YouTube has always ranked search results by popularity. If a video gets clicked by a ton of users, it will appear higher in search results for others. In many ways, this makes sense. Chances are great that if everyone else clicked on the video, it’s probably what you are looking for. However, what if the video is a piece of junk with a clever title? Tons of people might click on it and exit immediately. That is why Google-owned YouTube is now prioritizing search results by time watched instead of just how many clicks it gets.
This should help force YouTube creators to make their content with quality in mind, since simply getting people to click their video is not the be all and end all. Instead, they need to get users to click the video, and they need to keep them engaged with a quality video that is worth their time.
Besides helping users find better content, this announcement is important to YouTube content creators. They need to know how YouTube prioritizes their results so they can make sure their videos are optimized. If you are a YouTube video creator, you need to keep this new way of ranking search results in mind.
As part of this update, YouTube has added a new feature to its analytics page. This new section allows content creators to keep track of how long people are watching their video, which will prove to be incredibly important for figuring out new ways to draw people in and keep them watching for the long haul.