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ARE ALL YOUTUBE VIEWS EQUAL?

Written by David Levinson

Are all Youtube views equal? I have my doubts…I made a video. I uploaded it onto Youtube…I have had 4,999 hits on my website page…I have 61 views on Youtube. WTF?

Are all Youtube views equal? I have my doubts. I did what people do. I made a video. I uploaded it onto Youtube. I linked to it on my website. I linked it to Facebook. I linked it to Reddit (and one even stayed on this time.) I did everything I could think of to get some views. And I did. As of the writing of this post I have had 4,999 hits on my website page with the video. I have 61 views on Youtube. WTF? Yes, WTF indeed. 
I decided to do some research. 

How Video Views are Counted According to Youtube 

“YouTube video views reflect how many times a video has been watched and can be an important measure of a video’s overall popularity.

We want to make sure that videos are being viewed by actual humans and not computer programs. During the first couple of hours after a video has been published, we’ll only show views that our systems believe to be valid. This might not yet show all legitimate views at that time.

After quality views are counted, view count updates more frequently. The process of including all quality views can take some time depending on a video’s popularity and viewership. Afterward, the view count updates more frequently, but keep in mind that we’re constantly validating views, so view count can always be adjusted.”

OK so Youtube wants to only display “quality views” Youtube wants to make sure “actual humans” are watching the video. I agree but my question is how exactly is that determined. Why did they decide 61 out of 4,999 people who viewed my video were quality and/or actual humans? As far as I know all 4,999 were quality views by humans. Why are the 909,000,000 plus views on a video, November Rain, by GNR real and mine aren’t? Really, why? I’m a fan of GNR and I don’t mind that almost a billion people have supposedly watched November Rain. I’ve watched it more than once but something smells fishy to me. I finally put up a video that gets a bit of traction and Youtube seems to freeze my view count.

Frozen View Count According to Youtube 

“On some videos, the view count might seem frozen or not show all the views that you expect. Video views are algorithmically validated to maintain fair and positive experiences for content creators, advertisers, and users. To verify that views are real and accurate, YouTube may temporarily slow down, freeze, or adjust the view count, as well as discard low-quality playbacks.”

So it seems Youtube is saying that they might freeze views until verified. It’s been three days and my views are still frozen. Two days ago I sent them a nice note asking why. No, of course they didn’t answer. Are you kidding? A giant media corp answering a note from a “little person.” Pish pash. 

What else is someone to do to figure out why our video’s views are frozen?

Youtube further says: Check views with YouTube Analytics

If you’re looking at a video you uploaded, you can monitor your views more closely using YouTube Analytics. However, keep in mind that the Realtime report only shows estimates of potential view activity and might not match the number you see on the watch page.

Oh, of course, check YouTube Analytics. WTF are they talking about. This entire process started with me checking Youtube Analytics. I also checked Google Analytics which it seems to me ought to be the same as Youtube Analytics considering – THEY ARE THE SAME COMPANY. So basically, this advice is more run-around.

Conclusion

I have no conclusion. At least not yet. My wife reminds me that we’re fortunate that my websites and videos are a hobby and that we’re not relying on income from views. That said, I would really like the views to be real and representative and fair for everyone. At this time considering their algorithms are secretive and they’re verbiage about views is garbage, I have to just do what the “little guy” is forced to do and sigh and go on with my life and my hobby. Apparently, some of us will never actually know our view counts on Youtube unless we are Mega Stars like GNR with a big Media Machine backing them.

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David Levinson

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