After I watch a video, I can only see long videos (40 mins - several hours long) in my suggestions on the panel on the right hand side, which are very abstractly relevant. This has been happening for a week now. Any idea why?

For example, if I watch a small Steve Jobs' keynote, I get hour long documentaries on Apple or Jobs as suggestions (earlier there were other short keynotes). Or if I watch a short clip from a TV show, it suggests hour long compilations of that TV show (earlier there were other small clips).

PS: I am logged into my account only.

  • Hello. There currently is a bug (probably a bad experiment) causing this. Please send feedback and include "longrecs" in the text box so YouTube can identify which experiment exactly is broken. – Leo Wattenberg Oct 22 '17 at 15:47
  • Yeah, that seems to be the problem. – Anushrut Gupta Oct 24 '17 at 19:27

The YouTube player window shows a grid of “suggested videos” after the video you watch ends. A Google’s proprietary algorithm choose these video automatically from the entirety of YouTube’s public video collection and the channel owners have no control over the suggestions. Primarily, we need to understand YouTube actually has one priority, to get people to watch more videos so that they can show more ads. That is the aim of suggested videos. Now, the YouTube suggested videos column is made up of three sets of videos according to http://tubularinsights.com/7-expert-tips-youtube-suggested-videos/ :

  1. Suggested videos are the 4 videos featured from the creator (algorithmically selected)

  2. Related videos are videos that are similar to yours

  3. Recommended videos based on the viewer characteristics.

To determine which video the algorithm will place, YouTube uses metrics such as “watch time”, relevancy, viewership history, engagements, and more. There are many ways to influence these metrics, and thus dominate the suggested videos column. However, technical specifics about this remains only speculative as the actual algorithm is a very closely guarded secret.

  • Relevance: In the initial stages of a video’s life, there is not much for YouTube to go on to know what a video is about, except for the information the creator provides. This is where metadata comes in. Metadata in YouTube is the Title, description, thumbnail and tags that you give to your video.
  • Quality: In the end, people will not continue to use YouTube if all they see are rubbish videos, even if those videos are related to what they searched for. So YouTube needs a way to promote the high quality videos that mean people watch more videos.
  • Watch time: If many people are watching most of a video then that video is likely a very good one presumable, in terms of relevance and quality.

These there points above are more on the content creator’s perspective. For your perspective as a viewer concerned about your suggested videos, the algorithm takes into account your history of watch videos and how the assume you judge their relevance and quality in terms of your reaction like vote, comment, watch time and perhaps the viewing pattern of those who share similar traits with you. I will conclude by saying if the suggested videos doesn’t reflect your preference, just remember, its sorted by an “algorithm”.

  • Thanks for the answer, but I guess there was a bug in their algorithm. – Anushrut Gupta Oct 24 '17 at 19:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.