How To Tune Your YouTube Recommendations
Maybe I'm old, but I still watch YouTube daily. While it's not the platform for normies it used to be, with their constant pushing of "premium" channels and pay subscriptions, it's still a place for the everyday user to share their creations. But there's a big problem with YouTube, the suggested video section the platform starts you on when you log in.
Here's the problem in the simplest terms I can manage... Google takes your accumulated data they've mined over the years and randomly picks videos for you to watch based on a keyword tag. Odds are, this is why Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" still appears in your suggested videos after you were Rick Rolled once a decade ago. This is exactly why if you click on one of those click-baity quick cooking videos, you'll be inundated with them no matter how often you click "Not Interested" or even the coup de gras, "Don't Recommend Channel" button. Still, the crappy suggestions continue.
There is a way around it. I've been working to correct my recommendations for about a year now. If you Google it, it will give you all sorts of options you can adopt to limit how much Google can spy on you, but it doesn't work.
"What about clearing your watch history?"
Yeah, I thought the same thing... but while that history may be hidden from you in your account, the recommendations suggest Google is still holding onto that information somewhere deep inside their evil empire of servers. That doesn't make them evil, it just makes them lame.
So how do you reset your recommendations?
After a ton of effort was put into not doing the following, it was inevitable. I started a new YouTube account. With this new account, I only watch the channels I enjoy. I hide every other recommendation they pitch me. The silver lining is, they don't recommend many other channels as my watch history is pretty thin in terms of channels. The content still varies greatly, but the channels are pretty slim. I think I'm sitting on twelve subscriptions at this point. Just the choice channels I enjoy content from.
It's a pretty narrow birth. I really just enjoy watching people make stuff. Not in the sense of hot glue crafts, or anything designed to mine mass views, it's the independent creators that just make. People like Jimmy Diresta, even though his content is pretty lacking these days. While I enjoy watching him build stuff, I really don't care how he's doing or the vlogs he makes about his new doo-dads. Does that make me a cold person? Don't care about that either.
This Old Tony is probably the newest subscription I've given. While I didn't initially enjoy his dry humor, I soon changed my mind based on his ridiculous skill level. Ave is pretty hilarious too, but he's just a genius shop dog with a blue collar mouth. He's a go-to review guy as he doesn't pull something out of the box, use it once and say "Wow that's great." He tears it apart, inspects the build quality, and is very rarely pleased with what he sees. His stamp of quality is one I pay attention to. And if you haven't run across Fireball Tool, that dude is also amazing. He does what every other maker does... he just does it with million dollar tools and a cash-poor imagination.
The other thing you can do is adding videos you like to the favorite list. It plays a huge roll in what you see next. Also, be vigilant on what you give the thumbs up like to. It plays an even greater part in the Google/YouTube matrix. While it's not ideal, it's the only effective way I've experienced in taking back your advertised content. I know how long you've had your channel. I know how much work you've put into it. But you can't let Google win. It's your channel, own it. I'm two months into a new channel, and my suggested and recommended video roll has never been so accurate to the content I want to consume. Your mileage may vary. Good luck.