If you visit YouTube any day, you will surely find a recently published video that was viewed millions of times in just a few days.
Or how about YouTube recordings? There, you’ll find the videos with the most views in YouTube history – and those with a billion views in the shortest amount of time. (Adele’s “Hello” came out on top, taking just 88 days to reach this incredible number of views.)
Where do those views come from? What exactly is considered ‘views’ and what not? For those curious or if you are a marketer looking to expand your strategy onto a platform with more than 2 billion usersYouTube has the answer.
Admittedly, YouTube isn’t always the most obvious choice for marketers. Sure, there are tutorials and explanations, even stats on how to crack YouTube codes. However, there is uncertainty as to what is and does not count as a view. For a website no longer unfamiliar with frequent changes, what is the baseline?
What counts as a YouTube view?
A view is counted on YouTube when: 1) it’s an intended play made by a viewer, and 2) the video has been eliminated by YouTube’s algorithm for bad content. In other words, a human video plays on one device, and YouTube claims it to be a legitimate view.
More than that, there are some magical views: 300.
After the video reached 300 views, YouTube temporarily “froze” the number of views to confirm that it was indeed legitimate human plays. Its system started tracking incoming views, as well as the first 300 views. It can remove fraudulent views once they are identified. Once the initial screening is over, the view counter will resume normal, but YouTube will continue to track fake views across every video.
Why 300? The numbers below don’t have enough power to appeal to the YouTube homepage and remove the site from its algorithm.
So please wait. If no secret formula counts as views, then no one can refresh their video to gain views? No more. In the early days of YouTube, make money is not a thing. Assume that almost every view fits the original definition: a single play of a video without spam for the intent of the viewer. It doesn’t take long for the platform to understand the fact that creators can cheat the system. This is loosely referred to as an “artificial” view.
Luckily, YouTube has been pretty good at detecting artificial views. Some of the signs they look for include:
- Views, reloaded: This is the classic case of a user constantly refreshing videos to enhance those numbers.
- Virus: If a video looks like malware – software designed to harm your computer, your server, or your network – then the video will be deleted.
- Web page autoplay: If a video is set up to play automatically on a web page, it won’t count as a view.
Software in YouTube’s security system is capable of detecting malware – a computer program that helps send spam messages from your computer – and spam bots. YouTube automatically deletes them to make the screening smoother.
Now, let’s look at some of the questions you might have about YouTube video views.
Are your own views counted on YouTube?
Yes, your own views are counted if you play your own YouTube video – but only if you do it once or twice, not if you keep refreshing the page.
Why does YouTube count my own views?
YouTube’s algorithm sees you just like any other user, so your views count.
Are replays counted as YouTube views?
Yes, but only if the replays seem natural. If you play back the video once, it will be counted as one view. However, if you constantly refresh the page to artificially increase the number of views, YouTube will identify this as spamming (see View definition, reloaded above).
Are YouTube views unique?
Are not. YouTube views aren’t unique; Replay and re-hit count towards views. You can see number of unique viewers in your YouTube analytics dashboard.
How often are YouTube update views counted?
Although YouTube doesn’t publish this information, we know that YouTube updates views every 24 to 48 hours. It doesn’t update views immediately.
Will embedded YouTube videos count?
Yes, the number of embedded YouTube video views is counted when the video is embedded in the content of the page and the user intentionally clicks the video to play it. A autoplay embedded video may not be counted. Background videos (that is, you have placed a YouTube video in the background of your website) will not be counted.
Are Facebook views counted on YouTube?
Yes, Facebook views count on YouTube. However, they don’t count if you manually upload a video from YouTube and upload to Facebook.
YouTube Guidelines for Videos and Views
If you are thinking of implementing one Marketing strategy on YouTubeIt is important to comply YouTube Guidelines. Otherwise, your video will be deleted. The viewership has its own set of principles and is taken very seriously.
If a video reaches a certain number of views and falls within the guidelines, it is eligible for monetization. YouTube’s ability to monetize a single video allows a single video to earn thousands of dollars as it climbs into territories with millions of views. Self-faking views are essentially making money unfairly. YouTube policies are here to make sure every creative person works hard on every video they produce.
That said, the algorithms change – sometimes only at the lowest level. For the most up-to-date information on relevant video protocols, review YouTube guidelines often, especially when they announce changes to their creators.
Another reason viewers take viewership seriously is the likelihood of users finding videos of interest to them. It can be tiring if you have to sift tons of spam videos to get to the video you want.
All this algorithmic and homepage talk seems a bit overwhelming, as the main question is really, “How do I use this tool to get views?” Don’t worry, as long as you optimize video for searchYou’ll find a way to get people to click on your content.
It can be a bit complicated to decode how YouTube works. However, YouTube uses a system that carefully and skillfully tracks viewership in order to deliver the most authentic experience to creators and users. By counting views before fake views become a real problem, YouTube keeps its platform clean from spam.
Count your YouTube views to measure performance
Knowing how many people view your video is important. You can know if your title is compelling, if your thumbnail is effective, and if your content is worth watching based solely on views. By measuring YouTube views, you can successfully turn around your YouTube channel development strategy.
Editors’ note: This post was originally published April 2019 and has been updated for inclusion.