After watching hordes of celebrities rise from YouTube blogger to internet celebrity, you’re probably wondering what it takes. Just about everyone dreams of being famous at one point or another, right?
When it comes to YouTube, the most important, if not the only factor, of success is by number of views. Once that number gets high enough, you’ll reach the sought-after “recommended” lists for the whole world to see.
So how are YouTube views counted and what count should you set as your goal?
Must Read: Tiktok Video Views
In the beginning, a view on YouTube simply meant clicking and loading a video. You didn’t even have to watch it. Unfortunately, many people took advantage of this with clickbait titles that did not reflect its true engagement.
Since then, YouTube continues to improve their standards to ensure their most popular videos are truly engaging.
Now, their standard surrounding video quality directly reflects intimate audience behavior. Basically, their new algorithm learns exactly what you want and gives you more of it at just the right time.
How does it learn this information? User behavior towards a video includes:
- Average time spent watching a video
- Time spent during each YouTube visit watching videos
- What videos you do (and don’t) watch
- Likes, dislikes, comments, and other interactive feedback
Although these are general measurements for most data, it’s not exactly this simple. There are likely hundreds of other factors at play. Let’s look at some common situations.
The YouTube algorithm chooses videos for users with two goals in mind: selecting the ideal video for each individual viewer and encouraging them to watch more.
When we refer to “the algorithm,” we’re referring to three distinct but linked selection or discovery systems:
- one who chooses videos for YouTube’s home page;
- one that ranks the results of any given search; and one that ranks the results of any given search
- one that chooses which videos viewers should watch next
According to YouTube, most channels’ homepage and suggested videos will be the leading sources of traffic in 2021. Except for explainer or instructional films (e.g., “how to tune up a bicycle”), which receive the majority of their traffic via search.
How YouTube chooses its algorithm
Which ranking signals does YouTube employ to determine which videos should be shown to users?
Each source of traffic is a little different. But, in the end, a combination of factors influences the number of views your video receives:
- Customization (history and preferences of the viewer)
- The video’s success performance
- External variables (the overall audience or market)
#1 What happens when I play my favorite song on repeat?
How are YouTube views counted when you play the same video over and over?
Repetitive views will count about 3 – 5 times a day before they stop counting (to prevent spam counts). Even when you allow the auto-play feature to take over, those videos count as views too.
However, the videos pause after you aren’t active for a certain period of time.
#2 Does it count when I skip through videos?
When you’re looking for a tutorial or a product review, you just want to get right to the point. So you skip the first minute of product promotions and personal stories. How are YouTube views counted then?
Surely, even after skipping several parts you’ll accumulate at least 30 seconds overall. However, we can’t really say if that counts or not. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t. That must mean there are other factors at play which YouTube cannot divulge. (If they told us everything, they’d spend all of their time fighting spammers and hacks!)
#3 Do Facebook Views Count on YouTube?
If you want to rack up views, Facebook is the place to be. Why is that?
As of now, it only takes 3 seconds to take advantage of the short attention spans we display while scrolling our wall. However, if you want to see your views skyrocket, publish them on Facebook now because this is likely to change soon. Even for our click-happy, quick-scrolling attitudes, 3 seconds still isn’t enough to mean anything.
#4 Do embedded views count on YouTube?
What’s more annoying than a blaring TV ad at 3AM? Those loud mystery ads hiding in a far screen corner that rattle your desk when you open a new link. By the time you figure out where they are to hit mute, they’re already over.
Even though these spam ads won’t be going away anytime soon, take solace in knowing the automated views from spam ads don’t count as views.
So how are YouTube views counted when the video is embedded? Only if your view is intentional – if you don’t click on it, it doesn’t count!
There are a few things that will disqualify a view from counting, as well as a few sources of views that will not count:
- Views from an autoplaying embedded video may or may not be counted. This has changed throughout time, and there are numerous conflicting reports. In general, though, an automatically playing video is an inconvenience that turns users away. Allow people to load the video on their own terms rather than forcing it.
- Views from the content author are usually taken into account, but only to a certain extent. YouTube, for example, has no way of knowing whether or not you’re showing the video to other people on your computer. Those views will not count if you reload the page thousands of times to inflate the view count.
- Views from the same user over a short period of time aren’t usually counted. In some circumstances, such as music videos and lessons, repeat views are permissible, but they usually occur in a single session. If a user reloads the website each time they watch an embedded video, they’re probably trying to cheat the system, and their repeat views will be ignored.
- Views from known spam IPs or known view dealers’ IP addresses. It’s feasible to buy hundreds of views on a site like Fiverr, but those views will do you no good. They may briefly add to your view count, but they will vanish as YouTube audits your account.
Views from the perspective of robots. The code that counts a view will not be triggered by a search engine crawler – or a robot designed to gain additional views. That perspective will most likely be erased if it does.
- Views from sites with a faulty embed code. Those views aren’t counted if the embedded video only loads partially and the user refreshes numerous times in an attempt to get it to work. For a view to count, the video must load completely and completely.
Additionally, some embedded views are not counted due to the users that are viewing them. Some users use extensions to control how their browser communicates with other websites and the information they share. YouTube would be unable to recognise the view in these situations.
#5 Are fake/botted views counted on YouTube?
There might be some savvy spammers that manage to temporarily fluff up the view count, but they don’t last. If YouTube didn’t crack down on bot views, they would never survive. Every time you log on, your homepage would be polluted with spam links and misleading clickbait.
If that were to happen, no one would use it. Since YouTube wants you to have a pleasant experience, they make sure every view is genuine.
How are YouTube views counted as genuine?
- Views bought through cheap low-end companies. While there are acceptable real targeted youtube views counts you can buy, be wary of the botted views from other companies. In a worst case ‘bot view’ scenario, the video will be taken down completely and YouTube will audit your account, or at the very least the views will be removed after 24-48 hours. With that said, buying views is okay as long as they are bought from places which offer real human traffic.
- Views coming from sources known in their database as malware.
- Viewing videos for exactly 30 seconds without following a sensible path. Don’t worry, they won’t flag everyone who doesn’t use their ‘related videos’ column. However, if a bot jumps from cats, to calculus tutorials, to news, and so on for hours, they will notice.
#6 Watch Time And Average retention rate is Important
Besides the full count of views, for ranking reasons, the total watch time is also important. Even more important than this though is the drop-off rate, also knows as the average retention rate. If your video has a high drop-off rate, or a low retention rate, your video will not rank as high. This is because YT wants to keep people watching videos for as long as possible.
Before you Bot: Why Fake Views Hurt
When you have a view count goal, it can be really tempting to take shortcuts. If you’re especially tech-savvy (or have enough money) you could get away with it for a while using automated scripts and proxies. However, chances are that you will be found and your views will be removed sooner rather than later. That’s why we created our service where you can purchase youtube views.
YouTube is constantly watching your channel to make sure everyone has a fair and positive experience. Don’t be the person making your channel look bad on your own. Hire professionals.
Get to Uploading!
How are YouTube views counted when you make awesome, entertaining videos? Find out for yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll give Epic Meal Time a run for their money!