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How Does a YouTube Video Go Viral in 2022? Uncover the Algorithm Secrets and Use Them in Your Video


Imagine waking up to 5 million views on your latest YouTube video? Now what if I say you can actually have millions of views on every other of your YouTube videos?

This can actually become a reality for a lot of accounts, provided account owners understand what it takes to make a YouTube video viral.

Virality is not just about making amazing content, or the perfect thumbnail, or choosing a specific trending topic, but it’s actually about a combination of a lot of factors.

Knowing about how a video goes viral can help you add the elements of virality in your videos and make your channel grow. This is exactly what I am going to talk about in this blog.

After managing numerous YouTube channels and helping them produce countless viral videos, me and my team understand a thing or two about the YouTube algorithm.

Let’s explore the concept of virality on YouTube.

You Tube algorithm

The basics of the algorithm

Before we talk about the factors that make a video famous and the reasons behind virality, let’s understand how the algorithm perceives a video.

Whenever a video is posted on YouTube, there is a complex and sophisticated algorithm that ascertains the value of a video. What do I mean by value here?

Whenever you log in to the YouTube app or the website, you are shown thumbnails of a few videos. These thumbnails are usually from the channels you have subscribed and engage with mostly, or other trending videos on YouTube.

Similarly, whenever a video is posted YouTube would start by pushing your video to your subscribers and people who are most likely to watch your videos (this again is based on a lot of factors).

Now, the algorithm allots a score to your video based on a lot of factors, including:

  • The CTR of your thumbnail
  • The average watch time of your video
  • How many likes did it receive
  • How often was it shared
  • How many people commented on it out of all who viewed
  • And many others

All these factors are combined to give a score to the video that ascertains how many “new” people would be shown this video.

YouTube Video Go Viral

The timing factor in a viral video

One of the most important factors in this “score” is the timing. The initial 1 hour plays a big role as the engagement at that time will depend how much YouTube will distribute your video.

This keeps decreasing by the hour and after approximately 1 day, the chances of your video suddenly getting a lot of views and getting viral reduces to almost zero.

But what happens when your video gets a lot of engagement during the first hour? It is then pushed on the feeds of newer audiences and if the content is really good, they will engage just like others.

This will eventually send your video to the trending list and soon YouTube will be pushing it everywhere: The homepage, watch next videos, YouTube search, and more.

Engagement is the king

The biggest factor that would even outrank the algorithm is engagement. We must understand that the algorithm is designed to resonate with engagement.

YouTube in the end wants people to spend more and more time on its website/app and any content that makes it possible is rewarded by the algorithm in the form of virality.

What can you do to make your video viral?

Now that you understand how a video goes viral, let’s talk about what you can do to leverage this knowledge and get more views on your videos!

Here are the top ways that you must implement in every video you post:

  1. Extensive keywords research: YouTube SEO plays the biggest role in the success of your video. Make sure to find and include most searched and low competitive keywords in your video title, filename, description, and script.
  2. Encourage video shares: Getting your video shared is the fastest way to getting viral on YouTube. Create content that is most likely to be shared because it targets specific emotions in your target audience. How to select such content types is a topic for another video.
  3. Irresistible thumbnail: Your thumbnail is the gateway to your video and there is no alternative to a super engaging thumbnail. You can go with clickbait, but only if you deliver on what you talk about.
  4. Understanding the need: You need to research and understand the needs of your target customers. If you are answering the real need of your audience, your videos are bound to get viral.
  5. Leverage all YouTube features: You can keep your viewers engaged with YouTube features like cards, playlists, and more. Consider making a series of videos that get the most attention on YouTube.
  6. Engage with your audience: Make sure to reply to every comment, especially in the beginning phases of your channel growth. Engage with your audience as much as possible to build loyalty for your content.
  7. Learn from insights: YouTube gives you unlimited data points to understand the response of your audience. Discover the audience age groups, best times to post videos, average watch time, and 100s of other data points and A/B your assumptions to reach closer to creating viral videos.


I am sure you now understand how a video goes viral on YouTube. It is not just about what you just read, but you will have to experience everything I wrote yourself by experimenting and observing the response other creators get on YouTube.

You will eventually resonate with every thing that makes a video go viral, and will easily be able to implement the same for your channel.

Looking for expert help in growing and managing your channel? Contact us using the info on the website to know more about our YouTube services.


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