on YouTube, watch hours are important, at least for achieving monetization.

Before drawing conclusions, let's look at some more research: from the same Briggsby and Backlinko.

We learn the following from them:

  • In search results, videos tend to be around 15 minutes on average. 
  • Videos longer than 4.5 minutes are more effective in terms of views. 
  • Videos of 10-15 minutes duration receive more likes, while shorter videos (up to two minutes) are more prone to receiving dislikes.

The conclusions from all of this are that videos under two minutes are good for advertising and grabbing attention but not for YouTube promotion. They bring in subscribers and views but don't contribute significantly to overall channel promotion. For more subscribers, views, watch hours, and likes, longer videos are the way to go. Additionally, longer videos rank better on YouTube.

Don't forget about the format, such as interviews or gameplay. People are willing to watch these type of videos for hours. Two-minute videos pale in comparison to these formats.

Does the quality of the video play a major role or is it more important to focus on the topic and release schedule?

Lets answer the above statement with some research:

1. Audiences are spoiled with high-quality videos: Viewers have a variety of creators to choose from across different quality levels, and there are no irreplaceable creators. Therefore, audiences tend to choose higher-quality content over lower-quality content.

2. Competition is increasing among channels aiming for popularity: Channels with investors, budgets, and dedicated teams are entering YouTube in droves. To compete effectively, neglecting video quality is not an option.

3. YouTube favors quality content: YouTube is likely to prefer high-quality content as it tends to yield better results in terms of watch time, viewer retention, and engagement. It's more comfortable for viewers to watch well-produced videos with good visuals and sound.

Referring back to the Backlinko study, it reinforces the point that HD videos dominate search results. Therefore, expecting success while producing videos haphazardly is unlikely.

But don't feel disheartened and draw the conclusion that impressive filming requires hefty budgets and equipment. Today, you can achieve good quality with a regular smartphone. There's no need to invest in expensive gear or hire professionals with a television background.

Will content creation require expensive equipment and a team?

Misconceptions often swing from one extreme to another, especially when it comes to video quality. Some believe you can ignore quality, while others insist that nothing can be done without top-notch cameras.

Moderation is key. As mentioned previously, most new smartphones can capture high-quality footage: Full HD, HD, and even 4K. Therefore, beyond the technical aspects of shooting, such as frames and editing, it's within your power to create quality content.

If you strive to create good videos, you won't need fancy equipment or a team for shooting. You can do it yourself and keep up with the top creators. In this scenario, you can confidently say that content is king.

Does optimization still work?

Good filming can indeed endear you to viewers, but if they can't find you, it's a challenge. Optimization is a key factor in channel promotion. You must dive deep into your insights on naming videos, crafting descriptions, working with keywords, and boosting CTR. All these practices help your videos find their audience, aiding channels in gaining subscribers.

Even if you run ads on videos without proper optimization, their effectiveness is likely to be limited.

Is it true that the more keywords you use in the title and description of the videos, the better?

The answer to this question needs nuance and a deep explanation so read further.
Keywords are needed in as large a quantity as possible, with one condition—they should be seamlessly integrated into the text and directly related to your videos. It works the same way as with tags.

At the beginning of the SEO journey, it might seem simple: just insert as many keywords as possible. However, names, descriptions, and tags that don't match the video's content, as well as an excessive number of tags, are considered spam, deception, and fraud.

Does a drop in channel views mean you've fallen out of the algorithm's good graces?

YouTube evaluates individual videos, not your channel as a whole. Therefore, assuming that your channel's views have dropped is incorrect.

The recommendation algorithm always "follows the audience": if a video attracts viewers, it will be displayed in user recommendations regardless of how previous channel videos performed. The number of views is not a key indicator for the YouTube algorithm.

A decline in views on a channel may only indicate that you are no longer appealing to users and meeting their search queries. The specific reasons need to be analyzed individually.

Inactive subscribers do not affect video and channel promotion. YouTube does not consider inactive subscribers as a factor influencing the recommendation algorithm. A channel with inactive subscribers can still have the next video recommended if it attracts an audience. YouTube evaluates each video separately, not the entire channel.

Creating a new channel and re-uploading the same videos will not help showcase them to a larger audience. YouTube remembers viewer preferences, so there's little chance of attracting inactive subscribers with a new channel. Vloggers should start a new channel only if they decide to create content in a different direction.

Monetization affects video promotion

This is the most controversial myth that cannot be definitively proven.

On one hand, it seems logical because it benefits YouTube when you help them earn revenue through advertising. However, today, there is no longer a need for this, as YouTube will display ads and generate revenue even on videos without monetization. 

So, there is no definitive answer here—whether it's a myth or not. However, we are accustomed to questioning everything and believe in double-checking the stats. If there is no clear analytics-based evidence, we would consider it a myth.

We hope this informative article will help guide you on your YouTube journey. Keep creating!

Author
Author

Sasha Lerman

Copywriter, writer, editor. Development and promotion on YouTube, as well as many other exciting topics.

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