< Go back to blogHow to Get Your YouTube Shorts on the Short Shelf

How to Get Your YouTube Shorts on the Short Shelf

Published: July 14, 2022

My YouTube Shorts Experiment: A Journey of Discovery

In December 2020, a fascinating experiment began. I launched a brand-new YouTube channel and dove headfirst into the world of YouTube Shorts. Posting a whopping 100 shorts within a single month, my quest was purely investigative—I wanted to peel back the curtain on YouTube’s Shorts algorithm and its potential to catalyze growth for emerging creators.

Early Surprises

I was curious if a novice channel, bereft of views or subscribers, could get traction on what’s known as the ‘Shorts shelf.’ To my astonishment, the first eight shorts I casually uploaded—all tagged with ‘#shorts’ and accompanied by simple keywords—landed on the Shelf within just 48 hours. This quick success was a revelation, despite the videos’ modest production values and straightforward upload process directly from a smartphone.

A ‘Laid-Back’ Approach

Eager for deeper insights, I shifted gears and embarked on a rather lax experiment. Posting 30 videos solely with ‘#shorts’ in their titles, void of engaging keywords or elaborate descriptions, this experiment was telling. From this batch, a single video emerged as an outlier, pulling in 100 views from the Shorts shelf—while the rest fell in line with more modest numbers.

Revealing Patterns

These trials highlighted a surprising pattern: the majority of videos graced the Shorts shelf despite attracting little interaction. It dawned on me that YouTube might be quietly funneling views to creators through Shorts, offering a helping hand that some may not even realize they’re receiving.

Metadata Matters

An inescapable conclusion from this data was the importance of metadata. Titles that were haphazard and descriptions that lacked substance seemed to act as deterrents. On the flip side, carefully articulated metadata significantly increased visibility, not merely within the realm of Shorts but throughout YouTube’s vast network of promotional avenues.

Dispelling Video Myths

This journey also put to rest some common misconceptions. Video length and quality, ranging from brisk 10-second clips to nearly a minute, and resolutions spanning 420p to 1080p, didn’t impede their appearance on the Shorts shelf. Similarly, square versus vertical video formats made no difference, just like the upload method—be it smartphone or computer—each path led to the Shorts shelf with equal opportunity.

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