If you’ve ever wondered how views are counted on YouTube, then you probably are worried that your video isn’t getting the amount of hits you projected. In response to video marketing strategies and other view skewing tactics, YouTube tightened its view calculating process. Counting views used to be more casual and basically counted every time a page was loaded. Long gone are the days when you could press your browser’s refresh button 1,000 times a day to get your view count up. In order to calculate views accurately, YouTube can’t display views in real time all the time because of the system. However, you can see real time views using the YouTube Analytics tool. If you understand the way YouTube counts views, you may be able to raise your view count anyway.
How YouTube Counts Views
YouTube got wise to the refresh button issue a long time ago. They decided to make some changes especially as more video producers began monetizing videos. The importance of an accurate view count was also incredibly important to YouTube developers. As a Google-owned company, it’s also important that all algorithms and security measures are taken.
YouTube has never disclosed fully how view counts are established. They are very silent on security measures, and it’s to be expected. However, you should know that the technology is designed to detect artificial view inflation, which means that a view count can be frozen for a period of time. While the video is still available, the view count will not appear until the issue has been checked and resolved by the system.
The view count analysis is done in order to keep view counts as accurate as possible while not allowing people to game the view count in order to increase their views and gain recognition from the YouTube community as being a “most popular” video. Thus, only valid views are counted.
Problems with View Count Fraud
One of the big issues is that when a view count is frozen, many commenters look at the ratings that are above the view count and claim “View count fraud,” which also detracts from the validity of a video. If YouTube is analyzing views and has frozen the view count for a period of time, it could be a while before it catches up to the ratings and likes on a video, which only adds to the problem.
To avoid view count problems, views need to come from multiple sources and not the same URL. When views start to come from a single URL over and over, it triggers view count fraud system and freezes the view count.
In addition, view counts are often frozen at 300 views so that the spam bot can verify that view counts are real and not being artificially created. It could be a few hours or multiple days before the video view count works once more. Once YouTube has verified the actual count, your view counts will start to go up once more.
Resolving Issues with Real Time View Counts
If your video has over 300 views and you know that you aren’t artificially creating views, then you should contact YouTube to figure out the problem. To do this, you can go to “Current Issues,” then click “Other Issues” and then click “Report this issue.” A form will appear that you have to fill out to get help from YouTube.
If your view count is frozen, you can always use the YouTube Analytics feature to get real time updates on your view counts. However, this number may not be reflected on the actual video. YouTube Analytics is also helpful because you can see views, estimated minutes watched, subscribers, likes, dislikes, comments, shares, favorites added and much more during a specific period of time.
YouTube is constantly trying to improve its view count measures and analytics software, so there may be changes in the future to how issues are reported and whether you can resolved view counts as quickly as suggested. You should always contact YouTube if view counts have been frozen for more than a day, or the numbers are extremely off when compared to YouTube Analytics.
New 2018 Update
As of 2018, views update faster than ever before, but they still aren’t real-time. We consider real-time as fast as viewing a page, then refreshing that video to see the new view. In reality, these can take several minutes or even as long as half an hour before you will notice a difference in your views.
On top of this, YouTube is constantly auditing and updating your view count, so it may be lower the next time you look at it. This isn’t a cause for concern, and it is completely normal, as this is YouTube’s way of keeping your view count honest and accurate.
When all is said and done, you shouldn’t focus too much on your view count throughout the day. Focus on creating quality videos, and people will be attracted to your content naturally. This is the absolute best way to promote your videos and to get more views.
Are your views stuck? Are they updating more slowly than normal? Let us know in the comments below!