How YouTube Shorts Algorithm Works?

How Youtube Shorts Algorithm Works

Unlike most creators think, the YouTube algorithm isn’t a hurdle you must jump to reach your target audience.

Instead, it’s a tool that can fuel your channel’s growth if you understand how to work with it. So, how does the YouTube Shorts algorithm work?

Quick Answer

The YouTube Shorts algorithm works by recommending videos that viewers want to watch. It considers various aspects, including novelty, engagement, trends, hashtags and keywords, location and language, and users’ watch history.

Discover how the YouTube Shorts algorithm works to tailor your content accordingly.

Overview of the YouTube Shorts Algorithm

YouTube Shorts is a relatively new sector for creators. There are lots of unanswered questions regarding how the Shorts algorithm works. Does it work similarly to the long-form video algorithm?

The sector has proved helpful in garnering views and growing a channel, making it crucial to understand how to optimize it. According to IncrediTools, these short-form videos got approximately 50 billion views in the first quarter of 2023.

What does the YouTube Shorts algorithm consider? Is it your video length, topic, relevance,’ or it’s sheer luck to get millions of views? Let’s examine that below.

How YouTube Shorts Algorithm Works

The YouTube Shorts algorithm seeks to recommend content that users are likely to watch. Here are the several aspects it considers to push content.


YouTube strives to give every creator a chance to succeed on the platform. One of the ways it does that is by prioritizing fresh content.

When you first upload your YouTube Short, you’ll see the video get views rapidly in the first hour, after which the views stagnate.

This occurrence is not by chance; the algorithm recommends new videos more than old videos to keep the platform engaging and up-to-date. If your old Shorts are not performing well, maybe a new one is what you need to boost your channel.


One of the sure shots of content creation is engagement. If your video attracts engagement from viewers, the algorithm will recommend it to more people.

Are people commenting, liking, and sharing your YouTube Short? You can be sure of garnering more views. But how do you make a YouTube Short engaging? Use a trending sound to hook your audience.

Besides hooking your audience, engage with them by replying to comments, thanking them for their likes, and encouraging them to share the video with friends.

User’s Watch History

Of all the aspects on this list, a user’s watch history is the one thing you can’t control.

Yet, it is a significant determinant of the content recommended by the YouTube Short algorithm. For example, if a user watches football content, the algorithm will show them such content.

It might throw in some random unrelated recommendations, but the user may swipe away to look for more related content. The best you can do is create your videos, hoping users will find them valuable.


Have you seen marketers and business owners create short videos using trendy sounds and techniques?

Following current trends is one of the secrets of going viral. While not all trends suit your niche, you can always search for trends that would go well for your channel.

The YouTube Shorts algorithm prioritizes popular topics to give users an up-to-date experience. For instance, if it’s the Super Bowl weekend, you might want to include football-related topics, techniques, and sounds.

Keywords and Hashtags

Keywords and hashtags will guide the YouTube Shorts algorithm to recommend your content to your target audience.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon blindly, hoping your video will attract viewers. Do keyword research on your niche, find the less competitive keywords, and tailor your Shorts around them.

Google Trends, Moz, and Semrush are excellent keyword research tools. Incorporate the keywords in your video description, captions, and tags. Mention the keyword in the video, too, as it helps the algorithm identify what the video is about.

Location and Language

Like long-form videos, the YouTube Shorts algorithm recommends videos based on the user’s location and native language.

It doesn’t make sense to show an American audience Arabic content because the interest might be low. The topic and delivery might not appeal to an American viewer, even with English subtitles.

While making content with a global reach is good, it is wise to tailor your content to a narrower target audience. Consider your location and native language as you create your YouTube Shorts.

Honorable Mentions

While the above aspects play the largest role in influencing the YouTube Shorts algorithm,  a few minor factors also impact content visibility.

These include the video length, consistency, and audience retention. For example, longer Shorts have a better watch time than shorter ones. They give viewers enough interest to react or comment.

Winding Up

Understanding how the YouTube Algorithm works can fuel your channel growth. Basically, it works for the viewer. If you tailor your content to what viewers want to watch, your Shorts will do well.

Factors influencing the YouTube Shorts algorithm include engagement, user’s watch history, trends, hashtags, and keywords.

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