Once again its time for the YouTube overlords to move the goalposts ever so slightly just to keep us video creators on our toes. The latest algorithm change might not be popular at first but with time it should make the site a place for quality not quantity.
Perhaps it is with that in mind then that YouTube have removed the emphasis on view-counts when producing search results, and will begin to factor in the amount of time that has been spent actually watching the videos.
Essentially YouTube will analyse the amount of minutes people spend watching your video, and compare it with the amount of time that people spend watching other people's videos. The videos with the most minutes watched will be given higher search ranking.
How does this affect the creators then? Well it means that viewer engagement is now key to getting successes on the website. Keeping your audience hanging on until the end and promoting repeat viewings wherever possible is going to get you those high search results.
The new algorithm is certainly going to work for deliciously catchy Internet gems such as 'Bacon Pancakes' - a 12 second clip that one cannot help but watch over and over again, especially with a loop function engaged. Your video might not work like this though, often people require more than 12 seconds...
Audience interactivity is a smart way to encourage viewer engagement and there are plenty of tools at your disposal to help you with this. We all know how helpful the annotations can be with keeping viewers hooked to series, encouraging subscriptions and even guiding viewers through adventures. However, another new change coming to YouTube's setup is the ability to link within videos to offsite locations. You can use this commerce with iTunes or Amazon and others or link to your own website.
There are 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. If you are in the video production game and want to succeed online, YouTube is making an environment that promotes creativity and encourages making videos that people watch and watch again. If you can't succeed in making these films then don't bother.