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Video View-Counting Standards Examined

YouTube's numbers probably inflated

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Content creators often decide where to place video clips based on an idea of how many views they’ll receive.  Yet new research shows that not all official view counts are created equal, and some of the most popular sites may be given to boasting.

It seems fair that, if someone sits through an entire video, the experience gets counted as one view.  But what if someone watches half a second and then clicks on the "back" button?  Or if someone or something behind a single IP address refreshes a video 200 times?

TubeMogul found that YouTube, MySpace, and Yahoo Video are willing to count views in all of these scenarios.  A number of less well-known sites take the same approach, too.  Metacafe and Blip.tv stand out with stricter standards, only adding to tallies when half (or at least 30 seconds’ worth) of videos are watched, and not when they’re refreshed repeatedly.

Evolution of Dance
 The Evolution Of Dance On YouTube

This doesn’t necessarily make Metacafe and Blip heroes; if they’d conform to YouTube’s standards, at least the inconsistencies would be eliminated.  Still, it’s the sort of thing people should keep in mind when they’re looking at view counts.  About 86 million individuals – or a group greater in size than the population of Germany – probably haven’t sat through "The Evolution of Dance" in its entirety.

Also, as Michael Learmonth notes, TubeMogul has looked at these measurements before.  "The biggest difference since their first test last June?  Both YouTube and Yahoo lowered their standards.  Previously, both logged only one view per IP address and now both count multiple views from the same computer the moment the user presses play."

Video View-Counting Standards Examined
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  • http://www.shapirit.biz Ricardo Goldberg

    This video view rating problem is not isolated to video only, I myself have published a few articles and noted that they are rated as "per view", also web pages get their "visit counters" to show how popular they are and again they are "per view".

    The philosophy behind this is the common human behavior, "if xxxxx amount of people have seen it … it is probably good"….nonsense, let’s supose, that I put an empty closed box at the front store window with an ad — "inside this box are the underware of lady godiva – A MUST SEE", don’t you think that people will enter the store to find out more?, that is why writers (look in newspaper for example) will allways look for great headlines.

     We, as consumers,  need to read between the lines and try to see further than those great headlines.

    The same is implemented in google’s twisted way of thinking, "if xxxxx number of websites point to yours then your site MUST be great …again nonsense, that is why I am against link exchanges.

    There is an old proverb that states, "don’t look at the vase look at the inside of it".

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