Why “Rate It Even if You Hate It” Was Marketing Genius

When I first saw Michael Buckley plead for ratings I thought it was odd. Then two things happened. First, I realized that ratings generally drove a video higher in the charts. Second, I’m now realizing that if someone rates, it’s usually a 5.

As Google’s blog shows, “five stars” (the highest) rating are the vast majority of ratings, followed a distance by one star (the lowest). Since only a very small portion of viewers rate, begging for ratings can shape things dramatically.

Many YouTube partners have loyal fan bases that immediately 5-star their video… Buckley and others have trained their audiences to do that.

But here’s the thing. This is friggin’ GOOGLE. Once it starts to see that ratings are not reflective of the quality of the content, will it still weigh that heavily in what videos get “love” (on spotlight rotations, related videos, or “bestest” charts). I think not.

I’ve found that neither “highest rated” or “most viewed” is any indication of quality. Even “most popular” is somewhat “gamed.”

So what’s the right way to rank videos? Easy… average duration of view based on similar videos of that duration. If the vast majority of people started and finished a video, it’s probably good (or at least consistent with expectations, in the form of title or thumbnail). If the video has a lot of dropoff in the first seconds, then it’s failed the viewer and YouTube since an ad exposure won’t likely count).

GREAT SCOTT I just figured out the answer from last post! THAT’S how Trippy and Shaycarl are getting top popularity ratings for their 10-12 minute vlogs. Their viewers are far more likely to watch the significant portion of their videos relative to similar view rates of long videos like that.

You sneaky bastards. I wouldn’t have given away your secret if you hadn’t made me figure it out. Stay tuned for the 30-minute UncleNalts video to test my theory.

4 Replies to “Why “Rate It Even if You Hate It” Was Marketing Genius”

  1. I agree that relative duration of view is a much better metric for determining the quality of the video. There are ways to game it too of course though.

    For example, I’ve noticed failblog videos usually have a comment inserted at the end of the video which is displayed for only a fraction of a second so that you have to pause or rewind to read it, which obviously boosts their viewer interest ratings.

  2. how do I rate thee, let me count the ways…
    If you post on this blog you get 5* auto

    to date, I think Zack Scott has the best request scheme for staring, but it’s also with great appreciation that is part and parcel to his subtle brand of humor.

    I think it was Mark Day who was the first to request and come up with a clever way to get viewers to star and comment on his videos – he was so nice about it and his method has stuck and still works for him today.

    that said, I wrote this long rant (surprise!) and the more I wrote the more condescending it sounded even to me; at least to all the smart folks here who already know this junk so, I edited the rant down like this guy http://www.youtube.com/jayvlog89 (thank azi for that)

    I sub to probably too many channels- I did a little house cleaning a few months ago. Of course, I have several channels as do, I figure at least, 1/3 of all tubers and if I can remember the pass words to get in and you take time over here I’ll eventually sub to you on one of them if not all.

    I use the quicklist
    pretty anal
    cleaning videos
    You Tube
    only 100
    once gone, gone
    watch them all.
    walk away from the computer
    do other things
    good title
    watch star comment
    standard uploading process

    sidenote: I don’t like the new, ‘I watched and left a comment on You Tube…’ notifyer. Please. turn that off!

    lot of hits
    don’t bother
    something short
    blog, twitter e-mail
    time time TIME!

    if I leave a pithy comment I expect a reply – however – if I don’t get one I understand you’re busy, but if my reply is a good one and I took time or it was exceptionally thoughtful I will feel hurt if you don’t chide back or say something, even if it’s poop.

    Not engaging
    overall context

    I think one of the most valuable things anyone can do on a channel is reply to comments marquedejolie and zipster (especially when drunk) are very good at this
    props to Katy
    face to face
    work it baby!

    different ways
    best thing on You Tube,
    it’s a good thing
    meet and greet
    time time TIME
    that’s show biz folks!


    if you can’t do that all the time a request through annotation is a good thing especially, if viewers use the quicklist.

  3. No offense to Uncle Nalts, but I was amazed when we had a ten minute conversation and you didn’t go all ADD on me, how are you going to do a 30 minute vlog???

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