People producing videos uploaded to the site will be able to see the time watched statistics on a YouTube Analytics dashboard, Search Engine Land reported Friday.
"The experimental results of this change have proven positive -- less clicking, more watching," YouTube owner Google wrote on the video site's blog.
If YouTube users watch 3 minutes of one video but routinely click away from a similar video after a few seconds, the 3-minute video will appear higher in search results, YouTube said.
YouTube has made a number of changes to how it measures interest in videos on the site.
"These changes better surface [rank] the videos that viewers actually watch, over those that they click on and then abandon," the company said at the time.
"We expect the amount of time viewers spend watching videos from search and across the site to increase. As with previous optimizations to our discovery features, this should benefit your channel if your videos drive more viewing time across YouTube."
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