That is a question that some people will have as they go over YouTube’s new “viral” ranking rules for videos.
The new system works like this: Every video and every thumbnail will get a rating based on a mathematical formula called a “viral factor,” which is based on its popularity and the other factors that can alter the rankings. There are a number of different factors that can cause a video to climb the rankings (see this chart for a more extensive description). The higher the viral factor, the higher the video scores. For example, a viral factor of 1.0 would mean that just in that one video, the video was 1 of 5,000 in its top 100.
In one video, the viral factor is very high. It means that there are 1 billion other videos out there that have a 1 million YouTube views that are worse. The video is going to be on every single video site. It has a high viral factor, which is why it is so easy to find it online. But it’s not going to do very much to its rankings, since it’s one of the 5,000th video to rank on the front page of YouTube.
So what happens then?
The YouTube ranking algorithm is basically a random chance. It’s not hard to see how it could end up being a very weak “viral factor” in a few videos. The videos that get a high viral factor will be seen everywhere, which will cause massive traffic. It’s like a floodgate. The video will quickly rise the ranks, and will probably reach the frontpage of Google, although it will probably fall in a few weeks if not months. The big question for video creators, though, is what effect that will have on their income.
I’m not sure how good the algorithms are, but this is the current situation for creators. They are in trouble.
But… what of the people who have a million YouTube views?
Well, I can probably talk some knowledge about this. For years, I have been an entrepreneur working for startups (and on big sites), and my own experience as a business director (and one as a writer or editor, depending on what I was doing at the time) has taught me a lot about the business of making videos, how to get noticed online, and the business of selling that attention and money.
So here is the truth – some of those creators may actually do fine. It is true that the people who
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