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YouTube is the big red giant of the internet with millions of users watching and streaming videos daily. Being a part of this huge search engine is key to gaining a large amount of publicity for your business. With around 400 plus hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, YouTube needs an efficient and an effective way of judging the quality of the video content so that the most relevant results for search queries and suggested videos appear. There are a few different factors that YouTube uses when judging video content, but as of late 2012, ‘Watch Time’ was released and slightly changed the way in which the platform judges a video. Before 2012 the main way a video was judged, was by its view count.
With the new algorithm, YouTube favours videos that create greater Watch Time and videos that were being judged on video views alone ceased to be the primary signal for YouTube to rank content 5 years ago.
What is Watch Time?
Watch Time is the number of views times by the average view time. This can easily be viewed within the analytics section of YouTube’s dashboard. Simply put Watch Time is the total number of minutes in which people have watched your videos. The higher that number is the higher your viewer engagement!
Tip: The numbers you will want to watch is your Average View Duration. If this number is high, it is a clear show that your content is on point and interesting for your viewers to want to watch on.
Creating content that keeps your viewers hooked all the way through your videos is now one of the most important factors in the success of videos!
But there is more to Watch Time other that the total number of minutes your viewers have watched…
What Watch Time really means is how often and how long do your videos bring people to YouTube to keep them there. To figure this out, you need to look at the four hidden metrics that are factored into Watch Time.
Session Starts – This is to do with how many individual viewing sessions your videos actually start.
Session Duration – The total amount of time a user spends when watching YouTube as a platform and how it relates to your video in particular.
Session Ends – This is how many YouTube viewing sessions your video ends.
Upload Frequently – This is basically, how often you are uploading videos to the platform.
Tip: YouTube will help optimise search discoveries for videos that increase Watch Time on the site.
By making sure you follow the above metrics, keeping tabs on your Watch Time is a simple and easy to follow task and one that can help you improve your ranking within YouTube.