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Are Your Videos Binge-Worthy? They’ll Need to Be

Every YouTube channel is unique. We all have varying audiences and continue to strive to attract more. But are your videos binge-worthy enough for the YouTube algorithm? They’ll have to be if you want to appear as a “Suggested” video.

That’s probably one of the more difficult aspects of having a channel. At least it is for many of us who have educational content, such as tutorials and DIY projects.

If viewers don’t often watch more than one of your uploaded videos at a time, you might see a decline in Suggested Videos as a traffic source.

Why Binge-Worthy Content Matters

YouTube’s goal is to keep as many people watching videos as possible. This is because the company makes more money through ads the more content that is viewed.

With this in mind, YouTube will prioritize channels that are capable of keeping people glued to the screen. When someone is haphazardly watching videos, they are more likely to leave YouTube for one of many, many other streaming services.

When creators put out binge-worthy content, it keeps people from leaving the website or app for greener and more entertaining pastures.

In other words, channels that can keep people watching their content are more likely to be promoted by the algorithm. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of having a channel seen in the Suggested column or as an automated feed in YouTube Shorts.

Think about it from the perspective of a business. Would you rather have your number-one salesman on the floor bringing in all kinds of cash, or continuously put the new hires out there by themselves and cross your fingers?

Unfortunately, this makes it exceptionally difficult for newer channels to gain traction. Especially if the channel doesn’t have what YouTube deems as “binge-worthy” video content.

Sure, you might get a few trickles of views from those top number-one salespeople. But you’re less likely to be scheduled to work the floor on your own.

If you have an educational channel, the likelihood of having binge-worthy content is greatly decreased. This is because people will find your video, learn what they need, and move on.

I’m not saying that keeping people watching is impossible for an educational channel. It’s just a hell of a lot harder.

Search vs Suggested Being Binge-Worthy

Depending on the type of content you create, there could be an element of search engine optimization included. That’s because YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, second only to Google itself.

Search has the potential to bring in a decent amount of viewership. That is as long as you’re making a video about something people want to know at any given point in time.

However, the Suggested column is where a lot of channels succeed. And this is where binge-worthy content comes in.

This is partly why a lot of popular creators don’t need SEO-focused titles, video descriptions, or over-the-top thumbnails. They have a presence that just keeps people watching the videos regardless of what they talk about. As such, YouTube will promote those channels every chance it gets.

YouTube Views from Google Search

One of the benefits of having YouTube and Google so intertwined is how videos are displayed in Google search for various topics. In fact, one of my channels generates a lot of viewership because of niche-specific tutorials that were created with Google SEO in mind.

Coincidentally, those videos also work exceptionally well on YouTube itself. This goes to show that if you create a video focusing on appearing in a Google search, it could vastly increase traffic to your channel.

However, this isn’t always a cut-and-dried thing. There’s a bit more that goes into creating a video specifically to target Google search rankings. Still, it’s a possibility that you might want to consider if you have trouble coming up with binge-worthy content.

Watch Time Matters

If you’re not able to keep people watching your videos, the likelihood of being shown in the Suggested column decreases exponentially. Especially now that YouTube is focusing a great deal of attention on short-form video content.

Considering the sheer amount of competition you have for viewership, the amount of time your viewers do happen to watch your videos impacts your success.

If you want more watch time on your videos, you need to be more engaging with your viewers. Give them a reason to keep watching and keep in mind that what you think might be an amazing video might fall flat with your target audience.

It takes a bit of practice, and you will have some videos that go viral in comparison. But by trying new things and figuring out what works best, you can slowly start to build up that watch time.

Consistent Uploads Matter

It’s safe to assume that YouTube has adopted the same mentality as its parent platform, Google. These two search engines seem to prioritize websites and channels that are active.

You can see this in action by loading up a separate web browser in “privacy mode” and visiting YouTube. Usually, the most current videos are displayed prominently throughout the site.

Sure, a lot of this has to do with showing content in chronological order. But then understand that channels that haven’t uploaded in a while are kind of buried unless you’re looking for something VERY specific.

In which case, I refer you to the section above about Search traffic.

Can Binge-Worthy Shorts Help Your Channel?

YouTube is constantly changing its algorithm to accommodate Shorts. And although the spokespeople have said that Shorts doesn’t impact long-form visibility, I would have to beg to differ.

Since watching a few Shorts here and there, I’ve noticed that the common channels I come across are starting to appear on my Home page of YouTube. And these are channels I’ve never watched outside of Shorts.

This lends a bit of confidence that binge-worthy Shorts will help your channel appear on the Home page of viewers.

Unfortunately, Shorts don’t help when it comes to watch time. They are classified as an element of their own, which means your long-form videos will still have to hit 4,000 hours of watch time within a 12-month period to monetize.

Or, alternatively, you can get 10 million views in 90 days with Shorts. And unless you’re extremely entertaining, you’d probably have better luck getting hit by lightning crossing the street on a sunny day.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that creating a few engaging and watchable Shorts can impact how your channel appears to others. In any case, you’ll appear on their Home pages.

Not to mention the subscribers you might gain from Shorts who may see your long-form videos later on.

What Type of Videos Serve You Best?

The bottom line is that binge-worthy videos are the key to success on YouTube. Sure, you might be able to drive decent traffic from search and external sources. But if you want to make that bag, you need to produce content people want to keep watching.

Otherwise, you could be working on a channel for the next four years with nearly 2,000 subscribers but only 1,600 hours of watch time per year.

Michael Brockbank

Michael Brockbank

Michael has been managing YouTube channels for the better part of a decade. He's continuously working to find the best methods that work for various types of content from gaming to website tutorials.

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