YouTube content gains popularity by the number of views it gathers. Since there is no negative view, if you keep track of your views, you always expect them to go up. However, sometimes you may monitor your views for weeks and discover the view count has gone down. For people starting on YouTube, the view count is important since they use it to gauge their growth in whatever niche they choose to pursue.
Drops in views can originate from various sources. YouTube is one of the sources. Both Google and YouTube maintain strong quality control measures in the background to scrutinize the legitimacy of the views gathered by any video on the platform. The search engine removes views purchased from third-party or the ones that come from someone constantly refreshing the browser. Also, views that were accidentally doubled are removed to get the legitimate number for a particular video.
When YouTube performs an audit of views, three things may show up in your starts. If you get a huge drop in the number of views, you may see a negative number in the stats. The negative number often shows on the red social blade. The second thing you might see is zero views if the drop is about what you get in a day. The views will, however, start going up when the legitimate ones catch up with your view count. The last option you will see is when you are losing fewer views than the number you get in a day. In this case, you will see a lower view count for that day until the genuine ones start streaming in.
Image: View Stops at 301. Photo was taken from growth traffic
In the past, YouTube stopped the view count of any video that reached the 301 view mark. This was referred to as the “301 + error”. YouTube would automatically start to audit your views when they hit this mark. After a few hours, the views will start to count again. However, if the search engine detected, some views were not genuine, content creators ended up waiting for some days for their video’s view count to continue.
Google used the 300 mark threshold to audit videos because there was not enough infrastructure to audit all videos from the beginning since there were many people around the globe, uploading their videos to the platform. Videos with views below 300 were deemed insignificant by the search engine, and no attention was given to them. The algorithm looked for suspicious activities like views coming from a similar IP address, many views within a short duration and many views coming from the same referral URL.
After some time and numerous questions from users on why their video view count stopped at 301 made YouTube change their way of auditing views. Content creators were disheartened when they saw no growth in their content after entering the audit mark. The advancement in technology also saw YouTube improve on their auditing algorithms. In addition, computers are now available to almost everyone, and the rate of uploading videos to YouTube increased tremendously. The search engine had to establish a new way of video auditing to satisfy the changing environment.
In the modern way of scrutinizing content view count, there is no threshold. Views start auditing immediately a user uploads their video. The view count normally starts at a slow rate since YouTube is strict with the initial views audit. Every view gained is checked its legitimacy and only passes the test if it comes from a real source.
After the strict initial audit, the algorithm will do less strict audits on the consecutive views gained by the content. Which the metrics of measure become less harsh, YouTube continues to test specific elements that can differentiate real and fake views. In the end, your view count will start rising gradually, and then it will fluctuate up and down as the search engine removes fake views.
When you see a drop in the number of views, it means the scrutinizing algorithm has identified and removed false views. Nowadays, there are bots programmed to imitate human behavior. They can click a video and move to the next one after a few seconds. YouTube keenly analyses every view to determine if it is triggered by a bot or a human.
Image: YouTube Analytics. Photo was taken from oberlo
YouTube analytics offers a more accurate version of view count. The view count available to the public is often an estimate. The analytics feature gives content creators the real report about the views gained by their videos. This feature shows the views in real-time meaning they are subject to drop after the search engine removes fake views.
No system in the world is perfect in its execution of tasks, and YouTube is no exception. For example, a few years ago, YouTube had a counting error resulting in a lot of extra views showing up in every video on the platform. The glitch, as it was commonly called by the Company’s support staff, took 36 hours to be rectified after which video views counts dropped to their normal.
The glitch error could happen at any time again. If you are monitoring your view count and realize a drop, it could be as a result of an audit or a data management error from YouTube’s side. If you see an insignificant drop, it means the Search Engine was undergoing a fix. Many times view count drops happening as a result of YouTube’s error are corrected, and users are given back their views.
If you change video privacy settings from public to private, all the accumulated views will be removed. However, if the video is turned back to the public, all the views should be displayed back.
While monitoring your YouTube view count, you should be aware there are views that do not count, such as the ones viewed outside the platform. These could be videos embedded on websites.
Date: October 24, 2019 / Categories: Analytics, View Tactics, / Author: michb