YouTube charts and popularity rankings are an increasingly important tool for finding the most viewed YouTube videos and channels. The most recent charts, of course, are published on the giant video-sharing network itself, on a page appropriately titled YouTube Charts.
But there are also other sources of rankings, charts and lists of popular videos on the network that are also worth bookmarking to find out what's hot and trending in Internet video. These sources are increasingly helpful for spotting viral video trends as the video giant grows.
YouTube Growth Skyrockets
Google announced in March 2013 that more than 1 billion people were visiting its massive video-sharing site each month, truly a milestone in the evolution of YouTube since it was launched in 2005. Developing YouTube charts and ranking services has been difficult as the volume of content and users expands, so people often struggle as they wade through the massive volume of material available to watch.
YouTube tries to organized its content around channels, which are groups of videos created, selected or curated by the channel creators. But there are so many channels that channel browsing can be just as frustrating as individual video-hopping.
To help identify popularity trends, check out these pages and consider bookmarking them for future reference and enhancement of your YouTube channel surfing experience.
Google's Own YouTube Charts and Rankings
- YouTube Charts: This charts page created in 2010 is still the go-to place to find the most viewed videos on YouTube. A filter at the top lets you sort the most popular videos by time, as in today, this week, this month or all time. You can also sort these YouTube popularity rankings by 15 different categories, ranging from comedy and education to sports and animals. An additional set of filters allows you to see the most popular items in other categories besides video, including music, shows, movies and live events. Also on this page is a "popular channels" feature showing popular YouTube users who have created channels where the videos get viewed a lot. This is a good way to spot rising YouTube celebrities and interesting YouTubers.
- YouTube Trends blog: The YouTube teams maintains a trends blog that is worth checking out to read about major trends on the video network. It announced in early 2013, for example, that Google had added a capability to search and evaluate YouTube search data using Google Trends, a tool that has long been popular for monitoring ups and downs in search queries. To monitor video search trends, Google created the Youtube trends dashboard letting people compare the relative increases and decreases in particular YouTube searches over time. There's also a map showing what's hot in particular cities.
Third Party Video Rankings and Charts
- Viral Video Chart: This chart created by Unruly Media in 2006 tracks video popularity based on how many times each video gets shared instead of by how many times it is watched. The chart is widely watched by marketers to get a sense of social sharing popularity levels. Unruly, its creator, specializes in social video advertising tools.
- VidStatsX : This site provides a wealth of statistics on YouTube usage, including popularity rankings based on the number of subscribers for each video channel. It uses data from YouTube Subscriber Analytics and so offers a lot of the same data as the official YouTube Charts, but VidStatsX offers a whole lot more detail and provides many more interesting ways to sort the rankings than Google's own simplified charts page.
- Deadline Channel Charts : Deadline publishes occasional rankings for the most popular channels on YouTube.