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YouTube Shares Overview of its Content Recommendation Systems, and the Key Factors that Define Reach

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youtube shares overview of its content recommendation systems and the key factors that define reach

YouTube has published a new overview of how its content recommendations system works, which is one of the central drivers of video reach and views on the platform, and may help YouTube marketers get a better understanding of what guides optimal response.

YouTube actually published a similar overview earlier in the year, as part of its ongoing effort to maximize transparency, with this new explainer giving a little more historical insight as to how its systems have evolved, and how it’s working to improve its processes.

As explained by YouTube:

Our recommendation system is built on the simple principle of helping people find the videos they want to watch and that will give them value.”

Of course, ‘value’ is a fairly vague term in social media metrics, and especially in measurement, but the idea, according to YouTube, is to show people more of what they like, based on not only their own behaviors, but other, similar users as well.

“You can find recommendations at work in two main places: your homepage and the “Up Next” panel. Your homepage is what you see when you first open YouTube – it displays a mixture of personalized recommendations, subscriptions, and the latest news and information. The Up Next panel appears when you’re watching a video and suggests additional content based on what you’re currently watching, alongside other videos that we think you may be interested in.

YouTube Recommendations surfaces

The ‘Up Next’ panel has been one of the more scrutinized elements of the platform in recent years, with some users saying that these recommendations can lead them down conspiracy-fueled rabbit holes, and even radicalize them based on the content they find.

So how might that happen?

Here are some of the key notes on exactly how YouTube’s recommendations process works.

Foundationally, YouTube’s recommendations are based on four key elements:

  • Clicks  The videos you click on provide YouTube with a direct indicator of your interest in the content. But it’s not always the thing that defines your experience. For example, you might click through on a video looking for something, then not find it in that specific clip, so that click, in itself, is not a strong indicator of what you want. Which is why YouTube also measures ‘Watchtime’ as an additional qualifier. 
  • Watchtime As it sounds, watchtime measures how long you actually watch each video you click on for, which helps YouTube recommend more specific content aligned with your interests: “So if a tennis fan watched 20 minutes of Wimbledon highlight clips, and only a few seconds of match analysis video, we can safely assume they found watching those highlights more valuable.”
  • Sharing, Likes, Dislikes YouTube also measures your share and like activity, another direct response measurement in the app. “Our system uses this information to try to predict the likelihood that you will share or like further videos. If you dislike a video, that’s a signal that it probably wasn’t something you enjoyed watching.”
  • Survey Responses Finally, and in addition to these explicit response indicators, YouTube also conducts regular viewer surveys to find out if users are having a good experience in the app. For example, if you watch a clip for 20 minutes, YouTube may ask you if you enjoyed the clip, and to give it a star rating to better guide its recommendation systems.

All of these elements you likely could have guessed would be factored in, so there’s no major insight, necessarily. Though it is also interesting to note that YouTube additionally seeks to help you find content that you might not even know exists, based on the content that other people with similar viewing profiles to you watch.

“So if you like tennis videos and our system notices that others who like the same tennis videos as you also enjoy jazz videos, you may be recommended jazz videos, even if you’ve never watched a single one before.”

That’s likely how people come across those conspiracy theory trails – you look up one video on a topic that you’re interested in, then YouTube hits you with a range of related viewing that other people have watched as a result. If you fall into the wrong viewer profile, that could lead to a host of questionable stuff – though YouTube does also note that it is working to address such recommendations, and limit exposure to what it identifies ‘low quality content’.

So what qualifies as ‘low quality’ in this context?

“We’ve used recommendations to limit low-quality content from being widely viewed since 2011, when we built classifiers to identify videos that were racy or violent and prevented them from being recommended. Then in 2015, we noticed that sensationalistic tabloid content was appearing on homepages and took steps to demote it. A year later, we started to predict the likelihood of a video to include minors in risky situations and removed those from recommendations. And in 2017, to ensure that our recommendation system was fair to marginalized communities, we began evaluating the machine learning that powers our system for fairness across protected groups – such as the LGBTQ+ community.

In addition to these, YouTube also bans content that includes false health claims (like COVID conspiracy clips), while it’s also taking more steps to address political misinformation. Some of this type of material still gets through, of course, but YouTube is working to improve its systems to ensure that such material is not recommended via its discovery tools.

A key consideration in this element relates to “authoritative” or “borderline” content.

In seeking to limit the reach of borderline clips – those that don’t necessarily break the platform’s rules, but do present potentially harmful material – YouTube uses human evaluators to assess the quality of information in each channel or video.

“These evaluators hail from around the world and are trained through a set of detailed, publicly available rating guidelines. We also rely on certified experts, such as medical doctors when content involves health information.”

To determine ‘authoritativeness’, YouTube says that its evaluators answer a few key questions:

  • Does the content deliver on its promise or achieve its goal?
  • What kind of expertise is needed to achieve the video goal?
  • What’s the reputation of the speaker in the video and the channel it’s on?
  • What’s the main topic of the video (eg. News, Sports, History, Science, etc)?
  • Is the content primarily meant to be satire?

YouTube’s evaluators assess the reputation of a channel/creator based on a range of qualifiers, including online reviews, recommendations by experts, news articles and Wikipedia entries (you can check out the full listing of potential qualifiers here).

All in all, the system is designed to utilize explicit and implicit signals to highlight more of what each person wants to see, while also filtering out the worst kinds of content, in order to limit potential harm. The actual specifics of harm are a factor in this calculation, and limiting that reach – but again, YouTube says that it is working to update its recommendation tools to ensure higher quality content, based on these qualifiers at least, ends up getting more exposure in the app.

YouTube has also shared this overview of how its recommendations algorithms have evolved over time.

YouTube Recommendations development history

In assessing the various measures from a marketing and performance perspective, the key consideration is audience response, and creating content that appeals to your target viewers.

You can measure this in your YouTube analytics, and with users able to directly subscribe to your channel, there are some strong, key indicators that you can use to assess your performance, and ensure you’re aligning with viewer interests. That will then see your content also shown to other people with similar audience traits, while ensuring that you have a good website reputation, and a strong general web presence, will also limit potential penalties in YouTube moderators’ assessment.

It’s also worth checking your content against the above listing of ‘authoritativeness’ as a quick measure that you’re adhering to YouTube’s goals.

None of these elements will guarantee ultimate reach success, but failing to tick the right boxes will limit your potential. It’s worth noting these keys, and considering each aspect in your marketing effort.

Socialmediatoday.com

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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