9 YouTube Myths and Legends Debunked


Undoubtedly, YouTube is one of the most attractive platforms for content creators. What common YouTube myths and legends are out there that are said to help improve your views?

Perhaps you’ve searched Google tirelessly to find out what works and doesn’t. Theories such as ‘all you need are good videos’ and ‘tags are the most important’ regularly pop up in articles.

YouTube is a challenging platform to break through, but worth it if you put in the time, effort, and dedication. Not all advice is sound, and there are some common misconceptions.

So what are the better-known myths about YouTube, and can they help you succeed or fail? Let’s look at nine popular theories that may or may not boost your rating performance.

Smartphone playing YouTube video

Key Takeaways

  1. Quality over quantity: More videos do not equal more subscribers. You only need a handful of well-crafted videos to grow your channel.
  2. Thumbnail design: Thumbnail images do not need to include a familiar face or text. The purpose is to grab the viewer’s attention with a concise summary of your video.
  3. Algorithm for new creators: New content creators can show up in the algorithm by promoting their videos and having positive responses from viewers.
  4. Importance of tags: Tags play a limited role in boosting your search rankings and are not as important as they used to be. Overusing tags can result in harm to your channel.
  5. The whole video package: Good content is not enough to reach viewers. Focus on quality content, topics, titles, and thumbnails to captivate the audience’s attention. 
Youtube app on mobile screen

1. More Videos Equal More Subscribers

Myth: Uploading more content to your channel equates to more subscribers. 

True/False?: False! You only need a handful of good videos to gain an audience and grow.

Some popular creators describe YouTube as a marathon, not a sprint. Bombarding your viewers with tons of content can overwhelm them, especially if you’re a new creator.

Remember, your first followers subscribed to your channel because they enjoyed your content. Therefore, you must continue to post engaging, authentic, and relative videos to satisfy your followers.

Of course, it depends on your niche and what your audience wants to see from you. Match your viewers’ expectations with informative and unique content. Remember the saying: quality over quantity.

Consistency is always the key. Uploading 1–2 videos weekly on specific days can be more effective than a swarm. 

2. Thumbnails Require Text and a Familiar Face

Myth: Thumbnails require relevant text and a face you recognise. 

True/False?: Not entirely true.

Consider some popular sports, gaming, and tech channels on the platform. They contain relevant images without including familiar faces.

The purpose of a well-designed thumbnail is to grab a viewer’s attention with a concise summary of your video.

Identifying your content may matter to potential viewers, so ensure you include what might be attractive to them.

If they already know your face, then happy days. But including a familiar one isn’t necessary as you can also provide the context with an image.

3. New Content Creators Don’t Show Up in the Algorithm

Myth: New creators fail to show up in the algorithm. 

True/False?: Absolutely not true.

The people who spread these YouTube myths and legends usually don’t put in enough effort into promoting their videos. Remember, every successful YouTuber started on the platform with zero subscribers.

Take an actionable approach and stay relevant to your content. Your current subscribers responding positively to your videos is crucial to high vs low views.

If former viewers don’t respond at all to your content, the YouTube algorithm won’t push your channel forward. 

4. Tags Are Important

Myth: Tags are an essential function for ranking your channel and improving SEO.

True/False?: Not so true; anymore.

Tags are descriptors that help categorise your content and enable the YouTube algorithm to understand the details of your channel.

Tags were among the top YouTube trending videos ten years ago. As a result, creators kept stuffing in tags that weren’t relevant to their uploads to boost their search rankings.

Adding excessive tags can cause harm to your channel as it’s against Google’s policies on spam and deceptive practices.

They can enhance an audience member’s understanding of your niche or topic. But many viewers tend to watch an upload based on the video’s title. 

Tags can help in limited circumstances, like if viewers commonly misspell your content or channel. They do play a small role rather than a significant one in boosting your search rankings.

5. You Only Need Good Video Content

Myth: Putting all your effort into creating excellent content is all you need. 

True/False?: This myth of YouTube isn’t true.

There’s nothing more disappointing than spending countless hours creating high-quality videos and failing to reach viewers. If YouTube browsers aren’t clicking on your channel, nobody will experience it. 

It’s all about the whole video package. Not only must you focus on quality content, but put effort into your topics, titles, and thumbnails.

