Many brands notice that their video watch counts and YouTube Analytics numbers look different. This is because YouTube employees manually verify views to make sure that they are legitimate.
They look for certain signs of spamming like people refreshing the page to artificially increase the view count. They also spot malware and other bad actors and remove them without any input from you.
How YouTube Views Are Counted
When it comes to YouTube views, it is important to understand how the platform measures them. YouTube wants to make sure that the views that are counted are legitimate and not inflated by bots or other malicious software.
In order for a view to be counted, it must be viewer initiated and it must be watched for at least 30 seconds. However, repeated views of the same video do not count toward total views. Additionally, YouTube will remove views that come from the same computer or account multiple times within 24 hours.
This means that you cannot keep refreshing your watch page in an attempt to artificially inflate your views. YouTube’s system is smart enough to know that this is not a real view and will remove it from your count. YouTube has also put in place a security system that detects malware and other malicious software that can damage the website.
How YouTube Analyzes Views
One of the best ways to earn a lot of YouTube views is to create videos that are relevant to your audience. This means knowing what type of content your audience is interested in and creating videos on those topics. It is also important to share your videos on social media so that they can reach a larger audience.
Views are a good way to measure the success of your video content, but it is important not to put too much stock in them. Many videos that have high view counts are actually fake. This is because users can manipulate the number of views on a video by constantly refreshing it or using software to artificially inflate the count.
YouTube will also remove any views from a video that appears to be malware or spam. This is because malware is software that can harm a computer or network. It is also considered spam when the same viewer repeatedly watches a video or leaves comments that are similar to each other.
How YouTube Measures Live Streaming Views
If someone watches a video on YouTube while it’s streaming, it counts as a view. This applies to both live streams and replays.
If you’re using YouTube Studio to create a live stream, you can monitor the number of views through the Real-time Activity metric in your Video Manager. This is an estimate of view activity and will vary from the view count on your video watch page, search results, or YouTube Analytics.
YouTube doesn’t place much stock in view counts because they can be inflated by spammy tactics. A more reliable metric is the total watch time, which can be viewed in your YouTube Analytics dashboard. You can use this data to make smarter decisions about your video production, promotion, and outreach strategies. For example, if you notice that your most popular videos are short, consider creating more of these content pieces to increase your overall watch time. Watch time also provides valuable insights into how your viewers find and discover your videos.
How YouTube Measures Repeated Views
YouTube wants to make sure that its views are genuine and not coming from bots or autoplays on websites. That’s why the public view count sometimes freezes at a tipping point (for example, 301 views) while auditing algorithms check to make sure that these views are legitimate.
View counts can also vary between the video watch page, search page, and analytics. YouTube’s explanation for this is that it takes time for their system to verify that a viewer has watched the video.
It’s also important to note that YouTube views are not unique. If a person watches a video several times or on repeat, YouTube only counts those plays as one view. But if someone repeatedly refreshes the video to artificially inflate the number of views, YouTube will quickly pinpoint this as spamming behavior and stop counting these replays as unique views. This is why it’s best to monitor the number of unique views in your YouTube analytics dashboard.