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Audience Retention Video Ranking Experiment

Discussion in 'YouTube' started by llamaslayer, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've tried my hand recently at ranking YouTube videos based only off of views and have made a few very informative discoveries during my experiments.
    So, a commonly discussed topic is that social interaction on the video (likes, comments, etc) are what ranks a video best. While I have zero evidence to prove that this theory is incorrect, I do have strong evidence to suggest that Audience Retention is absolutely the most valuable aspect of video rankings on YouTube at the current time.

    To start, I uploaded a video in an extremely competitive gaming niche and purchased 5,000 views with no regard to audience retention. I then let this video sit for over two weeks to see what sort of successes it got. Not only did the video not receive a single like or comment in those two weeks, but the views went up by so little that it clearly was not anywhere worthwhile in the rankings. I searched for it, but could not easily find it in the results for the keyword.
    Next, I uploaded a similar video with the same keyword and almost identical content and purchased 5,000 views with guaranteed 60-80% audience retention. After two weeks, the audience retention was 81%, it had 74 likes, 25 comments and had gotten 1,250 views on its own. In the rankings, the video was the last spot on page 1, effectively verifying my theory that audience rent-ion is king.

    In closing, I probably could have done this test some other way besides buying views to receive a little less "black-hat-esque" results, but I do believe my tests prove that audience retention is king and that it is not just a myth.
    Also, keep in mind that a video with lots of views and zero likes or comments looks odd and people tend to stray away from them, so keep that in mind.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post, I hope you found it helpful!

    -llamaslayer
     
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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. PinguSpy

    PinguSpy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Nice info mate. :)
     
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  3. tempguy123

    tempguy123 Regular Member

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    Agreed with this thread, there are loads of variables as to why you may have or may have not gained traffic, overall do you have screenshots or some sort of evidence to support your case?
     
  4. stfrank

    stfrank Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  5. sgbatu

    sgbatu Junior Member

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    useful info. hope you can keep updating us.
     
  6. BigDookie

    BigDookie Newbie

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    +1 to this, I believe Youtube announced on the Partners and Creators blog awhile back that viewer retention now plays a much bigger role in rankings than before.
     
  7. johnabbason

    johnabbason Junior Member

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    Yea what you said is correct somehow about ranking in youtube but not a bit correct about ranking in google. why i said its somehow correct in youtube is that you said your video is in bottom of page 1 .so for it to move up you still need backlinks to propel it to top 3 in page 1 of youtube. then on google you also need backlinks to make it to page 1 on a very competitive keyword .
     
  8. Tyrannis

    Tyrannis Regular Member

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    This isn't really helpful but I guess thanks anyways. Youtube already stated that retention views would be taken into account when ranking videos
     
  9. Lexas

    Lexas Regular Member

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    What is "extremely competitive gaming niche"? For me its 200k videos, for other its 10k videos. How many videos are in this niche? And it's not right, you had to add views with low retention to 1st video, so you could compete them. Now it's pretty unfair :) IMHO.
     
  10. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Yes, I certainly will. I am hoping to try to rank some videos via audience retention the natural way.
     
  11. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    This particular keyword has over 150,000 videos and grows by a few thousand every day. The first video had retention of around 35%, but the second one was around 80%.
     
  12. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Yeah, this is true. I haven't search Google for my videos at all, but I bet the ranking is dependent on backlinks and such, like you're saying. I'll look to see if I find anything soon
     
  13. blackhatbeavis

    blackhatbeavis Regular Member

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    YT loves viewers to watch longer because this implies quality content
     
  14. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    Yep, and it makes perfect sense too
     
  15. xpictoc

    xpictoc Registered Member

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    Thanks for confirming the importance of retention time. High retention views are going to become the main theme for youtube view providers, I'm sure.
     
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  16. TheTaoMan

    TheTaoMan Junior Member

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    I can attest this.

    Check out those TV videos on YT. Make sure that the titles are aligned with high traffic keywords. You'll notice that such videos rank higher than the rest.
     
  17. Germs

    Germs Registered Member

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    Does the length of the video effect the ranking at all?

    Would a 90% retention rate for a 1 minute video outrank a 5 minute video with 80% retention rate?

    Plan to test it myself, but if anyone else could let me know their results.
     
  18. llamaslayer

    llamaslayer Junior Member

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    That's a really good question, please report back with your results. Just thinking logically, it seems that a 5 minute video would come first with a high retention rate over a 1 minute video just simply because that means that it has good content throughout, but of course that probably isn't true.

    Let us know!
     
  19. TheTaoMan

    TheTaoMan Junior Member

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    Think what YT may think....

    Total view length is another factor so that rank of competing videos cannot be equal.

     
  20. tempguy123

    tempguy123 Regular Member

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    Assuming the obvious other factors were the same (such as view count), the LONGER video will rank higher, as more of it has been spent being watched.

    EXAMPLE: Type WingsOfRedemption into the youtube search box and you'lll see what i mean.