YouTubes’ search is now ranking videos by ‘minutes watched’

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Grant Whiteside

The latest YouTube search results update now takes the amount time watched into consideration more than it does the amount of views.

After experimenting with suggested videos it seems viewers seem to be more engaged with less people clicking away.

The amount of time people spend viewing the video is now part of the user dashboard. This can be accessed via the “views” tab, labelled “Estimated minutes watched.”

In the latest announcement from YouTube they said:
“The experimental results of this change have proven positive — less clicking, more watching. We expect the amount of time viewers spend watching videos from search and across the site to increase. As with previous optimizations to our discovery features, this should benefit your channel if your videos drive more viewing time across YouTube.”

As the growth and expansion of Googles YouTube evolves to pave the way for a slow but massive expansion plan in the use of internet TV and hundreds of millions of dollars are now being invested in Googles own TV productions. It seems that the tide will inevitably turn on traditional mainstream TV viewing habits, but not for a long time yet. The statistics show that a large majority of us still watch TV at the 1st point of screening.

However big star celebrity names like Jamie Oliver are getting their own YouTube channels. There are millions of dollars being spent on TV production. Does this mean there will come a point where the independent video producers that made YouTube the quirky success that it is may struggle to gain the visibility against well known stars? Will there be less of the You in YouTube?

I think that the answer is probably yes; in the long term. One thing that is guaranteed is, “Estimated minutes watched” will be keeping an eye on who gets the top spot in the search results and where the advertising dollars can be made for YouTube and their owners.