The rhythm in medium’s algo
All sites referring to the top users, stories, posts have some form of algorithm keeping the standing in place. Im going to share my findings in Mediums
For some people, defeating the algorithm is what keeps them going, keeps them posting or sharing. They want to beat it and reach the pinnacle of the site. Let’s take a step back, what is an algorithm? In mathematics and computer science, it is a finite sequence of well-defined, implementable instructions, made to solve a specific problems or perform keeping a certain standing in order. A simple one to picture is posting a picture. The algorithm can be set so if your post is popular it will be shown to many more people. It could appear on their feed, it could appear on public, however with this picture gaining attention it takes it away from other posts. The algorithm may make your posts noticeable but other users are being hidden in response. Now sites will never admit to this but there is strong speculation.
Medium itself has a ranking of top stories and its publishers and with good reasoning. Meaning Medium does have its own algorithm that may or may not be noticeable to the writers of today. For obvious reasons Medium does not explain its algorithm, but its patterns are relatively easy to spot on your homepage and Medium distributions.
I began to spot them myself and wanted to look more into it before sharing. Medium founder Ev William partly spoke on its algorithm:
What we’re doing is ordering things by our best guess of the relative quality/interestingness of the different items — according to the people who have seen them… The ratio of people who view it who read it and who read it and recommend it are important factors, not just the number.
Quality will always be a main factor in any algorithm, however mediums looks for more.
Medium rewards those who constantly use the platform to write and share their stories. A writer that publishes a new story everyday will get more views, claps and responses as well as engagement from the community compared to a writer who publishes one or two stories a week. Although it is a simple concept , many writers put weight on quality over quantity. Everyday writers are favored, and will tend to be on your ‘new from your network’ section more often.
If you haven’t spotted these they may catch your attention now that your’e being made aware of them. But Medium provides writing tips, one of the tips being that longer articles tend to earn a bigger audience than a shorter article. To an extent this seems to be true. Longer articles provide more value to a reader, at the cost of time. People seem to be under a misconception that reading is no longer fun. It is, and i truly enjoy it myself, whether it be on my long commute or a small tale that caught my attention. As long as a reader feels that an article will add value to them, whether it be a 5 minute read or 11 minute read they’ll find out themselves.
I feel this one is extremely obvious and important as to why it helps you in the algorithm. Mediums homepage were full fo Covid-19, Black lives matter movement and Cryptocurrency suddenly last year. Whats happening in the world is important, people want to read about it being discussed and other peoples views. Stories that are politically expedient have always gained more attention than other posts. So yes, yo can expect to have your content buried under the current trendy ones. It’s simply the stories they want to present, current sells.
I began to follow writers who caught my attentions with their stories. I slowly noticed myself gaining followers and claps from readers i had never recognized. Im not star writer but i began to do the same and look into new writers to follow. I tend to see person stories on the homepage everyday. Some are truly meant to be shared with a message and some i feel are being done to gain views which is understandable. Your authentic voice will not hold you back, readers will read more if they feel they can relate and Medium tends to dispatch you more. Generic articles are not the way to a readers heart, they don’t want something thats been copied, authenticity is key.
5. Change is inevitable
Changing your algorithm to favor a specific set of content is a common practice across all platforms. Trying to “hack” the algorithm can work in your favor or against you. They are simply too uncertain and change so frequently that there are never solid facts just solid clues. Although i meant to speak simply on Mediums algorithm beating tips that i noticed myself, you should not forget to simply stay focused on your content. It will reach out and help real readers who truly value the content .