Google adds better YouTube analytics

Michelle Clancy | 12-10-2012

Understanding what an audience likes is key to building a successful YouTube channel, so Google has added more analytics to help broadcasters better interpret performance of their videos.

Google said that it is now focusing more on the time users spend watching YouTube. It has enhanced the "Views" report to show more time-watched data, including estimated minutes watched. Users also can choose other data options from the "Compare Metric" drop-down menu.

Annotations are one of the most used features to drive audience engagement in YouTube, Google noted, so publishers can now use the beta version of an "Annotations" report to view data on the performance of video annotations, with insights on viewer click- and close-rates.

The search giant also said that YouTube is making Analytics easier to use. "Date slider is back and better than ever," said Ted Hamilton, YouTube product manager. "Now you can quickly adjust the date range and see how your videos performed across different time periods."

Users also can average data across time with rolling totals for seven- and 30-day totals. Instead of seeing changes in weekend traffic and other cyclical data, rolling totals will smooth the trends to help broadcasters see overall growth without the distracting spikes and dips.

The metadata section for videos and channels also now instantly provides broadcasters with data such as lifetime views and video duration. The video hovercard helps users see a thumbnail of their video and basic information by simply hovering over the video link.

And finally, "Compare Metrics" provides you with more ways to compare trends and patterns across two different metrics.

"We understand the importance of having data and insights for your channel and want to continue improving our analytics to help you grow your audience," Hamilton said.