YouTube is updating the way it delivers search results for health-related queries, adding a section dedicated to personal stories from patients.

In an announcement, YouTube says it’s making this change in response to the way people search for videos related to health conditions.

“Many times, people aren’t coming to YouTube with a health question at all,” YouTube says. “Instead, they come with a human question: how do I live with this?”

YouTube search patterns indicate people living with chronic health conditions don’t always come to the site seeking information. They look for support from others who are going through the same thing.

“… they were all getting at the same human element: we help each other get through things. The need for connection and belonging is a universal one, and that’s proven with data – the science of peer support shows that social connectedness positively impacts both physical and mental health.”

YouTube Personal Stories Shelf

To foster the type of connection people seek, YouTube is launching a personal stories shelf in search results.

When you search for topics related to a health condition, YouTube will return a carousel of videos with people sharing personal stories about the condition.

The personal stories shelf is interspersed with other search results, as you can see in the example below:

YouTube Searches For Health Topics To Show Personal StoriesScreenshot from: https://blog.youtube/news-and-events/answering-the-human-questions-on-your-healthcare-journey/, September 2022.YouTube Searches For Health Topics To Show Personal Stories


For a video to be eligible to appear on the shelf, it must focus on a personal, authentic lived experience that is relevant to a specific physical or mental health condition.

Promotional content, or content that spreads misinformation, is not eligible for the personal stories shelf.

YouTube says the personal stories shelf will first start rolling out for queries related to cancer and mental health topics like anxiety and depression.

The Personal Stories shelf is available for users in the US, but YouTube plans to expand it to more markets and more types of queries.

Source: YouTube
Featured Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

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