DIY videographers take note: a  click isn’t what it’s cracked up to be anymore–at least not according to YouTube.

According to an announcement made today, YouTube will now rank videos on based “user engagement” instead of mere clicks. So it’s not enough to get someone to click on your video of origami tutorials, you’ve got to get them to actually watch if you want your work rise through the ranks of search results. YouTube’s analytics will now include a “time watched” feature.

So says the mighty YouTube:

We’ve started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search to reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching.  This is a continuation of ongoing efforts to focus our video discovery features on watch time.

YouTube’s move doesn’t come as a surprise, says TechCrunch:

When it updated its suggested videos algorithm, YouTube noted that it did so to “better surface the videos that viewers actually watch, over those that they click on and then abandon.”

What do you think? Is this a good thing?

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

  • davidcdean

    Absolutely. YouTube has a huge problem with click-baiting. If they can defeat that, they’ll have done most everyone a great service.

  • Kay

    I wonder how the algorithym will deal with very short videos that people watch (fully) over and over and over again (things like the dramatic hampster – only 5 seconds, but I dare you to only watch through it once!).

  • KR-Tech (@kr_tech)

    This sounds great. I often see YouTube videos with an ‘interesting’ thumbnail, although it turns out to be nothing useful or interesting, or a joke.