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“Time Watched” is Now Officially An YouTube Ranking Factor

social media marketingIf a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is definitely worth a thousand pictures. A short and crispy video can easily convey your message where you might struggle with 100s of words. And when you talk about videos, is there any better and bigger depository than YouTube? No.

Technically, YouTube is not a search engine. When we think about “search engines”, the first two names that come to our mind are Google and Bing. YouTube is functionally way different from them. But ironically, it attracts 2nd most searches worldwide after Google.com. So if your video is ranking high for relevant YouTube searches as well as suggested videos and is properly branded, it will drive lots of visitors to your website/blog.

YouTube looks at different factors while ranking your videos, “Time Watched” being the latest addition to that list. The logic is pretty simple – if people are watching your video for longer duration, it signifies that the video is engaging and provides value to the viewers – hence it is eligible for a higher rank. And if most of the viewers abandon your video after a few seconds – sorry, you have to work harder next time.

YouTube started focusing on time spent by users watching a video from earlier this year. They started the experiment with suggested videos only. As per their official blog, the experiment has yielded positive response – “Less clicking, more watching” and hence, it has been added to the ranking algorithm. If users replay your video or watch a specific part multiple times, it will positively affect the ranking. Similarly, if users abandon after a few seconds, it will negatively impact the ranking. As per the study, the first 15 seconds are the most crucial part of a video and that’s when most of the viewers drop off. So if you want to make your video engaging, pay special attention to the first 15 seconds.

From October 11th, 2012 the “Time Watched” statistics has been added to YouTube Analytics. You can view “Estimated Minutes Watched” under “Views” on your YouTube analytics dashboard. You can find more information about different analytics metrics here.

So ask yourself a question – are my videos engaging enough? If not, your social media marketing campaign may go haywire and will not yield the viral effect you are looking for. SBR Technologies has been creating engaging videos and promoting them for their clients over the years. So if you are in the process of creating a viral video campaign for your business, why not engage with the social media experts at SBR for a no-obligation free consultation?  We shall be happy to help!