YouTube shifting focus to reward time watched in video rankings


YouTube is changing the way videos are ranked in an attempt to promote more quality content. This month, the YouTube Partners and Creators Blog announced an adjustment to the YouTube search algorithm that moves away from a system rewarding clicks toward one rewarding time spent watching videos. The new algorithm replaces view count with watch time.

This shift in focus began in earnest earlier this year. YouTube has made other modifications aimed at getting people to stay engaged on the site. In March, the company released changes to the Suggested Videos function with the intent of encouraging people to continue watching instead of clicking away after one video. YouTube has also added a watch time statistic to its Analytics tool.

YouTube wants to remain competitive with other video services and cut into the amount of time people spend watching television. In order to do so, it needs to convince people to spend more of their total media watching time online. For years, a video’s popularity has been based almost entirely on clicks, leading users to upload misleading or salacious thumbnails just to get them. But this also leads people to quickly click away. And YouTube wants to reduce the rate at which people abandon videos.

What does this mean for attorneys who use videos and YouTube as marketing tools? CONTINUE READING

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