How Does YouTube Count Views?

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YouTube has contributed significantly to the success of many businesses and brands. While the Platform is majorly considered a video sharing blog, many have turned it to their source of income. The number of views a video gathers determines how highly it is ranked. Considered to be the second-best search engine after Google, YouTube uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine the legitimacy of views and the value of a video. While everyone likes their content to accrue many views as possible, not all understand how YouTube counts views. If you have been wondering when and how a YouTube view is worth to be counted, you have come to the right place.\

When you upload a video on YouTube for the first time, you expect it to gain views as time goes by. However, due to the content’s ranking and the fact that thousands of videos are uploaded on the same Platform, the rates of gathering views can be slow. Many people resolve to take unproductive ways of increasing views, such as continually refreshing the browser. YouTube ensures that every view counted originates from an intentional play of the video.

In the first years after the launching of YouTube, a video got a new view every time it was loaded. While the operation of the system was perfect, it was easy for anyone to gather views for their content and improve its ranking. Since YouTube displays its homepage based on popular videos, it was easy for anyone to get their content on the homepage. After realizing the loophole, YouTube changed their system to have a better count and evaluation of the validity of a view.

YouTube no longer considers consecutive reloads to amount to any view. If you sit behind the computer and keep on refreshing the video without giving it significant playtime, the refreshes will not be counted as views.

YouTube has implemented a robust system to ensure every counted view comes from a human being, not a robot. The Search engine does provide a definite way of counting views. However, it is crucial to note that watch time is an important factor when counting views. During the first hours of uploading a video, YouTube is strict while validating views. The registered views are the ones YouTube ascertains to be genuine. Legitimate views can even end up being skipped for the sake of discretion.

After the strict period of counting views passes, YouTubers start to witness a higher frequency of views accumulation. Apart from bots programmed to generate opinions, YouTube also checks for purchased views meant to improve content’s rank. Although the view count increases steadily after the first harsh scrutiny, it could still update at a slow rate if YouTube’s view count algorithm detects any fishy activity.

The 301 mark

Many videos’ view count stagnate at 301 marks. YouTube believes that any video that reaches the 301 marks has the potential of changing people’s perception towards the video. In that instance, the search engine starts to analyze the views more carefully. The algorithm takes this measure to prevent videos with falsely acquired views from crowding the homepage.

During the validation process, every valid view is accounted for but not added to the total count. Once it has been determined that the views are not coming from a fake source, they are added to the final count.

How YouTube’s view algorithm works

The Platform’s view count algorithm has been termed as the most sophisticated of all. Among other parameters, a YouTube Video gains a view after it has exceeded the 30-second mark. If you watch a video and move to a new one before hitting 30 seconds, the time spent is not enough to validate a view. Even if the video is watched from different devices, a view is awarded after spending a significant amount of time. The algorithm of counting views can freeze your view count at times to validate the views streaming in. This experience is created to ensure a fair and transparent process for every YouTuber. When the system validates all views, they are added to the count.

If a video is replayed many times in a day from the same IP address, the view count increases up to a certain point then stops. YouTube knows that people might watch the same video over and over when they enjoy them. Therefore, the algorithm is intelligent enough to know when a video has been replayed from the same node. The counter stops at some point to avoid the possibility of spam views.

The behavior of the account watching a YouTube video also determines whether the views will be added. The system can classify views from a particular account as been effected by a bot. YouTube flags an account as a bot if the person watching the videos is jumping to certain videos directly without going through the recommended video, the subscribers feed or searching for a specific video. Any bot-like action detected by the algorithm is not added to the view count.

Skipping and skimming

Some viewers tend to view specific parts of a video. It becomes hard to determine whether skipping videos only to watch for certain parts can account for a view or not.

Fluctuating views

Sometimes views can assume a frozen behavior while YouTube is determining the count accuracy. After the views have been scrutinized, the view count can either go up or go down with regard to the result of validation.

YouTube views are important in determining the value of video on the Platform. People are using the Platform as a tool for growing their businesses. While it is evident that many views signify high popularity, many do not understand how the view count process happens. YouTube has an intelligent algorithm that determines the validity of views. Since the importance of views means a lot, malicious people have programmed bots set to increase the view count of certain videos. Other users also watch videos many times to increase views. These unhealthy practices have made YouTube adopt a strong system to validate every view.

Date: October 28, 2019 / Categories: Explainer, / Author: michb


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