If you’ve ever experienced the StumbleUpon effect, you know that counting clicks can be misleading. You wake up one morning to find that your traffic numbers have skyrocketed after your blog post became a featured item on the popular bookmarking site. 12,000 hits in 24 hours! Amazing. But the majority of those people only stayed as long as it took to hit the Stumble button again – maybe 2 seconds. No engagement, which means no ad views and they’re probably not coming back.
This is why YouTube is now looking at Time Watched as the main component for ranking a video’s popularity. Now, instead of being rewarded for people who click then move on, content creators will get points for viewers who stay with the video to the end.