What counts as a View on YouTube?

by Gradiva Couzin on April 6, 2014

Q: Do you know what constitutes a “view” on YouTube? Is it a number of seconds, a measure of time, or just if you clicked on it?

A: Surprisingly, the exact definition of a YouTube view is variable and hasn’t been fully disclosed. This is because YouTube/Google doesn’t want larger video producers that run ads to game the system by fraudulently inflating their view count.  Google attempts to determine a level of engagement and only count views that indicate a conscious human choice to view a video. For example, a view of an embedded video that autoplays on a third-party site would not be counted toward YouTube views.

Another issue to be aware of is that YouTube applies different standards to the first 300 views than it does to later views.  For the first 300, YouTube will count all views, even those that it considers “unvalidated.”  Once a video reaches 300 views, this triggers an audit of your views and YouTube will only count validated views.  The number will not increase past 300 until there are 300 validated views.  It’s likely that validation does require some amount of time spent viewing the video, but that cut-off hasn’t been made public as far as we know.

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We’ve been helping customers improve their search engine ranks and conversion rates for over a decade. We consult on SEO and social media for major brands, one-person shops, and everything in between. Get in touch to find out how we can help you!

SEO for Long Pages

by Gradiva Couzin on March 13, 2014

Long pages (also called single page or infinite scroll) have become a popular design feature for websites.  These designs take after social media sites that have helped users grow accustomed to the never-ending scroll experience. But can long pages play nicely with search engines?

If you’re considering changing your website to an infinite scroll design, keep in mind that search engines are still a bit old fashioned: they are designed to crawl sites that consist of separate, unique pages with separate, unique content at separate, unique URLs. When a large number of topically-focused discrete pages are combined into a single multi-topic page, SEO may be disadvantaged, because the ability to crawl and index individual pages with unique metadata focused on a specific keyword or topic is lost. This could reduce your site’s ability to rank well in search engines for the keywords/topics that previously would have been included on separate pages.

Technical Workarounds

An SEO-friendly technical remedy may be a lot of work, and may be unfamiliar territory for most developers, but it is possible to create a single page experience for the user and a multiple page experience for the search engines. In an ideal world if level of effort were not a consideration, this would be our recommended approach, especially if each of the topics on the long page is substantial enough to stand on its own (and is not just a couple of sentences).

Google offers up some helpful suggestions for making your long pages search-friendly in this Webmaster blog post: “Infinite Scroll Search Friendly Recommendations

Example of a Successful Long Page Design for SEO

Polygon.com is an example of a site that is handling its long page design very well from an SEO perspective.

Normally, a page like the one at http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review would either be coded with all content indexable at a single URL, or most of the content would be hidden behind JavaScript and not crawlable by search engine robots.

The unique aspect of this build is that as the user scrolls down the page, the URL changes based on the section the user is on. For example, as you scroll down the PS4 review page, you can see that the browser passes through all of these URLs:

http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review/video_review

http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review/console

http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review/controller

http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review/os

http://www.polygon.com/a/ps4-review/online

… and so on

These URLS can also be accessed via a menu on the left-hand side of the page.

Each of these URLs is separately indexable in search engines. When a user lands directly on one of these URLs, he or she lands on a unique page showing crawlable content pertaining to that section.

This type of implementation is great when you are seeking to rank for different variations of a topic, for example, polygon.com is ranking #1 for “ps4 review” and “ps4 controller” with different URLs. If they had all this content on just one page, it would have made ranking less likely for “ps4 controller”. Alternately, if they didn’t expose the content to crawlers, both of these ranks likely would have suffered.

If you’re considering long-tail design for your site visitors, we hope you’ll consider SEO and make sure the search engines have a good user experience too!

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We’ve been helping customers improve their search engine ranks and conversion rates for over a decade. We consult on SEO and social media for major brands, one-person shops, and everything in between. Get in touch to find out how we can help you!

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Yelp for Business: How to Manage Your Reviews

Jennifer and Gradiva are excited to announce our e-book, “Yelp For Business: The Quick-Start Guide to Managing Your Reviews” available on Kindle at Amazon.  The e-book is based on an excerpt from our upcoming (actual paper) book, “Five Stars: Putting Online Reviews To Work For Your Business“, now available for pre-order. Here’s a description of […]

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