YouTube Just announced on the official YouTube Partners and Creators Blog (yeah, first time I’ve heard it too) that they’re adjusting their search algorithm to reward more engaging videos. What this mean is: the longer people watch your video, the better you can expect that video to rank in YouTube’s search engine.
I’m surprised they didn’t do this years ago and if you had asked me I would have told you – “If the time spent watching a video isn’t a ranking factor now, it will be in the future”.
You see, YouTube is owned by Google. In order to understand YouTube’s search engine, you need to understand Google’s.
Google uses human behavior determine their rankings which include but certainly aren’t limited to -
• Editorial backlinks
• The number of times searchers quickly click the back button (this was demonstrated by a negative seo a couple of years ago)
• On-page relevance to the query
By knowing things like this, we can pretty easily figure out what kinds of things Google would use to rank videos in YouTube’s search engine.
• The number of editorial backlinks the video page has.
• The number of times the video has been found embedded throughout the web.
• How much Pagerank the sites that imbedded it and/or linked to it have.
• The number of times the share button has been clicked from unique IPs and/or logged in YouTube users.
• On-page relevance to the query (title and description).
• And now, the amount of time users spent watching the video (likely the average time compared to the other videos that are relevant to the query).
Are these all of YouTube’s ranking factors? Probably not but they are the one’s I wanted to highlight – and If any of them aren’t ranking factors now, they very likely will be in the future.
SEO isn’t just about what’s going on now. It’s about what’s going on now and what will be going on later.
Before I go, I just want to remind you that these changes are also being applied to suggested videos and not just Search.
Hat Tip – SearchEngineWatch