The engagement with our recent YouTube series, including the patient stories and explainer video, has been extremely encouraging. As it has been almost 5 weeks since they were published, I’d like to provide a quick update.
Views and likes
The patient stories compilation video is our most popular and has almost 1.8k views, and 85 likes.
Our explainer video is next with almost 1.1k views and 69 likes.
Although the views may seem low compared to popular YouTube videos, for our community and a niche disease, it is a wonderful achievement.
Dangerous search results
I commented on a thread last week about a recent Kevin Mann video discussing adverse effects caused by finasteride, where patients voiced their concern about dangerous YouTube content, and discussed the need for action. This is not a problem limited to Kevin Mann, and much content dismissing the existence or severity of our condition is prominent in YouTube’s search results.
Currently, the top result for the search term “Post-Finasteride Syndrome” is a highly erroneous and inaccurate piece from two Australian dermatologists with an undeclared financial conflict of interest. Kevin Mann’s videos also litter the top search results. The top result for the term “Finasteride side effects” is another inaccurate video from the same two dermatologists.
Men considering using the drug will rely on heuristics like YouTube, where information is presented from seemingly knowledgeable actors. This is dangerous and a concern many patients raise, and some have even relied on such information when deciding whether to take finasteride.
Help us rank higher with these simple actions
Thankfully, YouTube is a medium where we can compete on a more level playing field.
Indeed, it has been heartening to see several comments in our videos from men who were considering taking the drug, saying they will now steer clear. But as a community, we can collectively do much more to help our videos rank higher in YouTube’s search results for terms like “finasteride”, “Post-Finasteride Syndrome” and “PFS”.
YouTube’s search engine optimisation algorithms are very similar to Google’s. They do not use any one factor when ranking content in their results or recommending content to users, but instead use multiple criteria to determine what is “quality” content. This guide provides useful advice on how to increase quality and help videos rank higher. These insights are found in many similar articles.
- Comments. There is a strong correlation between ranking highly and video comment count. If every member of this forum comments on our compilation and explainer videos in particular, those videos will soar up the rankings immediately. A simple comment like “great work guys” or “thanks for shining light on this issue” will suffice, and take less than a minute of your day for each video.
- Likes. There is a significant correlation between first-page ranking and video likes. Some videos have over 1000 views, yet less than 100 likes. Leaving a like is such a simple action, and combined with leaving a comment will still take less than a minute of your day for each video.
- Subscribe to our channel. There is a moderate correlation between a channel’s subscriber size and rankings. Even if you never watch another video from the PFS Network YouTube channel again, subscribing will help spread our important message. Another simple action that, combined with commenting and liking, will still only take 2-3 minutes of your day for each video.
- Shares & views. Videos with more shares & views rank more highly. Pretty simple stuff. You can help by sharing these videos with your family, supportive friends, or through social media if appropriate. This may take a little longer, but combined with the above, still takes less than 10 minutes of your day for each video.
I am extremely vocal about the power of mobilising our community at a grassroots level, in simple and achievable ways. I often observe similar sentiments from forum members, expressing a need for action. This is a fantastic example of how you can take approximately 10-20 minutes of your day to contribute to another small step that advances appreciation and awareness of our condition. These videos are powerfully human, and if we all contribute to increasing their engagement, they cannot be ignored on an important social media platform.
So, what do we ask of you?
Simple. Take 10-20 minutes of your day to view, like and comment on our patient stories compilation and explainer video, and subscribe to the PFS Network channel.
If you feel like going the extra mile, you could also share them through your social media networks.
Many members spend hours each week creating new posts and commenting on threads. So before you comment on your next thread on PH, or create a new topic, please consider taking the time to help our useful content rank higher first.