Once you have captivated the viewer’s attention, your good content will have a better chance of positive responses.

6. Small Creators Can’t Compete With Big Creators

Myth: Smaller creators can’t compete with the top guns.

True/False?: Another one of the false YouTube myths and legends.

As we previously mentioned, every YouTuber started with zero subscribers. 

The high vs low rules apply to all channels on the platform, regardless if you’re a beginner or a well-established content creator.

If a big creator publishes a new video, it’s essential to note that YouTube has already stockpiled lots of data on them. Therefore, they can push their content to reach the target audience faster.

The YouTube algorithm tends to follow the viewer’s activities. So if they respond positively to your videos, the platform will show them to a broader audience.

Small creators benefit from engaging with their followers and viewers by responding to their comments.

7. Finding YouTube Success Is a Matter of Luck

Myth: Most YouTube success stories came out of luck.

True/False?: Completely false.

It doesn’t take sheer luck to find success. Some new uploaders follow YouTube trending videos and create similar content in the hopes of catching a break.

Many top creators achieved YouTube fame by following Google’s ABCDs method to create compelling content for their channels.

The ABCD formula breaks down as the following:

  • Attention: Grab the viewer’s attention with rich sound effects, voice-overs, and bold visions. You can also incorporate this into your title, images, and thumbnails.
  • Branding: Remember, you want your audience to know who you are. Make an impact and subtly promote your channel in the background during your videos.
  • Connection: Make a direct, empathic connection with your viewer through emotions like humour and surprise. Tell a story and work to educate and inspire your followers.
  • Direction: Tell your audience what to do next with clear instructions. For example, direct them to check you out next week for new content or a follow-up to your current video. 

8. Long-Form Videos Are Better Than Short Ones

Myth: Long-form videos are more popular than short-form ones.

True/False?: Once more, this YouTube myth and legend is false.

What do you need to get more activity on your channel? Short or long videos?

Remember, people have to choose to click on your long-form content. Viewers must respond positively and watch your uploads for long periods to influence the algorithm.

There was a time when people regarded long-form videos as better than shorter clips. However, YouTube Shorts are performing well and attracting more new creators.

YouTube Shorts presents your uploads to the viewer. They don’t have a choice but to swipe through your content. It appears to them while they’re scrolling through their feed.

As a result, smaller uploads appear to get more views, as people can spend several hours swiping through the shorts.

It’s important to know that YouTube Shorts is a scroll section different from YouTube’s primary search engine. It can, however, help you gain more subscribers to your direct channel.

9. You Need to Post Content At the Right Time to Be Seen

Myth: You need to post content at a specific time for the algorithm to work in your favour. 

True/False?: Untrue because there’s no globally set time to upload.

For example, some creators suggest posting your content on a Sunday between 4–7 pm EST. The major flaw in this argument is that YouTube is a global platform with viewers from different time zones.

Using your YouTube analytics is one of the ways to keep tabs on possible posting times for your channel. It determines your audiences’ behaviours and helps tailor your videos.

It also lets you view the times most people watched or engaged with your content. Be consistent with your subscribers and use analytics to determine an appropriate time.

How Does YouTube Rank Videos?

Three Google engineers named Jay Adams, Paul Covington, and Emre Sargin published a research paper on how YouTube ranks recommended videos. 

The additional signals YouTube uses are:

  • The click-through rate
  • The combined watch time that viewers spent looking at your content
  • The number of videos from your channel that the user has watched
  • The user’s search history
  • The viewer’s previously watched videos
  • The viewer’s location and demographic information
  • How recent the user visited a channel and viewed content about the same topic

Some of the signals you can influence directly, whereas others depend on factors outside your channel.

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Conduct Your Research to Enhance Your Content

There’s no magic wand you can wave that automatically generates thousands of subscribers.

Now that we’ve debunked some YouTube myths and legends for enhanced content for you, we’ve given you hope. There are plenty of ways to boost your rankings.

Educate yourself and work to create a packaging video of unique content for your audience. Patience is the key, and the effort you put in will be worth it.

Do you need help with creating engaging videos for your channel on YouTube? Contact us today and allow us to provide you with advice on how to achieve all of your online success.


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