When you have a video on YouTube, one of the things that determines its success is how many views it gets. To make sure that only real people are viewing videos, YouTube has put a few rules in place.
Often, these rules cause the view count to look different on the video watch page and in analytics. Here are some of the reasons why that happens.
How Views Are Counted
Unlike other social media sites, YouTube is very strict about what counts as a view. It only registers a video request if a viewer watches it for more than 1 second. This is to prevent people from trying to artificially inflate their videos’ views.
It also excludes repeated views from the same user or IP address within a certain time frame. Additionally, it will not count a video as a view if it is played from a site that contains malware or other security threats.
In addition, a viewer must actively click the play button on a video for it to count as a view. While this seems obvious, many people forget it. As a result, the video’s view count may remain frozen for awhile. This is because YouTube employees must verify that the views are legitimate before a video gains any traction. It usually takes around 300 views for a video to start counting, and it can take longer for popular videos to get validated.
Despite being a popular marketing strategy, buying views is against YouTube guidelines. Purchasing fake views may even result in your account being suspended or removed from the platform.
YouTube identifies bot views by tracking the IP address of the video watcher and confirming that they are a human. They also require a minimum watch time of 30 seconds, which helps to prevent fraudulent activity and ensures that view counts are accurate.
The platform also detects when a viewer is artificially increasing the view count by repeatedly refreshing or reloading a video. It will also remove a video if it appears to be malware, defined as software that can damage computers, servers, or networks.
YouTube does not specify a maximum number of times that a video can be replayed, but some experts believe that after about four or five views in 24 hours, the view count stops counting those replays. However, if the video is watched again outside of this window, the view count will start to increase again.
Frozen View Count
When a video’s view count becomes stagnant it is because YouTube employees are verifying that all of the views are legitimate. YouTube doesn’t want their homepage cluttered with videos that are fraudulently inflated. This is why they often freeze the count at around 300 views until employees can be certain that the views are real.
During the time when the view count is frozen, any legitimate view will still be added to the total. YouTube only counts views that are legitimate and from real people. This includes replays, which are a sign of quality because viewers tend to watch videos multiple times over when they enjoy them.
YouTube also deducts views that come from known spam IP addresses, the IPs of people who sell views, and automated programs designed to earn more views as per Growtraffic. If you notice that your view count has been erratic or has become stagnant, contact YouTube to address the issue.
Watch time is a newer metric that has taken over from views as YouTube’s primary growth metric. It measures the total number of minutes watched by viewers on a video, as well as how many times it has been viewed. Watch time is also more accurate than views because it takes into account a viewer’s behavior, such as whether they skip videos or interact with the video.
YouTube has made it clear that watch time is a priority for them, even pushing “Views” down the analytics section and putting “Watch Time” up front. This is a good reason to focus on creating longer videos that keep users engaged.
The watch time metric only counts views from the main YouTube site, and not from YouTube Music or TV. It also only counts videos that are public, so private videos or live streams won’t count. However, watch time does increase as views do, so focusing on growing that is still important.youtube views