Examining YouTube’s list of the top trending videos and top Shorts of 2022, as well as the YouTube Ads Leaderboard: 2022 year-end-wrap-up can teach content marketers, content creators, and digital advertisers some important lessons that they can apply in 2023.
But, it helps if you have a secret decoder ring to decipher why there are three lists – and why each one uses a different methodology to come up with the rankings.
YouTube unveiled its first list of the 10 most-watched YouTube videos back in December 2010. Unfortunately, that list taught many marketers that “view count” was the only metric that mattered.
But, I got my secret decoder ring back in October 2012, when YouTube started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search results to reward engaging videos that kept viewers watching.
In other words, YouTube replaced “view count” with “watch time.”
This was a significant shift, because “watch time” gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch, as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon.
In December 2012, YouTube shifted from unveiling its 10 “most-watched” videos of the year to unveiling its “top trending videos,” based on time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and other factors.
In other words, “watch time” and “engagements” were now the metrics that mattered.
Today, YouTube’s algorithm rewards “viewer satisfaction.”
In other words, YouTube doesn’t pay attention to videos; it pays attention to viewers.
So, rather than trying to make videos that’ll make an algorithm happy, focus on making videos that make your viewers happy.
This brings us to YouTube’s lists of “trending videos” and “top Shorts” for 2022.
To learn important lessons that can be applied in 2023, we need to realize that YouTube’s discovery system uses both absolute and relative watch time as signals when deciding audience engagement.
Ultimately, YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed, so relative watch time is more important for short videos, and absolute watch time is more important for longer videos.
Top 7 Trending Videos Of 2022
1. “So Long Nerds“ By Technoblade (6:32 long, 88.3 million Views, 10.2 million engagements)
In this moving tribute, the father of beloved Minecraft creator Technoblade reads a farewell letter from his son.
The gamer lost his battle with cancer in June, but his legacy remains on YouTube.
2. “Watch The Uncensored Moment Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock On Stage At The Oscars, Drops F-bomb” By Guardian News (1:24 long, 104 million Views, and 1.8 million engagements)
It was the smack heard ‘round the world: Academy Award winner Will Smith went off-script and slapped Chris Rock, live on-stage, at the film industry’s most prestigious event.
3. “Hi, I’m Dream” By Dream (5:42 long, 48.5 million Views, …….