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YouTube Question How important are subscribers?

catboots

New Member
6
2
Hi all. I'm new here and I have a lot to learn. I'm hoping that you all can help me out, I have a lot of questions and you guys seem like experts :)

I'm trying to understand why YouTube shows one video over another video. I always thought that the person with the most subscribers got the most views, but I'm learning that's not the case. How is it that people are getting so many views on videos with less subscribers than other YouTubers? I guess I'm not understanding what I should be most focused on aside from trying to do my best with my videos.

For example:
*note, I removed the titles/links.
Both videos are the same age.

Video A
Views: 10,418,614 views
Channel subscribers: 78.7K subscribers

vs

Video B
Views: 13,290 views
Channel subscribers: 545K subscribers
 
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catboots

catboots

New Member
6
2
Hey,

It is worth taking some time to watch a few of the TubeBuddy videos on their YouTube Channel. Start with the one I'm attaching below. But take some time to review the videos on tagging, etc. Because that pretty much answers your question.

The keyword explorer looks like a great idea! Thanks for sharing that. But, the SEO stuff, doesn't everybody kind of do that? And if they are, what makes one video show up over another video? I remember when those Vevo music videos would show up above everything else and how can you optimize a song. You see what I'm saying? I think YouTube is showing favoritism! lol
 

SILTHW

Professional cat wrangler
3,619
27
Subscriber Goal
1000
The keyword explorer looks like a great idea! Thanks for sharing that. But, the SEO stuff, doesn't everybody kind of do that? And if they are, what makes one video show up over another video? I remember when those Vevo music videos would show up above everything else and how can you optimize a song. You see what I'm saying? I think YouTube is showing favoritism! lol
Short answer - no. Surprisingly few people do it. If you are on a computer and use a browser with the TubeBuddy extension installed, try browsing videos and see what their SEO score is. You will be very surprised.
 
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catboots

catboots

New Member
6
2
Short answer - no. Surprisingly few people do it. If you are on a computer and use a browser with the TubeBuddy extension installed, try browsing videos and see what their SEO score is. You will be very surprised.

Like, this video for example:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr6ey0jpWLA
...I hope I'm allowed to share videos, it's not mine :p

The description doesn't look all that special. That was Video A in my example. Why does that video have 10 million views? They only have 78.7k subscribers. You see what I'm saying? Like something isn't adding up.

Also, super glad you are responding to this thread thank you so much. I've read your replies and I know you know your stuff!
 

SILTHW

Professional cat wrangler
3,619
27
Subscriber Goal
1000
The keyword explorer looks like a great idea! Thanks for sharing that. But, the SEO stuff, doesn't everybody kind of do that? And if they are, what makes one video show up over another video? I remember when those Vevo music videos would show up above everything else and how can you optimize a song. You see what I'm saying? I think YouTube is showing favoritism! lol
Reply to a reply... oh well...

Let me add, things like audience retention, etc. also weigh into things. So let's say I have less subscribers, but my subscribers watch all of my videos all the way through and you have way more subscribers and only a handful of your subscribers bother to watch and when they do they only watch a small amount of your video, I am going to win in the rankings. So SEO is a big part of it, but there are more components to ranking than just SEO.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,640
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
There is sooo much that goes into why Video A ranks over Video B... people literally go to college for the distinction alone.

The most simple explanation is that Video A is catered to you (the viewer) based on your viewing habits and for whatever reason offers the possibility of more watchtime from you than Video B. This isn't based on views or subscribers but on viewing habits, and there are a LOT of variables that come into play.
 
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Kari B

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy User
267
13
Subscriber Goal
100000
Channel A could also be a whiz at marketing and have a huge social media following who watch and share the video. Or channel A could have bought thousands of views so that their video looks more popular which in turn makes more people watch it.
It's fine to question things like this, but please don't compare yourself to others, it will drive you slowly crazy. Some channels blow up out of nowhere and some creators struggle for years making amazing content but only getting a few views. You can't control other channels or YouTube, but you can control making good quality videos that people want to watch. I've found over the years that subs and views are like a snowball rolling down a hill, they gain at greater speed the more you have.
 
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Beanie Draws

Mythical Poster
2,883
27
www.youtube.com
Subscriber Goal
30000
Subscriber count doesn't really mean much, and I'm kind of glad about that. Twitch lets you sort randomly but also lets you sort by most viewers at the time, imagine if YouTube sorted by subscribe or view count, your videos would NEVER be seen with the sheer amount of channels above 100k competing against channels with less than 100 subs. This is why the SEO and watch time are more important, but sometimes I think an element of randomness and bias comes to play.
If you're not logged in and never used YouTube, you'll get the biased trending videos which are almost always based on the amount of views, and watch time (and how new the video is... new videos seem to have a ranking bias because of the "new" lable) but once you load up YouTube more than a few times, even when not logged in (on Microsoft Edge at least) it will start suggesting videos based on what you've watched, which I assume is a correlation between videos watched, and the device id, along with whatever browser history it has. Unless you're in incognito mode, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between logged in and not logged in except for notifications.

At the end of the day, if a 10 minute video has 80%+ audience retention, YouTube is naturally going to push it out, no matter what the view count is. People start seeing it getting recommended, they click it out of curiosity, then get stuck in the comments reading "who else got this in their recommendations?" and the views skyrocket. That's how a trending video forms. AND a trending video can sometimes have less than 1000 subs, heck, I've seen videos with 10 million views with less than 500 subscribers. The video is more powerful and more important than the sub count, and the % of watch time and retention has a large factor in how much extra push the video will get, thus higher ranking.

Subscriber count sometimes has a factor towards ranking of videos. If someone is known for a particular type of video, and constantly publishes videos with high watch time, or consistency, they will rank consistently.

This is all just based on my observations over the last year when randomly browsing YouTube.
 
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Tito Tim

DecoratedPoster
TubeBuddy Star
1,155
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titotim.com
YouTube grants different privileges at certain subscriber levels - so in that way the sub count is important...

Other than that I think really viewers are more important than subscribers. I have a lot of regular viewers, that comment, but have not subscribed. I kind of wish they would, but as long as they are active viewers it is ok with me.

It is hard to compare 2 random videos. Sometimes one will just go viral. It is really not in our control. When a vid 'clicks' just right and goes viral, it does not matter how many subs a channel has. It just happens sometimes.
 
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kitchen c/o ammama

Distinguished Poster
TubeBuddy User
648
18
Subscriber Goal
5000
No Use if you have loads of subscribers and then you get hardly any views.

It's all about views views and views.

Focus on how to get views ( draw people towards your content ) and the rest will follow your path.
 
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catboots

catboots

New Member
6
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Wow, you guys have really given me a lot of information. You seem to know YouTube inside and out! I really appreciate all of the information. I can see that I have a lot to learn.