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YouTube CEO Defends Removal Of Dislike Counts

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YouTube CEO Defends Removal Of Dislike Counts


YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki defends the removal of dislike counts on videos in her annual letter outlining the company’s priorities for the year.

Many may be disappointed to hear that revisiting the decision to remove dislikes is not in YouTube’s plans for the year, as Wojcicki stands firm in her belief that it’s best for the platform going forward.

This is quite a contrast from how a YouTube co-founder feels about the decision, saying it was a bad move.

Wojcicki repeats much of what we’ve heard before from YouTube spokespeople, saying dislikes were removed because they were sometimes a reflection of viewers’ opinion of the channel and not the video itself.

“We heard from many of you about the removal of public dislike counts on YouTube, and I know this decision was controversial. Some of you mentioned dislikes helped you decide what videos to watch.

However, people dislike videos for many reasons, including some that have nothing to do with the video, which means it’s not always an accurate way to select videos to watch.

That’s why dislikes were never shown on the home page, search results, or Up Next screens where users were most likely to choose a video.”

Further, Wojcicki repeats the standard company verbiage that it was best to remove dislikes sitewide due to select channels being targets of “dislike attacks.”

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“We also saw the dislike count harming parts of our ecosystem through dislike attacks as people actively worked to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.”

Removing dislikes allegedly has no impact on viewership, Wojcicki says.

However, that doesn’t take into account the impact to user experience.

She continues:

“So we experimented with removing the dislike count across millions of videos over many months. Every way we looked at it, we did not see a meaningful difference in viewership, regardless of whether or not there was a public dislike count. And importantly, it reduced dislike attacks.”

The dislike button remains on the site and channels can find their dislike counts in YouTube Studio.

Dislikes will continue to be factored into YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, impacting the videos that are suggested to users on the home page.

Other Highlights From YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s Annual Letter

In Wojcicki’s letter we learn:

  • YouTube Shorts has reached 5 trillion all time views.
  • The number of channels making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year.
  • YouTube Channel Memberships and paid digital goods were purchased or renewed more than 110 million times in 2021.

YouTube’s key priorities for the year include YouTube Shorts, helping creators make more money, and improving the shopping experience.

YouTube Shorts

In the coming months YouTube will expand on Shorts by introducing more ways to remix content.

YouTube will continue to allow creators to make money on Shorts through the Shorts Fund, which is now available in more than 100 countries.

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The Shorts fund isn’t exclusive to creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Over 40% of creators who received payment from the Shorts fund last year weren’t in the YPP.

This year, YouTube will test new ways for Shorts creators to build branded content through BrandConnect, a program that matches creators with brands.

Content Monetization

Wojcicki highlights the following recent updates to content monetization, which will continue to be priorities this year:

  • Pre-publish checks: Allows creators to find out if there’s a problem with copyright or ad-suitability before hitting publish.
  • Updates to advertiser-friendly guidelines: Allows additional content to be monetized.
  • More details about policy violations: The company is hiring more people to provide creators with specifics about policy violations, like timestamps of where a violation occurred.

YouTube Shopping

YouTube will continue to work on a product tagging pilot program that gives viewers the chance to browse, learn about, and shop products featured in videos.

The company is in the early phases of testing how shopping can be integrated with Shorts.

Also in testing is a livestream shopping in the US, South Korea, and Brazil.

This year, YouTube will bring shopping to more creators and brands by partnering with commerce platforms like Shopify.

Source: YouTube Official Blog


Featured Image: Wachiwit/Shutterstock

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SEO

How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape

There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

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Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!
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As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

Read More On SEJ

Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

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So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

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Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

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AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

Read More On SEJ

Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

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The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

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