YouTube Algorithm Shake-Up Set to Reward Viewer Engagement

News | 23rd Oct

Online video giant, YouTube, has begun tweaking the rankings of its videos in the YouTube search to reward engaging videos that have kept viewers watching. Rewards will now be given to videos based on the “watch time” as opposed to “view count” in the YouTube algorithm.

Written by Kaye Neylon

The announcement was made via a blog on the official YouTube Partners and Creators blogsite. The move is the latest in a continuation of on-going efforts made by YouTube to focus more on its discovery features on watch time, following changes made to its ‘Suggested Videos’ earlier this year as well as alterations to YouTube Analytics

YouTube’s Head Creator of Marketing Communications, Eric Meyerson, explained the reason behind its decision to focus on watch time.

“Our viewers watch a lot of video, over 4 billion hours a month. But the average household also watches several hours of video per day on their TVs. So for YouTube to become the most important media in people’s lives, we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.”

Meyerson also added.

“To support our ambition to do this, we’ve updated what we call video discovery features, meaning how our viewers find videos to watch via search and suggestion videos. These changes better surface the videos that viewers actually watch, over those that they click on and then abandon.”

Video Marketers are keen to see how the new changes will affect business, with some marketers making their videos shorter in a bid to get a higher attention rate while others are producing longer video content in hopes that this will lead to more watch time.

It’s clear that some of the tactics used by video marketers will backfire as they are now being urged to produce video content that encourages viewer engagement as opposed to clicks.

A note to the wise; It is worth keeping an eye on YouTube Analytics over the forthcoming weeks to better understand your audience and how best to cater for them otherwise you could see your viewers looking elsewhere.


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